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Tackling Food Poverty During Ramadan: The UN World Food Programme's Social Video Campaign

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Distillery takes us behind the scenes of their campaign exploring the symbolism of fasting

Tackling Food Poverty During Ramadan: The UN World Food Programme's Social Video Campaign

The UN World Food Programme asked distillery to create a piece of online content that would drive donations to its food poverty campaign (via paid on Facebook and YouTube). We devised and produced a campaign that explores the symbolism of fasting and highlights the charitable spirit of Iftar. 

The Backstory

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian organisation in the world and works at the frontlines of global emergencies to prevent hunger and ensure food security. Building on our successful campaign for WFP,  Masks of Hope, we developed the campaign further for Ramadan.


The Insight

For Muslims, Ramadan is a festival of family, fasting, and generosity. Every year, Muslims donate more than £100 million to charity during Ramadan, through the act of sadaqah or voluntary giving to those who need it. Fasting is tough, but as the sun sets each day, adults can break their fast with water and dates.

We wanted to produce something that focused on the relief and nourishment of Iftar while highlighting the power of sadaqah to help those for whom hunger is a constant.

The Creative

Our key insight was that Iftar is associated with powerful symbolism and imagery, from plates full of figs and dates to the crescent moon as dusk arrives. But with so many charities advertising at this time, these classic images can become repetitive rather than invoking deep, personal feelings. 

We wanted to use these insights to develop an idea that would intrigue our audience, and help them feel the rewarding power of their personal Iftar experiences, such as the role of filling the plates of others.

Our video opens on an empty bowl, symbolising the fasting period each day. As time passes, a dark shadow is cast across the bowl. 

Eventually, the bowl is left in complete darkness with only a sliver of a shining reflection in the shape of a crescent moon, which represents the month of Ramadan. 

The video is overlaid with the evocative sounds of the Iftar meal being shared amongst a family, with cups clinking while children laugh and talk.

The image of the empty plate is a powerful reminder that all plates should be full at Iftar, and that a donation can make a difference for those in need.

The Magic

The scene was filmed in-camera using real textures and moving studio lighting to replicate the changing light of the sun and the moon. We used computer-aided design to plan the lighting rig, which was then used to create a sense of the passage of time throughout a typical day during Ramadan. 

We worked with a talented team including Matt McDermott to realise the vision, producing both English and Arabic versions on the video.

To learn more about the things we can do for your brand, please get in touch.

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Categories: Social, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Distillery, Fri, 21 May 2021 08:41:00 GMT