Cannes Contenders: BBDO Pakistan

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How will Asia-Pacific perform at Cannes this year? In the lead up to the Festival, Campaign Brief will be showcasing the work we hope will impress the judges…

Cannes Contenders: BBDO Pakistan

Truck Art Childfinder
BBDO Pakistan

Every year, 3000+ children go missing in Pakistan, a large number of whom are displaced to various remote parts of the country, where traditional media does not penetrate.

To help locate these missing children, BBDO Pakistan in collaboration with local artists used a unique form of Pakistani art: “Truck Art,” in which goods trucks traveling across the country are customarily painted and decorated with elaborate floral patterns, animals, icons, calligraphy, and portraits of famous personalities – instead of which portraits of missing children were painted on these trucks, with a helpline number.

The trucks traveled through Pakistan, including into remote regions. More than 1000 calls were received in just four weeks, while 3 children have been recovered out of 20 painted so far.

Cannes Contenders: BBDO Pakistan
Cannes Contenders: BBDO Pakistan

Stop Dowrymongering
BBDO Pakistan

In the Indian subcontinent, forced dowry is a practice in which the groom’s family coerces the bride’s family to pay the groom in material goods. Failure to match this expectation frequently results in thousands of brides being victimised through domestic violence, even leading to death through murder or suicide.

Through a carefully planned PR campaign, BBDO Pakistan slowly introduced to the public the news that celebrity Ali Rehman was about to get married, and his mystery bride would be revealed on a morning show that usually features live weddings. Thousands tuned in to see the bride. But during the show, instead of a woman, the shocked audience were introduced to a collection of “dowry” material goods: jewelry, appliances, car keys, etc. An entire morning show segment was successfully hijacked for free, and then used to introduce the campaign slogan: “Stop Dowrymongering” – a phrase akin to non-kosher behaviour – on the same platform.

BBC called the campaign “Instrumental in sparking conversation around the issue.” A total reach of 495,000,000 resulted in about $2,100,000 of earned media, all organic.

The Islamic Council, by far the most influential body in Pakistan, released a claim that forced dowry is unIslamic. And only two months after the campaign, a senator submitted a resolution in the country’s largest provincial assembly seeking a complete ban on dowry.

Cannes Contenders: BBDO Pakistan

Dowrymongering posters
BBDO Pakistan

500 individual posters were designed using real henna ink on an upheld defiant palm. The center of the palm proclaimed “Stop Dowrymongering” in Urdu. Henna decoration is a popular Pakistani practise which is frequently adorned by women during celebratory times, such as weddings.

We are inviting agencies to showcase your agency’s best chances at Cannes this year. Open to all Asian based agencies entering Cannes this year. Just email kim@campaignbrief.com with a paragraph or two on each of your best chances at this year’s festival. Include a link to the case study/TVC or supply jpegs if it is print.