2020/2021 Winners & Shortlists

$4 A DAY

Short List
Product/ServiceCALL TO ACTION
CategoryNot-for-profit / Charity / Government
Idea Creation BRANDEM Beirut, LEBANON

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

The “$4 a day” stunt shed light on the poverty level in Lebanon as part of an ongoing UN call-to-action campaign to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. A key insight that triggered the idea behind the stunt was the fact that many people in Lebanon live on approximately 4 USD /6,000 LBP a day. In collaboration with Bank of Beirut, we created an experience to put our audience in the “poverty shoe” and encourage them to take a step for a better Lebanon.


The UN Lebanon has launched a 4-year integrated call-to-action communication campaign, “Take A Step”, to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the campaign’s top priorities and pressing goal aims to end poverty. Poverty is rising at an alarming rate in Lebanon with the deterioration of economic conditions, political instability, growing unemployment rates, a weak welfare system, and a wider gap between the rich and poor because the middle class is slowly disappearing. It is estimated that a very high percentage of the population is living in poverty, one of the country’s many decades-old unsolvable problems. We needed to raise awareness and voice a call to action for people to take a step and help those under the poverty line.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

To raise awareness on poverty, we used creativity to disrupt a well-established and trusted sector in Lebanon: The Banking sector. Building from the insight that greater empathy leads to more helping behavior, the creative idea aimed to increase this empathy by designing an experience that can have a profound effect on us as humans and lead to concrete actions. As bank customers hit the ATM in an attempt to withdraw their desired amount, they were shocked to discover that they only had ONE option of withdrawing 4 USD/ 6,000 LBP. The situation put the customers in a temporary state of need, panic, and frustration of not having enough money to go through their day. This state of mind resulted in an elevated level of empathy (hopefully!) guiding their next actions once they left the bank.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Not many are aware of the level of poverty in Lebanon. Presenting facts and figures to our audience did not cut it. It did not create the impact we aspired for. We needed them to question how would it feel if they had only 4 USD/ 6,000 LBP a day to spend on their livelihood? How would they react? The stunt simulated the terrifying feeling experienced when one doesn’t have enough money for daily survival. The feeling was magnified because 1. People could not withdraw the desired amount, 2. They were using an ATM which meant human error was out of the picture and there was no opportunity to negotiate or argue and 3. two actors played the role of catalysts, one being a bank employee, to provoke the audience further. These combined factors intensified the situation so when the idea behind the stunt was revealed, the customers were speechless.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We approached many banks to bring the idea to life: Most attempts were unsuccessful as they put the banks outside of their comfort zone. Bank of Beirut welcomed the daring idea and pushed boundaries to make the stunt happen. Issues pertaining to security, fraud, and confidentiality were of high importance to making or breaking the idea. Special permits from the bank, contracted insurance company, and ATM software vendor were required to make an exception for the filming to happen in a very limited number of hours. To make the ATM ready for the stunt, special programming from the vendor was required to dispense the required amount. The execution was challenging.

List the results (30% of vote)

The stunt film was picked up by press, bloggers, influencers and gained momentum in social shares. The message spread and people began to take a step and share it on social media. 15,000 organic views were recorded in the first 2 hours after the stunt film hit social media. The overall stunt film resulted in + 1.5 million views with a total engagement of + 95K. (comments, reactions, and shares). Media impressions jumped from 17,400 to over 4,000,000 after the film was launched. The stunt film enjoyed a + 82% brand love (August 2019 vs. June 2019) and a +32% social mentions (August 2019 vs. June 2019). Finally, there was a remarkable increase in the number of followers on UN Lebanon's social media platforms.


Name Company Role
Gwendoline Bou Jaoude Brandem Managing Director
Alain Mouhawej Brandem Creative Director & Senior Copywriter
Lucy Momdjian Brandem Senior Art Director
Nassif Al Rayess Nassif Al Rayess Director
Pierre Azar Nassif Al Rayess Director Of Photography
Maria E. Kortbawi Nassif Al Rayess Production Coordinator
Hilda Dagher Bank of Beirut Facilitator
Video URL