Interviewed by Reem Abdalla (@Reem096)
Mohammed and Peyman Parham Al Awadhi are two Emirati brothers that started the Gourmet Shawarma sandwich concept “Wild Peeta”. Through Wild Peeta, they shared their passion for Gourmet Shawarma sandwiches with people across the globe via social media. These brothers always dream big so they entered another realm launching their own social TV show “Peeta Planet”.
“Since we shared our entire trip and experiences with our friends through social media, our friends expressed how they felt that they were with us in our journey. How they got to know the people through us and felt they were experiencing it firsthand. That is when the idea of social TV was born. We did it for fun, we did not have a clue it will turn into Peeta Planet.” – Peyman Al Awadhi
Since Sail eMagazine always supports local initiatives, we took the chance to interview Peyman Al Awadhi, the co-founder of Wildpeeta about the concept of Peeta Planet, of how the idea was formulated and an overview of the show.
What is “Peeta Planet”?
Peeta Planet is a social TV show. It is a new genre of TV shows. In the past, you waited for your favorite TV show on your favorite TV channel. Social Media is changing that. Now when you watch a movie and you see something the actor/ actress is wearing that you like, you will then tweet about it or share it on your Facebook wall expressing your opinion about what you liked and asking them about the brand name.
For example, the actor is wearing a “Dunhill” suit. You will share it within your social media platform, telling them this actor is wearing a Dunhill suit which you would love to buy. Then, your friends will reply: there is a Dunhill store in Dubai Festival City Mall. In turn, you will go and check this suit out. This is how social media works.
How did the idea “Peeta Planet” came to exist?
Peeta Planet idea started when my brother Mohammed and I decided to travel for three days. We asked our followers where to go and some replied Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, etc. We checked flights and some places were difficult. A person suggested Sri Lanka which is just two and a half hour away and was perfect for a short trip.
We drove to the airport and booked our tickets from the counter. We did not know where to go, where to stay or what to expect. We asked our friends on Facebook and Twitter about it and we got fast responses from people since we have a big community on social media through Wild Peeta restaurant. They told us about a 300-year-old hotel so we went there. Another person said he has a cousin who in turn has an uncle who works in the hotel and can drive us around. The entire trip we took photos of the trip and shared our experience via videos and tweets through our social platform.
How did you come up with the name?
The name came from Wild Peeta as in the “Peeta” brothers and “Planet” was derived from Lonely Planet. So we came up with the name “Peeta Planet”.
Why a social TV show?
We thought why don’t we have a TV show to demonstrate how people around the world are similar. People are more alike than they are different. This show is about showing the similarities of people around the world. We chose six countries on purpose, the UAE, Japan, Australia, UK, US and Brazil. The reason these countries were chosen was because they have the highest penetration of social media in the world and we wanted to link these countries. We can connect these countries by their entrepreneurs, cultural values, etc.
What is the concept of “Peeta Planet”?
Social media will drive everything we do. The show is unscripted. Our social network will tell us everything from what to eat to what we see, which hotels to sleep in and which streets to visit. We will set benchmarks. For example, so far, this many people recommended we go to visit XYZ. If anyone else thinks we should visit another location and people agreed with them, then we will follow the recommendation. Even our clothing choices will be voted by our social media network.
In each country, we want to focus on aspects such as “entrepreneurs”. Entrepreneurs that have done something good in their country and not necessarily the richest person. It could be a young person that did something truly outstanding and made a difference. We want to be the people that share it.
We also want to focus on “culture”, ranging from music, clothes, art, design, etc. Another focus is “cuisine” we want to show exotic food, something that excites our friends and make them say: “wow I did not know that”.
Do you have a crew?
We formulated a team to help in shooting our escapade. Rene Kock, a producer and director from California, US who worked on a documentary called Skateistan. This documentary is about skateboarders from Australia that went to Afghanistan and opened up a school there to teach kids skateboarding. We are also working with a Californian editor, Nadia Hennrich who also worked on Skateistan.
We also have recruited a social media team. Heading the team is Joseph who is based in Tokyo. The other team members are located in the countries that we have planned to go to. Our cameraman is Steven French from Australia, our sound man is Tom Savage from UK and our production manager, Sean Meer.
Qabeela New Media the production company that will produce the show. TwoFour54’s Ibtikar is also a supporter of the first of its kind show. Every country we go to will have a tour guide that will help us. For the UAE, we did not need a tour guide. We are the tour guides and we brought a guest from Saudi Arabia Albara Alohali @albara who is also joining us in our trip to Japan.
Where will be your first trip?
Our first trip will be to Tokyo, Japan. We are planning to wear Emirati traditional Kandoora throughout most of our shooting to all the countries we are visiting.
23rd Issue – February 2012
Here We Start – Art of Living 101 – Beyond Inspiration
First Years Last Forever – Scenes from Our Lives – Society of Tomorrow
The Mind’s Eye – To The Point – Words, Observations, and Ramblings
Reem aims through her quarterly column to explore issues in society and discuss emerging new trends. Listen to other people’s thought and view their perspectives about the subject. Then raise questions and form unbiased conclusions about it.