The One Show

The One Show is the world's most prestigious award show in advertising and design. For over 50 years, the Gold Pencil has been regarded as one of the top prizes in the creative industry. The One Show has a rich legacy of honoring some of the most groundbreaking ideas, created by some of the most remarkable minds in creativity.

2023 One Show - Creative Effectiveness

Empty Plates

Agency Saatchi & Saatchi MEA / Dubai + Prodigious Middle East / Dubai + Optix Middle East / Dubai + Vox Haus / Petrópolis

Client UAE Government Media Office


Single Region or Market / Non-Profit / Charity

Annual ID


About the Work

CONTEXT: Starvation became the largest humanitarian crisis, with global hunger reaching peak levels in the post-pandemic world. The World Food Programme reported that $30 billion was needed annually to end world hunger by 2030. And the UN called for government support to address this issue. The UAE responded through the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), which was established to tackle humanitarian and developmental issues, including world hunger. During Ramadan, MBRGI launched the "One Billion Meals" campaign in 2022 to donate 1 billion meals to feed the hungry. The UAE Government was seeking support to drive fundraising for this noble cause. We needed to help contribute fundraising to MBRGI’s One Billion Meals campaign, where 1Billion AED would be needed to feed people around the world. IDEA: To create mass awareness for the millions of empty plates that have long gone unnoticed, we capitalized on Dubai’s love for unique number plates. We knew that single digit number plates are worth millions of dollars and people generate content around them in Dubai every day. So, we set out to create most the unique number plates yet: The Empty Plates. The Empty Plates would drive awareness for the plates that truly do matter. During Ramadan, over 7 days, we released 300 cars on the streets of the UAE with a unique number plate – one that was empty. With the public and even the police not knowing about them, the plates attracted eyeballs, generated speculation & controversy, got police to tow them away, and earned nation-wide conversations. Once enough curiosity was peaked, we worked with the media to reveal the real reason - fighting world hunger - attracting international attention. Cross-channel content targeted ultra-high-net-worth individuals, via online profiling and direct marketing, inviting them to attend the auction where the unique empty plate and other unique plates would be sold, with ALL funds going to fight world hunger. IMPACT: World’s largest-ever humanitarian auction in terms of funds raised. 2 Billion people reached. $43.8 Million total raised from all number plates in only 2 days. $2 Million raised from Empty Number plate. AND 164 million meals donated to across 50 countries in need.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 3




Saatchi & Saatchi MEA / Dubai

Production Company

Prodigious Middle East / Dubai

Music / Sound Production Company

Vox Haus / Petrópolis

Post Production Company

Optix Middle East / Dubai

Art Director

Namita Nair

Chief Creative Officer

Sebastien Boutebel

Chief Digital Officer

Samer Shoueiry

Creative Director

Rita Harbie

Director of Photography

Aeyaz Hasn


Omar Khaled

Executive Creative Director

Gautam Wadher

Executive Producer

Naji Bechara

Motion Designer

Lucas Fuse


Mario Haddad


Roy Abou Rjeily

Associate Creative Director

Hagall Muniz

Chief Executive Officer

Sami Saleh

Project Manager

Matheus De Moraes Gugelmim

Senior Designer

Joao Xavier

Animation Artist

Priyanka Bhatheja

assistant director

Remy Haddad

Associate Business Director

Hiam Baltaji

Business Director

Karim ElKari

Content Manager

Hadi Afif

Creative Services Manager

Cynthia Sarkis

Executive Director - Marketing & Communications

Khaled ElShehhi

Film director

Tahaab Rais

Group Chief Executive Officer

Bassel Kakish

Group Chief Strategy Officer

Tahaab Rais

Head of Agency

Ramzi Sleiman


Daniel Dalla Corte
Jordiel Biniek

Online Artist

Ahmed Zeeny

Post Production Operation Lead

Nayla Chacra

Production Operation Lead

Myriam Abi Wardeh

Senior Motion Designer

Rita Mechedjian

Senior Post Producer

Megan Markel

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