THE BRIDAL UNIFORM

Short List
TitleTHE BRIDAL UNIFORM
ClientUN WOMEN / ALI XEESHAN THEATER STUDIO
Product/ServiceANTI-CHILD-MARRIAGES
CategoryB07. Use of Events & Stunts
EntrantBBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN
Idea Creation BBDO PAKISTAN Lahore, PAKISTAN
PR MINT PR AND IMAGE CONSULTANCY Lahore, PAKISTAN
Production ALI XEESHAN THEATRE STUDIO Lahore, PAKISTAN
Production 2 THE VIDEOGRAPHERS Lahore, PAKISTAN

The Campaign

The Pakistani bride is known to wear an elaborate wedding outfit: bright, colorful, heavily embroidered dresses with flashy jewelry. Every year, the Pakistani bridal-wear fashion industry hosts large events in which new styles are revealed. These shows are typically attended by local celebrities and have extensive media coverage. This year, our idea was to hijack the country's largest bridal fashion show, where we would launch a new kind of bridal gown: one that highlights the fact that an early marriage results in loss of education and empowerment for a girl. We collaborated with the nation's best known fashion designer to design the "Bridal Uniform": A typical Pakistani schoolgirl's uniform was merged with a traditional Pakistani bride's wedding gown, through the use of local embroidery patterns and motifs sewn directly into the uniform. And on the night of the biggest show, we surprised everybody by revealing it as the show-stopper.

Execution

The Bridal Uniform had been created by merging traditional wedding outfit embroidery patterns with a common government school girl's uniform. Ali Xeeshan had meticulously researched bridal gown designs and found the perfect balance of what a school uniform would look like as a dress for a wedding, and hand stitched the piece. To perform our stunt, we picked the biggest bridal fashion show in the country where we knew we would get maximum media and PR coverage. The project was top secret, and even the show organizers were not aware of the stunt until it was revealed.

A sitting senator of Pakistan's parliament took note of this campaign and a bill proposing to raise the legal marriage age to 18 has now been sent to the Islamic Council of Pakistan, who has agreed to review it. The senator has DIRECTLY acknowledged the effect of this campaign in the efforts to pass the bill. The disruptive stunt went viral and generated almost 500,000,000 social and news-media impressions, more than any campaign for this cause has ever done in the country. The topic of child marriages started trending, and both the international and local press reported on it. #BridalUniform, besides being adopted by on-ground local NGOs to educate villagers on the importance of keeping girls in schools, has also made an appearance on Berlin and LosAngeles catwalks, and talks are underway to feature the stunt at New York Fashion Week to highlight the same issue in seven different countries.

The Situation

In a perfect example of a guerrilla PR move, we hijacked the country's largest bridal fashion show in order to make a statement against child marriages. This was done using a special bridal gown that we had designed (at a cost of under $100) to be disruptive, impactful and having the power to transform perceptions.

The Strategy

Our strategy was to hijack and piggyback on the media and PR wave that followed the event, completely taking over the conversation around it. The stunt was then followed by on-ground educational sessions that addressed the issue where it truly made a difference. The campaign targeted people on two levels. Through the stunt, we first targeted the influencers and media personnel who could spread the conversation that built pressure to involve policymakers. And second, through on-ground sessions, directly addressing the masses where these practices were widely prevalent. The dress cost under $100 to make, which was the total cost of the campaign. The highly publicized media event was hijacked at no cost.

Credits

Name Company Position
Ali Rez Impact BBDO / BBDO Pakistan Executive Creative Director
Ali Xeeshan Ali Xeeshan Designer
Hira Mohibullah BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Huma Mobin BBDO Pakistan Creative Manager
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Strategic Planning Director
Aamna Rahim BBDO Pakistan Senior Creative Manager
Haroon Rashid BBDO Pakistan Head of Design
Haseeb Akram BBDO Pakistan Art Director
Moiz Khan BBDO Pakistan Associate Creative Director
Jamayal Tanweer BBDO Pakistan Digital Business Director
Mian Aleem Ali BBDO Pakistan Production Designer
Atif Pasha BBDO Pakistan Production Manager
Eesha Khan BBDO Pakistan Account Executive
Tazeen Asaad BBDO Pakistan Account Manager
Fatima Ansari BBDO Pakistan Creative Associate
Raza Shah Stopmotion Digital Production
Abdullah Harris Abdullah Harris Photographer
Zara Gul Zara Gul Make up artist
Ahmed Zafar BBDO Pakistan Graphic Designer
Ali Rez Impact BBDO / BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
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