2019 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryTravel, Leisure, Retail, Restaurants & Fast Food Chains

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

The Mankousheh, a blend of thyme and olive oil folded between warm dough, is a culinary Lebanese heritage, insanely popular nationwide. The two core ingredients, thyme and olive oil, are the literal Arabic translation of the brand name, "Zaatar w Zeit", a fast, casual urban eatery. Almost 20 years after opening their first branch, Zaatar w Zeit urbanized this iconic culinary creation. And at a time when there’s a day for celebrating almost everything, we deemed it absolutely essential to pay homage to a national favorite in the creation of "World Mankousheh Day".


Zaatar w Zeit, Lebanon’s number one fast-casual eatery, has been dedicated to urbanizing traditional Lebanese classics. They have managed to reach top-of-mind status, expanding regionally with over 60 branches. The "Mankousheh", the brand’s core offering, & one of Lebanon’s culinary treasures, does not have a day to celebrate it, despite there being international days that celebrate the most absurd things. Hence, Zaatar w Zeit decided to declare November 2nd as “World Mankousheh Day”, an international day that pays tribute to the iconic Mankousheh. For the second year in a row, Zaatar w Zeit wanted to celebrate a culinary heritage and pay homage to how the brand began and evolved from a bakery to an urban eatery. Objectives were: • Unite Lebanese all over the world, in celebration of a culinary icon, despite economic and political turmoil • Increase brand equity and brand love, measured through positive social media engagement

Describe the creative idea.

Top criteria when deciding to travel on vacation or discussing a certain country, is that country’s culinary heritage and specialties. Lebanese people being foodies at heart, take great interest in culinary offerings of their country and ones abroad. While the French take pride in the croissant, and Italians boast about their pizza, the Lebanese find themselves confused with no dish to properly call their own; over the years we have seen surrounding countries put their own twist on items like: hummus, tabbouleh salad, and falafel, claiming ownership over these popular culinary inventions. Today, Zaatar w Zeit thought it was time for the Lebanese to put their hands once and for all on a culinary creation that they hold dear to their hearts: The Mankousheh. A food representing Lebanese culinary heritage, while being one of the core items offered by Zaatar w Zeit ever since their humble beginnings 20 years ago.

Describe the strategy.

Zaatar w Zeit, a fast-casual eatery, caters to millennials and families. Communication around World Mankousheh Day targeted tech-savvy millennials and young adults, and adults who can be reached on classical communication channels (TV, radio), although activation’s nature allows people of all ages to relate to and enjoy. Local ingredients are, as the saying goes, “herbs at hand.” Accessibility contributes to national prevalence of this item as a main offering at local bakeries which dot not only city streets, but every corner of the country, making our audience a nation-wide segment. Again, reaffirming our target as one that includes millennials, young adults, and practically the whole nation. Our target comprised of a current audience and a new audience, essential to increase brand equity and the growth of Zaatar w Zeit as a whole, as the target will help fulfill communication objectives, and eventually cement "World Mankousheh" Day as a prideful celebration.

Describe the execution

"World Mankousheh Day" used an effective mix of online-offline communication channels that helped reach the target audience. After last year’s success, we wanted to make the celebrations bigger. A petition was launched to recognize “World Mankousheh Day” as an official holiday. Ministry of Culture, Tourism and the Government jumped on board to support the initiative. A collaboration took place between the brand and LiveLoveBeirut, one of the country’s most prominent cultural platforms, releasing engaging original content specially curated for the occasion. In addition, Zaatar w Zeit staff members took over the most populated streets of Lebanon, distributing over 10,000 Mankousheh. Lastly, a huge graphiti appeared on November 2nd on one of Beirut’s high-traffic bridges paying an everlasting homage to the occasion and cementing November 2 as "World Mankousheh Day".

List the results.

More than 3,000,000 online impressions and 90% positive interactions in a country full of clashing opinions - For the second year World Mankousheh Day became the hot topic. - A petition was launched to recognize “World Mankousheh Day” as an official holiday. Ministry of Culture, Tourism and the Government jumped on board, resulting in coverage by prime TV stations such as LBCI., MTV, and OTV. - Top online platforms such as MTV Lebanon, and Annahar, penned articles highlighting World Mankousheh Day as the ultimate celebration for the Lebanese worldwide. - #WorldMankoushehDay trended online, with people tweeting and instagramming the graphiti mural as well as staff members distributing Mankousheh on the streets. - Competitors and media personalities joined the celebration. We succeeded in instilling pride in Lebanon’s culinary heritage, increasing brand love and directly linking the brand to an initiative that puts Lebanon’s culinary world on a pedestal of acknowledgement.


Name Company Role
Bechara Mouzannar Publicis Communications MEA Chief Creative Officer
Malek Ghorayeb Publicis Communications MEA Regional Executive Creative Director
Wael El Husseini Publicis Levant Managing Director
Jo Chemali MSL Beirut Managing Director
Sary Najjar Publicis Levant Creative Director
Michelle Naaman Publicis Levant Senior Art Director
Lynne Khodr Publicis Levant Copywriter
Rassil Tamim Publicis Levant Junior Art Director
Rachelle Agha Publicis Levant Junior Art Director
Joe Atiyeh Publicis Levant Production Manager
Francois Mehchy Publicis Levant Communications Manager
Ryan Aoun Publicis Levant Communication Executive
Roy Khachan MSL Beirut Strategic Planner
Annie Kassardjian MSL Beirut Communication Executive
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