Dubai Lynx

The New National Anthem Edition

IMPACT BBDO, Dubai / AN-NAHAR / 2020

Awards:

4 Grand Prix Dubai Lynx
3 Silver Dubai Lynx
4 Bronze Dubai Lynx
2 Shortlisted Dubai Lynx
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

When the Lebanese government failed to find solutions to the looming economic crisis, stagnant economy and unemployment, the country was plunged into the 6th revolution in its history. Past revolutions were marked with violence, and Lebanon was inching towards the same grisly outcome.

In a country where women don’t have equal rights and face massive underrepresentation in the government, An Nahar, the nation’s leading paper with a long history of standing with the Lebanese people, looked to empower women to lead the revolution, and avoid the violence that marked previous protests.

Idea

We spotted a glaring injustice in Lebanon – the absence of women in the Lebanese National Anthem. The country’s expression of national identity shockingly did not identify women.

So we took the bold move of fixing it. In a phrase in the anthem that previously only referred to Lebanon as "the birthplace of men," we added "the birthplace of WOMEN AND men."

Lebanon woke up to an entire newspaper edition dedicated exclusively to women, with the front page proudly displaying the revised national anthem. Even the newspaper’s name had been changed to "Naharouki," which translates into “Your Day” when addressing a female.

Strategy

To effectively reach and influence our target audience - Lebanese women - we knew we would need a strategic PR stunt that would organically grow and take over the revolution. Nothing stirs up passions more than a nationalistic message, and our plan started with surprising the Lebanese people with a revised national anthem printed on the front page of An-Nahar. We knew this would result in tons of UGC and press coverage on its own, at a time when masses were glued to broadcast news. Our secondary PR move was to get the most influential Lebanese singer to cover the revised anthem and broadcast it on national radio. Finally, we placed massive outdoor banners at strategic locations amidst the revolution.

Execution

We printed the revised National Anthem on the front page of the An Nahar newspaper. And the entire edition was dedicated to one story alone – The women’s story.

Being Lebanon’s leading newspaper, with a massive readership base, the new anthem reached almost every woman across the country.

We got Carole Samaha, the country’s most famous singer known for her patriotic songs, to join the cause and sing the new anthem in the biggest square of the revolution. Her rendition of the anthem was then broadcast on TV and radio channels organically all over Lebanon.

The anthem was also printed and displayed on a large banner in the center of Beirut, which became a beacon of hope, and an assembly point for women across the city to come together and join the revolution.

Outcome

The day the new National Anthem was published, spontaneously women from across Lebanon occupied the streets and sang it, turning it into the chant of the now peaceful revolution. People printed the anthem and hung it from buildings across the city.

The campaign became the No.1 trending topic on Twitter, drawing 745 million impressions and $150 Million earned media. The edition also became An-Nahar’s BEST-SELLING EDITION ever.

The front cover went viral globally on all social channels and was extensively reported in the International press.

On Lebanon’s Independence day, the entire nation came together in singing the new National Anthem in its new peaceful revolution.

Finally, the revolution transformed the historically all-male dominated cabinet by including 400% more female minsters, including the appointment of the first ever female Minister of Defense in any Arab country.

The new cabinet has pledged to submit a bill to change the national anthem forever.

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