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2021 Next Creative Leaders - NCL Winners Work

#WeTheUnburnt

Agency Leo Burnett Beirut

Client Exotica

Category

Region - Middle East / North Africa

Annual ID

NCL21_26_40

Description

After an unfortunate fire ravished the warehouse of Exotica, one of our oldest clients and the biggest flower and decoration shop in Lebanon, we refused to let our client throw away their hundreds of burnt pots. This project was proposed to them as an initiative.

We had been on the burning streets of Beirut for the past couple of weeks, in the middle of the October Revolution due to our economy collapsing, and we automatically saw a parallelism between the Lebanese people and those beautiful “burnt” pots.

The Unburnt Collection is an activation celebrating the Lebanese resilience that emerged from the October 2019 revolution. We saw an opportunity to turn an unfortunate circumstance into a positive act. Artists that emerged during the revolution interpreted what ‘unburnt’ meant to them on pots that survived the fire. These pots, now a tribute to the Lebanese’ spirit, brought donations to Lebanon’s reforestation. Buzz around our event activation, led to a wider movement online. The conversation around the ‘unburnt’ kept going nourishing brand affinity by making our audience advocates for a better future.

We launched our campaign with a manifesto explaining our initiative in preparation for our on ground activation. In parallel, a series of social content were being posted on the brand’s social pages and our artists’ social platforms, showing the creative process behind the pots being made. The #WeTheUnburnt collection was auctioned during an event and sold in stores, it sold out in two weeks and all proceeds were dedicated to the AFDC (Association for Forests, Development and Conservation). Every pot sold was a tree replanted.



This project is:
Client-commissioned

Agency
Leo Burnett Beirut

Client URL
https://www.instagram.com/exotica/

My Role in This Project
I still remember this period of time in the office. We would work every morning, and we would all leave the offices early to join the protests happening in the center of Beirut. We were part of the 2019 October Revolution. We were sick of getting "burnt" by our government, and our country was now on fire, real fire. Burning tires closing streets down everywhere. Angry people. But the Lebanese had never been as united. It was beautiful. It was a powerful feeling, to be part of something so important.

And I still remember the morning we were told our client Exotica had just lost most of their warehouse to an accidental fire. Everything had burned. We had received pictures of the accident, and we automatically knew something had to be done. We sat as a team and the idea instantly came to life. We were those posts. We were constantly being burned but we were unburnt. We were strong and refused to let those burns take over our lives.

We asked the client to send us all the burnt pots, they were stored in my parking lot and we fell in love. Those burnt pots were beautiful. We got our hands dirty, we cut vinyl stickers, we painted and shot our manifesto internally and the #WeTheUnburnt project was launched. And believe me, the team was ON FIRE. It took us a couple of days to finalise the collection because our team believed in our idea, in the little “hope” it could give the Lebanese, it what our pots stood for. And believing in your idea is one powerful feeling.

2021 Awards

NCL Winner
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