2022 Winners & Shortlists


Short List
CategorySocial Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Idea Creation LEO BURNETT Beirut, LEBANON
Production LEO BURNETT Beirut, LEBANON

Why is this work relevant for Media?

In Lebanon where people are plagued with a shortage of basic needs, gender-based violence (GBV) has grown into an absurdly overlooked reality. With an ambitious mission to change society’s perception about GBV, we turned our strategy into a mechanism that fires off the campaign message on all media cylinders. A head turning offline stunt was amplified through carefully planned and meticulously timed social media touchpoints, as well as broadcast media- all of which fed into Abaad’s aim to break decades of silenced conversation on the preservation of women’s right to safety.


Knee-deep in crisis, Lebanon is flashing red on the political, economic and social fronts. With a growing impoverished class, to a lack of electricity, to medicine shortages, women’s safety is compromised for more “important” issues while gender- based violence (GBV) is on the rise. As an NGO whose sole existence is to sustain gender equality and woman empowerment in the MENA region, Abaad wants to reshuffle the priority list and place women’s safety at the top. Because undermining women’s safety risks an entirely silenced generation of GBV victims. Because her right to safety is a priority too. And because the time to talk about her rights is now or it’s too late. Such a crucial message requires a grand entrance, which is why we launched the campaign during the UN’s 16 Days of Activism- to bring women's protection to the forefront of popular discussion and media interest.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

Rather than allowing women in Lebanon to believe that women’s right to safety is a backseat topic, we’re stopping this perception in its tracks to avoid risking an entire generation of women who have been abused and silenced. Comparing the importance of starvation to gender-based violence is out of the question. And so is comparing a lack of medication to abuse. And so is comparing a lack of electricity to silenced sexual assault cases. That’s why the time to talk about her rights is now or it’s too late. That’s why her safety is a #Prioritytoo/ #دايما_وقتها

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Online and offline touchpoints were purposefully positioned in a manner that allowed each to fuel the other and optimize message delivery. Our first offline touchpoint was designed to pop the redundant Lebanese conversation bubble and snag the public’s attention through an on-ground stunt with powerful messaging. To generate awareness, the photos were immediately taken online, while a pre-planned Twitter storm erupted shortly after as influencers tweeted about GBV data we had previously shared with them. Our co-marketing effort with a well-known Insta duo kept the conversation alive on Instagram, while un-skippable YouTube pre-rolls- each highlighting an angle of our messaging delivered by key opinion leaders- further spread our social reach, post launch. Broadcast media ensured our messaging reached the TVs of Lebanese households for weeks, and the Arab world’s most famous influencer memorably ended the campaign by offering her online platform for GBV survivors’ voices to be heard.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Our campaign began as close to the people as possible- on ground. On day one of UN’s 16 Days of Activism, women survivors stood in front of key Beirut locations holding banners with messages hammering the dichotomy of women in Lebanon choosing between death and another kind of death. In parallel was a hurricane of Tweets with hashtag #دايما_وقتها (#Prioritytoo) triggered by big names in the Arab world. Instagram was also on fire as the campaign’s video and social content were shared and re-shared. In partnership with 2 of the bravest female Lebanese comedians, we co-created a video further voicing the campaign’s message. Shortly after, engagingly un-skippable YouTube pre-rolls starring Lebanese celebrities kept the conversation alive. The campaign went out with a viral bang as the most famous Arab influencer used her own platform to capture the audience’s attention and spread greater awareness that women’s safety is a priority too.

List the results (30% of vote)

A change in behavior stems from a change in mentality, and the campaign’s ability influence the latter was an anticipated challenge. However, with over 10M views on original campaign content, over 160M people reached online and $2.5M in earned media, it’s clear that the target resonated with women’s safety becoming a priority too. The Twitter storm we triggered shot our #Prioritytoo campaign to Lebanon’s number 1 trending hashtag in a couple of hours. With a 200% increase in call logs using Abaad’s safety hotline, we simultaneously influenced gender-based violence survivors to speak up. Over 5000 direct messages flooded our mega social influencer’s inbox, all filled with survivor stories and cries of encouragement to remain vocal about the issue. All of the above indicate stronger consumer awareness about GBV and a willingness to speak about the issue in parallel to the country’s dire state, creating a safe environment to survivors.

Please tell us about the social behaviour and / or cultural insights that inspired your work

Lebanon is considered one of the more “open” Arab countries regarding its receptibility to liberal ideas. For example, you’d find LGBTQ topics discussed in Lebanon with minimal fear relative to other Arab countries. However, much of Lebanon is still heavily rooted in its conservative cultural and traditional perceptions. This includes higher perceived dominance towards the man, his duty towards his family and the importance of his role in society. This tends to shadow and even belittle the Lebanese woman (or the women of Lebanon in general) which is why being vocal about women’s rights isn’t exactly the norm. This insight translates into the rise of gender-based-violence, and the unwillingness of many women to speak up and defend their safety- especially in the context of political and economic turmoil. Consequently, the campaign idea of “it’s now or it’s too late” to talk about her safety- a priority too- was born.


Name Company Role
Malek Ghorayeb Leo Burnett Beirut Campaign Supervision
Natasha Maasri Leo Burnett Beirut Campaign Supervision
Rana Khoury Leo Burnett Beirut Developed initial idea & led overall campaign execution
Nada Abi Saleh Leo Burnett Beirut Campaign Supervision
Farah El Beaini Leo Burnett Beirut Developed initial idea & led overall campaign execution & Led Media & PR amplification
Selena Jammaz Leo Burnett Beirut Campaign Execution support & PR amplification
Nour Hazzouri Leo Burnett Beirut Main Lead on Campaign Execution
Tracy Houeiss Leo Burnett Beirut Led on Arabic Writing
India Arida Leo Burnett Beirut Design Lead
Maia Sahyoun Leo Burnett Beirut Offline Analytics
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