Mov­ing tar­gets

Campaign Middle East - - NEWS -

peo­ple say “No” to the project. The five peo­ple that did say “Yes” mo­ti­vated the cre­atives to go through with the idea. But there was a catch: the risk in in­stalling this poster was the cre­atives get­ting b o mbed them­selves.

Of course, this didn’t stop them. If any­thing, it felt like the chal­lenge had be­come even more in­trigu­ing, and there was, of course, al­ways that op­por­tu­nity to tell a good story.

That the two over­came ob­sta­cles and got the work done in the face of a hun­dred “No”s is some­times all the more sat­is­fy­ing. At times, cre­ativ­ity re­quires sweat and tears, and a tetanus shot. They man­aged to go through with the project in a highly sen­si­tive area, which was prac­ti­cally a war zone, and sim­ply by sheer luck found the day to be cloudy which is when – ac­cord­ing to the chil­dren in the vil­lage – “fewer drones fly”.

This isn’t Ali and As­sam’s only in­cred­i­ble out­door ex­am­ple in which they found and then over­came re­sis­tance to a good idea and per­se­vered to com­plete it, re­gard­less of the threats they re­ceived. A project for a client that makes ma­tresses, for in­stance, changed tra­di­tional out­door mini ad­ver­tis­ing boards into con­vert­ible beds on which the home­less could sleep. This re­sulted in a mem­ber of the lo­cal coun­cil con­tact­ing the cre­atives and ask­ing them to stop. But they didn’t stop. The project ended up help­ing hun­dreds of poor peo­ple get a good nights sleep, and earned the agency a Grand Prix at the Dubai Lynx.

Cur­rently, the two are work­ing on a highly volatile sub­ject in Pak­istan: women’s rights and the ef­forts against do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. With their team, they have built a cam­paign un­like any Pak­istan has ever seen, which has started to change mind­sets not only amongst men, but also women and how they view them­selves.

In re­sponse to a lo­cal coun­cil in Pak­istan rec­om­mend­ing that it should be OK for a man to “lightly beat” a woman, this cam­paign came around. It is the first anti-do­mes­ticvi­o­lence cam­paign that ac­tu­ally in­vites men to beat women. But at things they are good at. #BeatMe, fea­tur­ing strong Pak­istani women – such as the fastest woman in South Asia chal­leng­ing men to beat her record 100-me­tre time – sparked off a na­tional de­bate, and has led to a whole gen­er­a­tion of Pak­istani women feel­ing more em­pow­ered. Need­less to say, this project comes with its own risks.

Th­ese two de­ter­mined cre­atives have found it can be a death-de­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to cre­ate great out­door work, no mat­ter what hur­dle lies in the way – be it a client say­ing no, or a bomb from the sky.

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