Unlike any other domestic violence campaign in the world, this one actually invited men to beat women. But at things they were good at.
Pakistanis had heard the repeated anti-domestic violence messages before, and were tuning out - most communication previously ended up making the woman seem weak and powerless.
We flipped the scenario and showcased the Pakistani woman as a strong, empowered achiever who is able enough to challenge a man rather than be a submissive, weaker person she’s often made out to be.
The film featured women who were at the top of their game and had achieved great things. Each woman challenged men to beat her at what she's good at.
The script places a means of abuse against the skill of each woman: a singer challenges verbal abuse, saying “Beat me with your voice," the fastest female runner in South Asia challenges physical abuse saying “Beat me with your feet,” and UN Women ambassador Fizza Farhan ends the film with the statement: “I’m Unbeatable."
The main film was followed up by shorter films describing the life stories of all these powerful women, along with two activation videos in which we challenged men to beat women: these films revealed to men that they actually aren’t always stronger, faster, smarter as they wrongfully believe and in doing so, changing their cultural perception.
The results were astounding. We had begun to clearly change mindsets.
The video was watched a remarkable 2.5 million times generating a total of 201 million impressions. It sparked a massive conversation in the country around the issue: celebrities, talk show hosts and parliamentarians - both men and women - took up the issue. We had made the topic of violence against women trend in Pakistan. The campaign was also picked up internationally, contributing to domestic pressure.
The Government of Pakistan has worked in parallel to set up the first violence against women center to provide medical and legal assistance, and is implementing a new law that protects women.
Eventually, UN Women took the bold step in not only changing Pakistani men’s perception about women but in inspiring a large number of Pakistani women to stand up to abuse. Women who now know they are unbeatable.
Due to growing mobile and social media penetration in Pakistan - especially regarding content with celebrities - when we featured a film using powerful Pakistani female celebrities, we knew it would gain a high level of interest.
We also devised a highly controversial catch phrase that approached the problem in a way that no body had done before, driving up engagement. The content sparked discussions at a government level and reached out to both men and women, ultimately changing the culture of believing that women are weaker.
We started with a launch film - timed to release during the International Week of Elimination of Violence Against Women - which featured incredible Pakistani women challenging men to beat them at what they excelled at. What first looked like a submissive retreat, ended up being a powerful statement that Pakistani women are strong.
This was followed by personal stories of the featured women about the struggles they had to go through and everything they achieved.
Once the video went viral, we took the challenge on ground and set up two separate activations, both aimed at challenging men to beat women. One of the challenges was for men to beat the speed record of one of the women featured in the video.