EMPTY PLATES - 1 Billion Meals - UAE Government Media Office JPG
EMPTY PLATES - 1 Billion Meals - UAE Government Media Office MP4 2m:13s

EMPTY PLATES - UAE Government Media Office
1 Billion Meals

EMPTY PLATES - UAE Government Media Office - 1 Billion Meals


Title of Entry: EMPTY PLATES
Brand: UAE Government Media Office
Product/Service: 1 Billion Meals
Client: UAE Government Media Office
Entrant Company: Saatchi & Saatchi MEA
Creative Team: Chief Creative Officer: Sebastien Boutebel
Chief Strategy Officer - Publicis Groupe ME&T: Tahaab Rais
Executive Creative Director: Gautam Wadher
Creative Director: Rita Harbie
Associate Creative Director: Hagall Muniz
Motion Designer: Lucas Fuse
Designer: Namita Nair
Content Manager: Hadi Afif

Head of Saatchi & Saatchi ME: Ramzi Sleiman
Business Director: Karim ElKari
Associate Account Director: Hiam Baltaji

Chief Executive Officer - Publicis Groupe ME&T: Bassel Kakish

Chief Digital Officer - Publicis Communications ME: Samer Shoueiry

Production House: Prodigious ME
Chief Executive Officer - Prodigious ME: Sami Saleh
Director: Tahaab Rais
Executive Producer: Naji Bechara
Producer: Roy Abou Rjeily
Director of Photography: Aeyaz Hasn
Photographer: Mario Haddad
Assistant Director: Remy Haddad
Post-Production: Optix ME
Post-Production Operation Lead: Nayla Chacra
Post Producer: Thalia Trad
Editor: Omar Kibbe
Colorist: Samir Kayal
Online Artist: Eddy Farah

Sound Production: Vox Haus Music Production House
Head of Projects: Matheus de Moraes Gugelmim
Head of Production: Daniel Dalla Corte
Producer: Cássio Machado
SFX Producer: Ícaro Guedes
Submission Text:
Campaign Summary//

The UAE loves unique number plates. The elite spend millions on them every year and the wider UAE population generates content around them on social media every day.

We used the plates that millions do notice, for awareness around the millions of plates that many do not notice.

We created the most distinctive plates yet: Empty Plates. This new medium served as a driving force of awareness for the plates that truly matter.

Fleets of cars with empty license plates took over Dubai streets. The entire nation noticed, with thousands speculating the plate’s purpose.

National news then revealed the purpose of the Empty Plates. The reveal was seeded to the nation’s elite, inviting them to fight world hunger at a VIP number plate auction.

It became the largest-ever humanitarian auction, raising $43.8Million. 164million meals were donated to 50 countries in need. The campaign reached 2 billion people worldwide with $4.7Million in earned media.

Campaign Goals//

Make world hunger topical in a post-pandemic world where hunger rates were reaching new heights

Ensure that the millions of dollars spent on VIP license plates in Dubai are used for a charitable, philanthropic purpose

Raise enough money to provide hunger relief to millions of families in need

Support the UAE in becoming a global leader in the worldwide effort to relieve world hunger

Marketing Context//

License Plates in the UAE

Unique car registration number plates are extremely valuable in the UAE, as they attract attention and command respect on the roads.
Every year around $10 million are spent on unique number plates. 8 out of 10 of the world’s most expensive license plates were bought in Dubai.
VIP number plates with single digits or repeated numbers even attract user-generated content on social media with users speculating how much was spent on each plate.

UAE Government Objectives

Led by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives, the UAE aims to create a social movement of humanitarian solidarity, supporting vulnerable families in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and beyond.
The UAE aimed to become a world leader in the global effort to relieve world hunger with hunger reaching new catastrophic levels in the post-pandemic world.

Target Audience//

We needed to target the locals who annually spend millions of dollars on license plates per year. They are ultra-high-net-worth individuals in the UAE – Emirati, male, late 20s to late 50s.

To create mass awareness around world hunger, we targeted the UAE’s wider population that is always in-tune with occurrences in the UAE via social media. This includes locals, expats, working professionals between 20 and 50.

Campaign Planning//

While millions of people in the UAE notice number plates, millions of other plates go unnoticed everyday: food plates.

How do we turn the attention given to number plates into an opportunity to fill millions of empty food plates?

First, we organized a charity auction for unique number plates which would target Dubai’s ultra-elite.

Then we innovated a new medium for communicating world hunger.

By creating the Empty Plate, we created the most unique plate yet. If cars with empty number plates took over city streets, the entire nation would take notice and generate content around it – speculating what the purpose could possibly be.

Then national news would reveal the purpose of the Empty Plates—how they stand for the 800 million people going hungry every day.

Dubai’s elite would then be invited to the auction, enabling them to help fight world hunger.

Marketing & Media Strategy//

To target the ultra-elite of Dubai, we designed a VIP number plate auction. This auction would ensure that every dollar raised would provide 3 meals to children and families in need across the region.

To create mass awareness and organic word-of-mouth, we orchestrated a stunt which would get the entire nation buzzing. By placing empty number plates on fleets of cars, we got the entire city of Dubai to create the PR for our campaign. This incited thousands of users on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to share theories and speculate the purpose behind these empty plates.

National news then revealed the cause behind the Empty Plates, turning the attention gained from the Empty number Plates into awareness around world hunger. The reveal was then seeded to the UAE’s elite, inviting them to the VIP auction to help fight world hunger.

Creative Strategy and Execution //

Audience Insight:

The UAE loves unique number plates. The ultra-elite spend millions on them every year and the mass population love generating content around them on social media.

Communications Opportunity:

What the UAE had not seen before was license plates with no number at all – the most unique plate yet. The Empty Plate would serve as a reminder of the millions of empty plates around the world that have gone unnoticed.

PR Strategy:

Create a stunt getting the entire city to create the PR, with user-generated content spreading word about Empty Plates while speculating how they came to be.

Reveal the purpose on national news: that the Empty Plates represent the millions of empty plates around the world and the 800 million people going hungry every day.

Give new meaning to plates that have long been used to indicate privilege & prestige. Turn plates into representations of philanthropy & charity.

Evidence of Effectiveness//


2 Billion people reached
$4.7 Million in earned media
Coverage from 12 international news networks
Average 60 seconds of airtime
Trending Topic on Twitter
460,000 Comments & shares on social media
980,000 Interactions on social media


World’s largest-ever humanitarian auction
$43.8 Million total raised from all number plates
$2 Million raised from Empty Number plate


164 million meals donated
Across 50 countries in need
Other Credits: Executive Director of Marketing & Communications - UAE Government Media Office: Khaled AlShehhi
Senior Social Media Marketing Manager - UAE Government Media Office: Latifa AlMarzooqi
Social Media Marketing Specialist - UAE Government Media Office: Ghaya AlBannay
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