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Industry: Public interest & Non-profit
Media:Ambient & Interactive
Style: Minimalism

We launched with a film featuring high-achieving Pakistani women challenging men to beat them. But at what they’re good at. This was launched during the International Week of Elimination of Violence Against Women. We followed up by personal stories of these women about their achievements and struggles, followed by strategically placed posters; for e.g. Naseem Hameed's poster went up next to a running track challenging men to beat her record time.An activation component of the campaign was set up in a local park challenging men to beat the record of a female track star. Every single man failed. A shoebox crafted for men’s running shoes carried the same challenge, challenging men to “Beat me with these shoes” at her record.A similar activity was set up as a squash tournament, in which a female squash star disguised as a boy, defeated every man that volunteered to play against her.

We discovered that a study conducted by the government showed that 34% of men thought it’s okay to beat women, but even more surprisingly 42% of women thought the same, which is why it became a challenge to not only talk to the men but also the women. .*(i)Throughout the media, TV dramas, ads, films; the role of women is limited to the stereotypes where she’s the imperfect, incapable powerless victim. Even anti-domestic violence campaigns in Pakistan made the woman feel weaker, further adding to the problem. So we decided to flip the scenario and represent the Pakistani woman as a strong, empowered achiever who is able enough to challenge a man rather than be a submissive, weaker person she’s often made to believe.*(i)

The conversation became viral and brought about a cultural mind-shift: portrayal of women in the media changed from weak to powerful, where other brands followed suit.With a $0 media budget, the video racked up 2 million organic views*(i) in the first week alone, 296 million earned impressions*(ii) and an estimated $118 million in earned media. Celebrities, talk show hosts and parliamentarians - both men and women - took up the issue. The topic of violence against women was trending in Pakistan,*(iii) while also being on prominent global media, contributing to domestic pressure. The Pakistani government has worked in parallel to set up the first violence against women centre, implementing a new women protection law*(iv)UN Women changed Pakistani men’s perception about women and inspired a large number of Pakistani women to stand up to abuse; women who now know they are unbeatable.*(i)Facebook*(ii)Sysomos*(iii)Twitter trending data*(iv)

UN Women decided to do the opposite of what was expected from a women’s rights campaign. We built the first anti-domestic violence campaign in the world that invited men to beat women. But at things they were good at.We cleverly used the double meaning behind the term “beat,” and transformed it from a violent, submissive suggestion to an empowered, inspiring one.We showcased each woman with the script not only building on her strength, but cleverly relating it to various forms of abuse. A singer challenges verbal abuse, saying “Beat with me your voice”, the marathon winner challenges physical abuse saying “Beat me with your feet”.

Almost 90% *(i) of Pakistani women suffer from some sort of abuse, due to the patriarchal mindset of the society. A bill recently proposed that men be allowed to “beat lightly” a woman. Compounding the issue, more than 42% of Pakistani women believe that they are weak. Contrary to popular belief, this percentage does NOT include rural, uneducated and the poor alone. The rich, educated and urban citizens are just as much a part of this problem. *(ii). In a heavily patriarchal society, our objective was to change the cultural mindset by generating conversation amongst the media and influencers, and to empower women to feel stronger, while emphasizing to men that women are not as weak as they are perceived to be. Even anti-domestic violence campaigns in Pakistan portray women as weak, going as far as asking men not to beat women. This wasn’t working.*(i)*(ii)

This is the first ever anti-domestic violence campaign in the world that actually invites men to beat women. But at things that they are good at. The campaign featured powerful Pakistani women who have achieved great things challenging men to beat them at their game.The campaign was launched with a film piece, but had several integrated units: outdoor posters, activation stunt, a direct ambient piece.One of the most powerful components was a small ambient piece that was culturally and emotionally very moving: a shoebox with a message.
Creative Director:
Art Director:
Production Company:
Other credit:Entrant Company: BBDO PAKISTAN, Lahore, Pakistan
Regional Creative Director, Ali Rez, Impact BBDO
Managing Director, Faisal Durrani, BBDO Pakistan
Associate Creative Director, Hira Mohibullah, BBDO Pakistan
Creative Manager, Huma Mobin, BBDO Pakistan
Senior Creative Manager, Aamna Rahim, BBDO Pakistan
Client Services, Idrees Hussain, BBDO Pakistan
Digital Business Director, Jamayal Tanweer, BBDO Pakistan
Digital Creative Group Head, Moiz Khan, BBDO Pakistan
Production Designer, Mian Aleem Ali, BBDO Pakistan
Music Director, Natasha Ejaz, Audio DNA
Production Manager, Atif Pasha, BBDO Pakistan
PR Co-ordinator, Maida Azmat, Maida Azmat
Make up, Maram and Aabroo, Maram and Aabroo Salon
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017
Shortlist Media
Use of Integrated Media
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017
Shortlist PR
Celebrity Endorsement
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