Transparency International Lebanon - No Corruption (TI-LB)
Client: Transparency International Lebanon - No Corruption (TI-LB)
Product: Anti-Corruption NGO
Title: The Currency of Corruption
Media: On-ground Stunt: in key locations across Lebanon / Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with local IG pages and finance expert / Bank Notes: distributed on the ground / TV Stunt (LBCI) / Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter / Microsite: (still live)
Date Of Campaign: May 5, 2022
Background: Nearly two years into the financial crisis in Lebanon, the government attempted to pass a distorted capital control law on people’s savings, which meant that Lebanese citizens' savings deposited in US dollars could only be withdrawn in the devalued Lira at an unfathomable exchange rate. Millions lost their hard-earned money in what has now been labeled the biggest Ponzi scheme in economic history, with an estimate total loss of nearly 70 billion dollars while the corrupt perpetuators of this crime remained exonerated.One economist even coined the viral term “lollar” (a combination of “lol and “Lebanese dollars”) to symbolize the irony and absurdity of not being able to access your own money. In the charged context lobbying newly elected MPs promising change, TI-LB needed to send a clear message and a reminder to the Lebanese: we, the people, will not be paying the price of their wrongdoings.
Idea: If Lollar was a satirical term invented by the Lebanese to symbolize corruption in a currency, why don’t we put a name on the face and link monumental symbols of corruption to these bills, and bring them to life? Why don’t we fight corruption and its perpetuators, by bringing Lollar, the currency of corruption to life, and pay them back using the so-called currency they invented?Using 7 distinct custom-made paintings symbolizing different sectors of corruption in Lebanon, we created 6 “Lollar” bills, assigning a value based on the magnitude of damage done - with a 7th painting about the Central Bank, the main culprit behind the financial crisis, designed behind each note.
Results: TI-LB was able to rally the Lebanese people and the newly elected MPs behind a cause that pertains to them all to stop the proposed distorted capital control law from passing. We engaged the public and the media by fully igniting an online and offline monetary revolution through an exclusive media collaboration with leading TV station LBCI and a manifesto featuring over 10 influencers and opinion leaders calling for civil disobedience on Pay with Lollar Day. This ensured massive participation during Pay with Lollar Day, in which we enabled citizens to partake in a silent monetary revolution by using TI-LB’s fake bills to pay for public services, water, electricity and telecom bills by distributing 24,000 “Lollar” notes all across Lebanon using a custom-made ATM installed in arterial spots across key locations. That same day, citizens walked into telecom companies, banks, and governmental institutions attempting to pay their bills in Lollars.