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Empty plates on cars in Dubai create awareness about the empty plates around the world

Saatchi & Saatchi Middle East and Publicis Groupe create Empty plates campaign for the UAE Government Media Office.

In Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, during Ramadan, the month of fasting that is ongoing, people have spotted empty plates on cars driving down streets and parked in malls as well as in parking lots across the city.

Turns out, it has all been for a cause.

Every year, 800 million people suffer from hunger. And every year, the hungry go unnoticed by many.

So, this year during the holy month of Ramadan, to raise awareness about the millions of empty plates that often go unnoticed, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives has launched the “1 Billion Meals” campaign, to get 1 billion meals to underprivileged families across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

And to bring awareness to the cause of empty plates, the insight behind the idea has been based on how people across the UAE love having unique numbers on their car plates. Those car plates attract attention and user-generated content on social media.

These same uniquely numbered car plates that people notice and pay attention to, have even transformed into empty car plates, seen across popular hotspots and streets, to get people to notice the empty plates around the world too. Empty plates on cars across town took over the streets of Dubai, serving as the driving force to get the nation talking about the empty plates that truly matter.

These empty plates have drawn attention to the recently launched Most Noble Number Charity Auction where affluent audiences will bid for unique number plates, with the bid amounts going to help stop hunger in its tracks with the money raised.

Every dirham raised in the auction will mean one meal provided. And in doing so, each plate sold in the auction has the power to fill millions of empty plates worldwide.

Khaled AlShehhi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication for the 1 Billion Meals initiative, said: “The Empty Plates activation, with hundreds of cars with numberless plates on the streets, is another example of innovative thinking based on a relevant insight. This unique way to trigger curiosity and raise awareness certainly makes you think and act. Distinctive plates are meant to make you stand out, but these ones set you apart for a good reason. Last year, the number plate auction raised more than AED50 million, so, this year, we want to surpass this. With more than 560 number plates being auctioned in Dubai tonight, on April 20 in Abu Dhabi and online, everyone can bid and donate to help fill those empty plates and fight hunger. This is yet another example of how creativity helps you cut through and engage with people on another, more emotional level. The campaign is going really well, thanks to the generosity of people ignited by operations like this, which, relayed in media, have reached mass audiences.”

The client behind it is the UAE Government Media Office and the creative agencies are Publicis Groupe and Saatchi & Saatchi Middle East.