Grand Prix for Good at Spike Asia & Bronze at Dubai Lynx 2019
Culture comes with all kinds of traditions, practices, and customs. Some bring beauty, some bring pain, but a practice that Pakistan has been trying for so long to control is the one of forced dowry, a practice in which the groom’s family coerces the bride’s family to pay the groom in material goods.
Thousands of brides are being victimized through domestic violence and in many cases, even murder or suicide, all because of failing to match expectations. In Pakistan, the custom is practiced by all classes, and even though there are national laws against, they have been useless and haven’t stopped men from continuing to pressure women.
That’s why UN Women’s goal was to create awareness around the evils of this practice by starting a national movement against it, exposing the problem and destroying the stigma around the subject.
TALK TO THE HENNA HAND
They coined a new word for the act of demanding dowry, “Jahezkhori”; which compares in English to an abusive phrase such as “Dowrymongering.” They used one of the most culturally strong signs in their country – hands decorated with henna – which became a medium for their message: “Stop Dowrymongering.”
Pakistani man are well known for their self-respect and high esteem, so the best way to get to them was by attacking their ego.
Their target audience consisted not only of men, but parents of grooms-to-be, who usually demand dowry under pressure from society.
#THEDOWRYMONGERER: RESHAPING THE SELF PERSPECTIVE
Their strategy then was to change that perception from one of respect to insult. Anybody demanding dowry from here on would be known as a Dowrymongerer.
Custom-designed stamps were mailed to celebrities who posted images of their extended palms dressed in henna and an online stencil was available for downloads.
500 individually crafted posters which were illustrated by henna artists were strategically put up at retail locations that deal with wedding goods. Special tags were designed for retail stores to display on items that are usually bought for dowry, all types of valuable goods, like furniture, electronics, jewelry.
WEDDING SEASON, TAKEN BY SURPRISE
The campaign became the most trending topic in Pakistan during the wedding season. Thousands of women – and men – put up images of our symbol in protest.
All the major national news channels carried the campaign on the news. BBC called the campaign “Instrumental in sparking conversation around the issue.” A total reach of 495,000,000 resulted in about $2,100,000 of earned media, all organic. News reports started coming in of parents canceling weddings when anybody put up a demand of dowry.
HAPPY END: DOWRY IS UN-ISLAMIC
A cultural shift took place immediately, in an extraordinary way. The Islamic Council, by far the most influential body in Pakistan, issued a statement that considers dowry as unislamic.
Not only is dowry now a sign of losing self-respect, but it also got classified as a sin by several clerics, showing us the power of bringing people together for good.
|Product/Service||ANTI FORCED DOWRY|
|Entrant||BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN|
|Type of Entry||Craft|
|Category||Art Direction / Design|
|Idea Creation||BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN|
|Idea Creation 2||IMPACT BBDO Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES|
|Media Placement||BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN|
|PR||MINT PR Lahore, PAKISTAN|
|Production||THE VIDEOGRAPHERS Lahore, PAKISTAN|