Cannes Lions

We Miss Lebanon

IMPACT BBDO, Beirut / LBCI / 2023

Awards:

2 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

The crisis in Lebanon has reached an all-time high, with more than half of the population under the poverty line, the Lebanese pound losing 95% of its value, and complete governmental negligence towards the safety of its people.

Women are at a substantial disadvantage even before the economic downturn, therefore more vulnerable to the devastating effects of the economic crisis, struggling under the control of a male-dominated government that always leaves them fighting for their most basic rights.

Despite all this, in 2022, the Lebanese government announced that Miss Lebanon pageant would return, after a 4-year hiatus. LBCI wanted to draw attention to the problems that continue to riddle the country in a non-violent way that empowered the people leading protests–women. So instead of going forward with a tone-deaf beauty pageant, LBCI transformed it into a way to shine a spotlight on Lebanon’s problems and demand the government make changes.

Idea

The government attempted to host Miss Lebanon as a way to show that things are back to normal. But the people of Lebanon remember what normal used to be, back when Lebanon was a paradise, a thriving country where everyone wanted to be. The Lebanon of today is far from that.

Inspired by the country’s glory days, we saw an opportunity to change the tone-deaf pageant into a confrontational call-to-action by adding one simple word – We Miss Lebanon. We scoured LinkedIn Jobs and other social media for the most outspoken Lebanese women and invited them to compete, broadcasting exactly what they miss about Lebanon to the world.

But beyond that, the campaign celebrated the everyday queen, as we wanted to empower every woman in Lebanon to speak out, so we created a social media filter with the We Miss Lebanon sash and invited others to join the conversation.

Strategy

The Miss Lebanon pageant on LBCI as a brand has always enjoyed a high degree of popularity. It was a highly publicized and much-awaited event for the Lebanese. However, with the ongoing crisis, the Miss Lebanon pageant was halted for four years prior to this campaign, and its return was controversial amongst the citizens in the country. We wanted to turn the national event into one with a deeper purpose, to get the message across to those we feel can advance women’s freedoms, by giving a platform to female activists that inspire others to raise their voices and fight for their rights. We wanted to call on the everyday Lebanese queen, with a powerful reminder of her power and resilience in our society, offering her the space to advocate for a country that is losing its identity day after day.

Execution

The campaign initiated a digital activism activation, launching a filter on social media that adorned those who use it with a sash carrying our slogan “We Miss Lebanon”. We also edited these sashes onto iconic photos of women activists, protestors and others who cleaned the streets after the explosion and cooked for those who lost their homes. Using both conventional and out-of-the-box methods to push this campaign forward, our sash appeared on a commercial on a prominent Lebanese television channel, as well as on outdoor activations, social media platforms, print outlets, and finally, and most impactfully, on the center stage of the pageant. We also scoured LinkedIn for the contestants of the pageant, concluding with an impressive selection of accomplished female activists and representatives. The hashtag #WeMissLebanon spread all over social media, and the words stood center stage during the show.

Outcome

The #WeMissLebanon campaign stirred the hearts of the Lebanese not only at home,

but abroad. People flooded online platforms with positive sentiments, and openly expressed their hopeful thoughts and opinions towards the country they lost. Analytics found many Lebanese expats engaged passionately with the campaign by using our hashtag on social platforms.

The elected queen wore her sash for meetings with top government officials, further shifting traditional standards of beauty into ones associated with fearlessness, standing for freedom, and confronting rampant injustices. The queen also went on to use her global platform to advocate and raise awareness about Lebanon’s tragic state.

#1 Trending Hashtag on Twitter

#10 Million in Earned Media Dollars

#650 + Million Impressions on Social In 3 Days

#Most Watched Tv Program on LBCI

#Coverage In Over 150 International Publications

#Over 18.5 million Views on TikTok

#A CTR of 40X on LinkedIn (exceeding the average by 3966%)

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