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Egyptian 'Give Mom Back Her Name' Campaign Wins at Cannes Festival

The touching campaign launched by UN Women in Egypt went home with the first place prize at the the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

UN Women’s big Egyptian campaign Give Mom Back Her Name, released on Mother’s Day 2015, won the first Glass Lion award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity held last Monday 22nd June.

Directed by young Egyptian creatives Maged Nassar and Tameem Youness and created by Impact BBDO Dubai, the campaign spread rapidly on social media last March through the hashtag #MyMothersNameIs, as the video crafted by the creative team invited people across the streets of Egypt to say their mother’s name, putting an extended Egyptian taboo under debate.

A tribute to the importance of the mother figure and a call for women’s rights, the campaign was put together by independent Egyptian production house Bigfoot Films and saw the echo of celebrities such as Mohamed Chahin and Mohamed Hefzy, who posted short videos on social media, and our own Cairoscene team, who participated in the initiative through a collage of hashtags calling on people to say their mother’s name.

“I’m very happy Give Mom Back Her Name got the recognition it deserved," Youness told Mada Masr. "It feels incredible knowing that it had nothing to do with selling a product,” the director said, who joined forces with his partner Nassar to set up their own company.

The Glass Lion award, established this year, recognizes campaigns that touch on issues of gender inequality or prejudice, and derive the income collected from the entry fees to a program to promote the creation of unbiased, gender-neutral media.

However, campaigns with a cause were this year’s festival’s highlight, according to USA Today, as they hogged a great part of the prizes awarded by the world’s top advertising festival, considered as Oscars in the marketing world.

Among the cause-related communications that earned the Grand Prix award, women empowering #LikeAGirl campaign created for the brand Always, and the Red Light App designed by Vodafone and Y&R Team Red Istanbul to help victims of domestic abuse in Turkey.