2015 Winners & Shortlists


Short List
CategoryIntegrated Campaign led by PR
Production Company ZOÉ PRODUCTION Beirut, LEBANON

The Campaign

How will touch, Lebanon’s leading mobile operator, effectively engage an otherwise unconcerned Lebanese audience with its annual DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE campaign without resorting to scare tactics? By implanting a radically different, threefold strategy that positions it as an innovative communicator, touch managed to positively engage stakeholders and build a growing hype around its TEXT IF YOU CAN campaign. The strategy entailed ‘aligning the stars’ (i.e. celebrities and opinion leaders) who have partaken in the campaign, prompting them to share their thoughts on the effectiveness of the campaign and the perils of driving and texting at the end of the two-minute episodes in which they were featured and elsewhere in features and interviews and on social media. Unfolding simultaneously with these 8 two-minute episodes, which aired on primetime over 3 weeks, were the scientific and NGO components to the PR strategy that saw doctors and Yasa, an NGO for road safety, providing facts that debunk the multitasking myth. The awareness campaign has proven to be entertaining and effective, being embraced by the various stakeholders and the public. As a reaction to it, Lebanon’s most popular news anchor dedicated a documentary on primetime to talk about it, opening the news segment while attempting to text. Even the top-rated social program took the TEXT IF YOU CAN challenge to the ground, inviting people to play a car game while texting. And recently Al Arabiya (a pan arab network) picked up on it.

The Brief

The goals were to positively engage the various stakeholders and opinion leaders and to generate growing hype around the campaign. A natural positive reaction to the campaign by the stars who went on to discuss their participation in interviews, features, and on social media, signaled the effectiveness of the campaign. In addition to the 8 celebrities, doctors, therapists, journalists, and bloggers embraced and propagated the message of the fun campaign helping it reach the homes and hearts of the Lebanese public.


As a reaction to the campaign, Lebanon’s most popular news anchor opened primetime news while texting and dedicated a documentary to it. Even the top-rated social program took the “text if you can!” challenge to the ground, inviting people to play a car game while texting. And recently Al Arabiya (a pan arab network) picked up on it. The campaign with its 8 two-minute videos received over 352,293 online views, 4,376,967 impressions, and over $2 million in PR value. Most importantly, touch and Yasa delivered a serious message in an entertaining way that effectively reached 70% of the population (2,836,177 from a population of 4 million.)


In order to effectively reach an unconcerned audience, a proactive threefold PR strategy was devised to maximize the effect of the original campaign. Just like the campaign sought to speak the language of the audience, so did the PR tactics. Instead of showing the audience the negative consequences of texting and driving, the message was conveyed by highlighting the entertaining and informative aspect of the campaign and by prompting the celebrities who partook in it to be ‘aligned’, discussing their involvement in features and interviews. The entertaining content based on the scientific fact that multitasking is a myth, in addition to the impassioned interviews and features with the stars allowed for the campaign to be very well-received by the audience. Running in tandem with the 8 episodes that aired on primetime across all TV stations for 3 weeks were the PR stunts, bloggers interventions, and scientific- and NGO-approaches.

The Situation

Touch, Lebanon’s leading mobile operator, takes an active role in raising awareness on texting and driving. Each year, it runs its DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE campaign with its partner Yasa, an NGO for road safety. In Lebanon, people are generally immune to the dramatics of public safety messages. This challenge to reach the public was seen as an opportunity to position touch as a fresh and modern communicator that can approach a sensitive topic in a positive way that’s not only entertaining but also effective.

The Strategy

The threefold public relations strategy ran simultaneously and in harmony with the campaign, with no press release and no events before the launch of the episodes on TV. Only a few ‘leaks’ were made to support the teasing phase. This allowed for the intended snowball effect to happen at two levels, that of the opinion leaders from different sectors (the stars who volunteered to partake in the campaign) and their immediate circles and that of the general public. Post-launch, the scientific and NGO folds allowed for further dissemination and legitimization of the message by way of informed interventions by Yasa, doctors, and therapists. The PR stunts and interventions of the bloggers further expanded the reach and impact of the campaign.


Name Company Role
Nicolas Geahchan J. Walter Thompson Beirut Executive Creative Director
Laila Agassi J. Walter Thompson Beirut Associate Creative Director
Maya Mohtar J. Walter Thompson Beirut Senior Art Director
Georges El Ten J. Walter Thompson Beirut Art Director
Omar Sadek J. Walter Thompson Beirut Managing Director
Jad Hindi J. Walter Thompson Beirut Account Director
Nadim Lahoud J. Walter Thompson Beirut Account Manager
Gilbert Nahas J. Walter Thompson Beirut Tv Producer
Suzanne Talhouk J. Walter Thompson Beirut PR Director