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The Bridal Uniform

The Bridal Uniform | UN Women | BBDO
Download Download JPG | 864x536px
Industry: Public interest & Non-profit
Media:Ambient & Interactive
Style: Minimalism

Pakistan has one of the worst records of child marriages in the world. Almost a quarter of all Pakistani women in the last ten years have been married before the age of 18. The practice of child, early and forced marriage is widespread and occurs in all regions of Pakistan. Bills to raise the legal marriage age to 18 have been rejected previously by the government on religious grounds, or by being influenced by decision makers in the country's Islamic Council.

Our brief was to come up with a unique, disruptive idea that would not only raise awareness of the issue at a zero media budget, but also educate the public about the long-term harmful effects of getting a girl married young instead of educating her.

Describe the creative idea (40% of vote)

The Pakistani bride is known to wear an elaborate wedding outfit: bright, colorful, heavily embroidered dresses combined with flashy jewelery. Every year, the bridal-wear fashion industry in Pakistan hosts large events in which new styles are revealed for that year. These shows are typically attended by local celebrities.

This year, our idea was to hijack the country's largest bridal-wear fashion show by collaborating with the nation's best known fashion designer and by introducing a new kind of bridal gown that represents the sad state of affairs in Pakistan, and highlights the fact that an early marriage results in loss of education and empowerment.

The new "Bridal Uniform" was formed by merging a typical Pakistani schoolgirl's uniform and a traditional Pakistani bride's wedding gown.

Describe the execution (40% of vote)

In collaboration with the nation's best known bridal-wear artist Ali Xeeshan, we meticulously designed a new kind of a bridal outfit — one that symbolizes the trade-off that takes place when a girl is married young and is deprived of her right to an education — and revealed it on the bridal fashion industry's biggest night.

As the showstopper of the night, amidst bejewelled adult brides in elaborate gowns, and with the nation's top fashion bloggers recording, out walked on the ramp a little girl wearing a Pakistani schoolgirl's uniform embellished with beautiful traditional bridal motifs.

We researched a number of traditional bridalwear motifs in order to form a perfect balance between the existing uniform and the touches of celebration we added to it.

The campaign was followed up by an online petition and onground educational material.

List the results (20% of vote)

The disruptive stunt went viral and generated almost 500,000,000 social and news-media impressions, more than any campaign for this cause has ever done in Pakistan.

Senator S.Kamran took note of our campaign by name while proposing a bill to raise the legal marriage age to 18. The Islamic Council in turn proposed a groundbreaking amendment: a girl will not be legally allowed to leave her parents’ house in marriage until she turned 18. More recently, the Pakistani Senate approved a bill for raising the marriageable age to 18. The campaign further led to the police no longer turning a blind eye to underage marriages: arrests were made of people who were involved in such practices.

It is pertinent to note that while the campaign generated millions of dollars in media coverage, the dress cost only under $100 to make, using existing school uniform samples and inexpensive bridal embroidery motifs.
Production Company:
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Design
Live Events
Clio Awards 2018
Bronze Public Relations
Cause Related
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