2019 Winners & Shortlists


Short List
EntrantFP7/BEY Beirut, LEBANON
CategoryFinancial Products & Services, Commercial Public Services, B2B Products & Services
Idea Creation FP7/BEY Beirut, LEBANON
Media Placement UM MENA Beirut, LEBANON

Why is this work relevant for PR Lynx?

Byblos Bank had a reputation problem: it was seen as a bank that is not really national, that doesn't really speak to ALL Lebanese. We needed to change that on Independence Day. So we decided to provoke Lebanese people using one true fact: 73% of them don't know the words to their own anthem. We knew they would get offended which didn’t matter because we knew what was coming next: the biggest initiative to teach ALL Lebanese their anthem. Peoples’ perception changed overnight as we suddenly became a bank that truly speaks to everyone.


Byblos Bank had a problem: because most of its branches are more present in specific areas than others it was seen as a bank that only caters to upper class and mostly Christian groups. While the bank did have presence all over Lebanon, it needed to strengthen its relationship with the people in other areas to be seen as a true national bank. We saw the perfect opportunity with Independence Day, Lebanon's most celebrated national day. Our objective was clear: for the next brand health study score for "patriotic and national bank" to grow by 2 points versus 2018. And to decrease by 5 points our perception as an "elite bank” versus 2018's study. We needed to ensure we hit our average page engagement rate and witness a 20% increase in fans (usual fan growth whenever we launch a campaign).

Describe the creative idea.

What’s the one thing most people around the world do on Independence day and national days? They sing their national anthem. It's one of the symbols that unite the country despite different religions, races and classes. Problem was: 73% of Lebanese didn't know the words to their own anthem! Ask them to sing it and they would substitute most words with "Na Na Na" and other gibberish. So we decided to provoke them by reminding them they didn’t know their national anthem. On TV, outdoor, social... We wanted them to jump on the opportunity to bash the bank they already thought was not patriotic enough. People were demanding an explanation from Byblos Bank. So we answered with what we wanted to do all along: a series of activations and initiatives that would get everyone to learn that precious anthem once and for all. The idea? Our anthem unites us.

Describe the strategy.

Our target was practically everyone. But not the ones who thought Byblos Bank was a Lebanese bank they could rely on but the ones who really didn’t like Byblos Bank, who really thought this bank was elitist and only cared about a fraction of the Lebanese. What really sets this target apart is the fact that they would gladly share any negative story about a brand they didn't really like. So we used that at the core of our strategy. Once we launched our assets mocking the people, negative comments were pouring in. And once we had most our target complaining, we created custom segments on social media comprised of people who commented negatively, and re-targeted them with all the initiatives we had planned in order to truly show our colors and come off as the bank that cared about all of Lebanon.

Describe the execution.

We launched with the film a few days before Independence Day: a bunch of Lebanese people of all walks of life, attempting to sing the anthem, but failing to do so. The message at the end reads: ‘It’s time to learn our anthem’. The film online got what we wanted: everyone sharing it out of humiliation either bashing the Lebanese or Byblos Bank. Once influencers and people prompted the conversation and put the spotlight on us, we released (on Independence Day) everything we did to teach people the anthem: a building long Graffiti on Beirut's busiest street, a series of parades singing the anthem in the streets of Lebanon. A box of specially designed cards that explained the meanings of every verse in the anthem were sent to influencers and school kids and also printed the national anthem on posters in our branches, on the street and in magazine ads.

List the results.

Tier 1: Brand equity 8 times higher score vs. 2018 when it comes to “patriotic and national bank” perception 10 times lower score vs. 2018 when it comes to “elite bank” perception Tier 2: $100,000 in earned media (knowing that the average is $25,000 for banking campaigns) More than 5,000 stories and posts Special coverage on MTV main news Special coverage in AnNahar Mention on BlogBaladi, 961 media, Beirut.com and other notable publishers. Tier 3: 148% more page engagement than average 62% increase in fans


Name Company Role
Karim Kazan Fp7 Bey Executive Creative Director
Carl Bou Abdallah Fp7 Bey Regional planning manager
Emile Atallah Fp7 Bey Managing Director
Stephany Raad Fp7 Bey Art director
Ramzi Awad Fp7 Bey Account Manager/Brand planner
Nassif Abou Aloula Fp7 Bey Business director/Digital director
Mounir Camel Toueg TellTale Partner
Margot El Hage Fp7 Bey Account executive
Miriam Awada TellTale Strategic Planner
Jennifer Sarkis Fp7 McCann Beirut Arabic copywriter
Mario Atallah Fp7 Bey Senior agency producer
Tarek Bacha Fp7 McCann Beirut Head of Arabic copy
Nour Tueini Fp7 Bey English copywriter
Karim Sallman Fp7 Bey Digital creative