Impact BBDO

An Nahar
"The New National Anthem Edition"

Client: An Nahar
Product: An Nahar Newspaper
Title: The New National Anthem Edition
Media: Newspaper
Country: Lebanon
Date Of Campaign: Oct 31, 2019

Background: When the Lebanese government failed to find solutions to the looming economic crisis, stagnant economy and unemployment, the country was plunged into the 6th revolution in its history.Past revolutions were marked with violence, and Lebanon was inching towards the same grisly outcome.In a country where women don’t have equal rights and face massive underrepresentation in the government, An Nahar, the nation’s leading paper with a long history of standing with the Lebanese people, looked to empower women to lead the revolution, and avoid the violence that marked previous protests.

Idea: To get women to participate and lead the revolution, we needed to make them feel like they were an integral part of the nation – a nation where women are so underrepresented, that even the Lebanese national anthem fails to mention them. So, in a bold move, we shocked the country by rewriting the national anthem. While the anthem previously read “the birthplace of men”, we changed it to “the birthplace of women and men”.The new National Anthem was printed on the cover page of the newspaper, and was entirely dedicated to women for the first time. The edition was called 'Naharouki', which translates to 'your day' when read by a woman.We partnered with the country’s most famous singer, known for her patriotism, to join the cause, and launched the new anthem on the streets.We also printed the new anthem and boldly displayed it on the Newspaper’s office building, strategically located at the heart of the protests in Beirut’s Martyr Square, to act as a catalyst for women to lead the revolution.

Results: In a spontaneous and unplanned move, women from across Lebanon gathered on the streets and sang the revised national anthem together, instantly turning it into the chant of the revolution - a revolution, which for the first time, was peaceful and devoid of violence. The campaign soon became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter, drawing 745 million impressions and $150 Million earned media. The edition was also An Nahar’s best-selling edition of all time.The campaign not only gained international media coverage but became a national conversation, resulting in a 400% increase in female ministers in the new government, as well as the appointment of the first ever female minister of defense in any Arab country. Members of the new cabinet have also pledged to submit a bill to change the anthem forever.

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