But newspaper An-Nahar decided to defend democracy. Together with agency BBDO Dubai, they stopped the press for the first time in 88 years. Instead, they ‘released’ the Elections Edition, a simple message displayed on an empty newsstand that declared the elections would happen, no matter what. Paper from the unprinted edition was sent to the government to print voting ballots, and readers could access an online edition via a QR code.
Grand Prix winner: Voting ballots instead of newspaper
With the excuse that there was a shortage of paper, the Lebanese government intended to cancel the 2022 elections - a stalling tactic by a leadership who had given the public the worst four years in history.
This challenges the classic definition of print. Here, its role is to defend democracy. It was more impactful for the newspaper to donate paper and ink rather than print the edition - proving the power of print, even when not printed! Our Grand Prix winner demonstrates that this traditional medium is as culturally relevant today as it was when Gutenberg built his 15th century printing press.
Cannes Lions Jury Member and MD Creation, Scholz & Friends Group
The power of a simple printed page? The online edition was the highest read in the paper’s history and elections are scheduled to go ahead.
AGENCY: BBDO Dubai
BRAND: An-Nahar newspaper
CATEGORY: Print & Publishing/Publications: Commercial Publications
AWARD: Grand Prix