2019 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryUse of Ambient Media: Small Scale
Media Placement BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

In a first-of-its-kind experience, we put our message directly in the hands of the intended audience. This was a new way to experience a message that had previously been ignored.


Almost one in three married Pakistani women have suffered physical violence from their husbands. Such violence is not only widespread, it is also normalized. National laws exist to protect women, but the real issue is that Pakistani men are not aware of these laws, and thus indulge in domestic violence anyways due to zero knowledge of consequences. Indeed, some men believe that they have a right to beat their wives. Above-the-line campaigns against domestic violence never seem to reach most of the intended audience, and so don't work as well. The brief was to find a low-budget idea that would connect directly with men, and deliver the message one-on-one. The objective of the campaign was primarily to raise awareness of the fact that domestic violence has grave consequences, and to create not only a sense of fear of the law, but also empathy towards women.

Describe the creative idea.

We chose a specific target area: cafes where Pakistani men will often be found meeting to talk and play games like cards. Our media plan revolved around distributing sets of specially designed playing cards in these very places. The cards were normal, except that the four Queens were disfigured. Each of the four Queens stood as a symbol of domestic violence, each depicting a different form of abuse known to Pakistani men: beatings, acid attacks, forced silence and psychological abuse, and honor killings. As the men came across the disfigured Queens they came face-to-face with the horrors that some of them had created. Each card carried an informational message: Violence against women carries the punishment of imprisonment.

Describe the strategy.

Above-the-line regular media that is anti-domestic violence in Pakistan rarely work: these are often ignored by our target audience. So we had to find a strategic medium in order to connect. We identified an area that had never been used before: a time of leisure for Pakistani men, when they meet friends at cafes to talk and play board games or, more often, cards. Our approach was to redesign the cards in a way that would catch our target by surprise, and so deliver our message at a time when they couldn't ignore it.

Describe the execution

The Queens were designed to look completely authentic and in the style of actual playing cards. The illustration technique is consistent with recognized card designs. We chose each Queen to represent a different form of abuse: four in all, that are most practised by men in Pakistan. Each Queen has a different degree of abuse, but all of them are designed to be distressing. The cards also carried an informational line on it - in English and in local Urdu - which clearly spelt out that the activity depicted on the card was against the law. An initial run of 600 decks of cards have been distributed in two of Pakistan's largest cities: Karachi and Lahore, with a total of 2,000 to be distributed in the next six months.

List the results.

In all the locations that the activity took place, we registered a 100% rate of noticing the cards - it was impossible to ignore the Queens when they suddenly appear in your hands. In every case, a discussion had taken place amongst the men present playing. In more than 150 interviews taken on the street, we recorded a massive change in perception and an uplift in behaviour: in some cases, the men had been introduced to the law for the first time. In others, men were reminded. Our ground research indicated an almost 70% rate of positive feedback. Never before in Pakistan has a below-the-line campaign on domestic violence connected so directly with the target. The cards continue to be distributed in Pakistan.


Name Company Role
Paul Shearer Impact BBDO Chief Creative Officer
Ali Rez BBDO Pakistan / Impact BBDO Executive Creative Director
Ben Griffiths Impact BBDO Associate Creative Director
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Strategic Planning Director
Emma Jane Randall Impact BBDO Account Executive
Fatima Ansari BBDO Pakistan Writer
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Logan Allanson Impact BBDO Creative Director
Idrees Hussain Stimulus Producer
Khurrum Jamal Khurrum Jamal Director
Anas AlHakim Freelance Creative Director
Will Rust Freelance Executive Creative Director
Rafael Valencia Freelance Senior Art Director
Haseeb Akram BBDO Pakistan Art Director
Shahzeb Hussain BBDO Pakistan Group Art Director
Mian Aleem Ali BBDO Pakistan Production Designer
Haroon Rashid BBDO Pakistan Art Director
Huma Mobin BBDO Pakistan Writer
Abdullah BBDO Pakistan Account Executive
Moiz Khan BBDO Pakistan Associate Creative Director