Creative Effectiveness Spike
CategoryA01. Creative Effectiveness
Entrant Company BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN
Advertising Agency BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN


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

Brief Explanation

Since 2004, drone strikes in Pakistan have killed an estimated 3500+ people, a disturbing percentage of whom have been innocent civilians. Including more than 200 children. Reprieve/FFR has been working to raise awareness of this crisis, but protests in Pakistan go unnoticed globally. Our objective was not only to raise awareness, but to do it in such an impactful way that the very people behind the drone program would bring about a change - a change that would reduce the number of collateral damage victims. Drone operators routinely describe their casualties as 'Bug Splats' since viewing a human from far above gives the sense of an insect being crushed. Our strategy was to address pilots directly. A large-scale portrait of an affected child was laid on the ground facing up in the heavily bombed area of NorthWestern Pakistan, so a drone camera could capture and transmit it to an operator's screen, thereby engaging them in a direct visual dialogue. For the first time ever, the very monitor of a drone operator became the medium to deliver a protest message. To raise awareness, the campaign - part of French artist JR's Inside Out movement - was put online with the hashtag #NotABugSplat and a website with information about drone strikes. We went viral overnight, globally. Massive coverage in the world press spread awareness rapidly: 3.5 billion estimated news impressions news and 62+ million impressions on Twitter helped us gain $182+ million in earned media. The news was tweeted by members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, who raised the concern of drone strikes with the International Court of Justice. Two months later, the Islamabad High Court registered a criminal case against the operators. The photograph has become the poster image for anti-drone protests, showing up everywhere from internet memes to the Tate UK to grass roots activists in Yemen. Strikingly, the latest US Government Accountability report indicates that all the negative publicity is affecting pilot morale. The UK Guardian described our work best: "It has the power to startle...and perhaps even render (the pilot) incapable of using his weapon afterwards." While strikes have lessened, the total number of civilians and children killed by drones since this work was put up last year - according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism - has been brought down to almost zero.