Bronze Spike

Case Film

Presentation Board

CategoryA03. Ambient media: large scale
Entrant Company BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN
Advertising Agency BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN
Production Company BRAVE NEW FILMS Culver City, USA


Name Company Position
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Strategic Planning Director
Ali Rez BBDO Pakistan Creative Director/Concept
Aamir Allibhoy BBDO Pakistan General Manager
Saks Afridi Artist
Akash Goel Coordinator
Insiya Syed Photographer
Jamil Akhtar Photographer
J R Photographer/Artist
Imran Arif Khan Photographer
Noor Behram Photographer
Sana Nasir Illustrator
Qasim Nagori 18% Grey Retoucher
Zeeshan Parwez Zeepar Editor
Faisal Durrani BBDO Pakistan Deputy General Manager
Sohaib Zahid Umar BBDO Pakistan Planning Manager
Farooq Niaz Producer
Ovais Suhail Producer

The Brief

Since 2004, drone strikes in Pakistan have killed an estimated 3500+ people, a disturbing percentage of which have been innocent civilians. Including more than 200 children. The Foundation for Fundamental Rights has been working to raise awareness of this crisis. Drone operators routinely describe their casualties as 'Bug Splats' since viewing humans from far above gives the sense of an insect being crushed. Our strategy was to not only address pilots directly and create dialogue, but also raise awareness globally of this otherwise ignored human-rights issue.

Creative Execution

Drone operators rely on images captured from a drone or satellite camera to monitor ground activity. To them, from that far above, most humans appear as tiny insects scurrying around - hence the military phrase 'Bug Splats' to describe casualties. Imagine the reaction of a pilot when on their screen, it's not a bug but a giant face of a child staring back at them from the ground, engaging them directly. The UK Guardian described it best: 'It has the power to startle...and perhaps even render (the pilot) incapable of using his weapon afterwards.'

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.

We decided to speak directly to drone operators. A large-scale portrait of a child affected by an attack, was laid on the ground facing up in the heavily bombed area of NorthWestern Pakistan, so a drone camera could capture and transmit it directly to an operator's screen, thereby engaging them in a dialogue. To raise awareness, the poster - part of French artist JR's Inside Out movement - was put online with the hashtag #NotABugSplat and a website with information about drone strikes. The poster is also designed to be photographed by mapping satellites.


We went viral overnight around the world. Thousands of tweets, dozens of blogs, and massive coverage in the world press spread awareness rapidly. 104 million impressions in the news and 11 million impressions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram helped us gain $2,000,000+ in earned media. The news was tweeted by members of National Assembly of Pakistan, who have raised the issue of drone strikes with the International Court of Justice. Rights activists in Yemen and the USA have now picked up the campaign for their protests. And a new US Government Accountability report indicates that negative publicity is affecting pilot morale.