Cannes Lions

Em Khalil

J. WALTER THOMPSON BEIRUT, Beirut / BOU KHALIL SUPERMARCHE / 2018

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Overview

Description

To tilt the balance, we went where no brand had gone before.

We created our own counter brand.

Meet Em Khalil, meaning ‘mother of Khalil’, the voice that tackles gender-associated laws and societal stereotypes. Also known as the Yin to Bou Khalil Supermarket's Yang.

Execution

To immerse the consumer fully into the counter brand experience, we turned Em Khalil into a real persona.

Online, we gave Em Khalil her own Instagram account - @thereal.emkhalil - exactly like a regular person or influencer would do.

On the day of the signage change, we made sure that the experience was surprising and seamless. We broadcasted the signage change live on Facebook and Instagram to reach a maximum number of people.

We communicated the discount to couples on the social media channels of Bou Khalil Supermarket.

The momentum around Em Khalil led to Lebanon's top business publication, Executive Magazine, to invite Em Khalil to headline her own monthly column. Her first article ‘Raising Voices. Raising Women’, sheds light on how women in Lebanon should demand opportunities. The article was written with research and a point of view. Like any writer with a point of view would write.

Outcome

Em Khalil's Instagram posts started getting attention from influencers. They quickly started sharing, liking and commenting.

In less than 1 month, Em Khalil had more followers than the #1 NGO for women's rights in Lebanon. And Em Khalil is followed equally by men and women.

After the signage stunt on Women's Equality Day, blogger and media picked up on the story, and both Em Khalil and Women’s Equality Day were in the news for the very first time in Lebanon.

As a result, Em Khalil was invited to write her own monthly column in Lebanon’s most famous business magazine: Executive Magazine. Her first article ‘Raising Voices. Raising Women’, sheds light on how women in Lebanon should demand opportunities.

And this is how a local supermarket chain in Lebanon was the 1st brand to champion women by creating its own counter brand. A trend many international brands adopted 9 months later.

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