Case studySaudi or ISIS?

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Saudi or ISIS


Motivated by some of the appalling atrocities committed in the name of religion, the Soho team sat down and asked what we might do to fight the further export of terrorism internationally, whatever its origin. Saudi or ISIS was the result.

Saudi or ISIS aims to draw attention to the fact that Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi practice of Islam is broadly similar to Daesh (the self-proclaimed “Islamic State”)’s very own interpretation. This is well documented, and to some degree explains Saudi financial support for ISIS.

The Strategy

Rather than advocate for any specific change in Western policy with regards to Saudi Arabia, we decided upon a non-confrontational, fact-based educational approach in developing the site, believing that the reality of life in Saudi Arabia would speak louder than our words.

With a design inspired by sexy-fun dating website Hot or Not, visitors to are asked to distinguish Saudi Arabian policies from ISIS ones. Whilst all the policies presented are barbaric and shocking, by Western standards, the ‘twist’ revealed only at the end is that all the policies listed on the site are Saudi ones. Upon learning how many answers they have gotten correct, users are invited to share the quiz on Facebook.


With 150,000 votes cast in the first 24-hours after launch and significant social media attention, the site got off to a successful start. Soho integrated Google Analytics event and goal-tracking to generate insights based on user’s guesses. This allowed us to generate data which was then fed to press regarding public misperceptions about Saudi policy.