Finally a Social Media Campaign in Lebanon that is Social and Spot on the Brand – UPDATE

UPDATE: Leo Burnett won Cannes Lions silver for this campaign.Check the full campaign recap video below. Thumbs UP!  (The reach numbers seem a bit high to me though)


Initially Published March 18

After an extremely dull strain of flash microsites and lame sweepstakes comes a completely refreshing SOCIAL social media campaign from Leo Burnett, that provides a unique and personalized message and is also 100% related to the cause at hand. To think that all of this time when I was raging that ad agencies DO NOT GET IT that influencers want to be ENGAGED they got IT !!!


It all started a few days ago when I found a friend request on my facebook from a “Darine Sabbah” who also had MY profile photo. Immediately I posted for all my friends to report this person and reported him/her myself. Friends rages, some said its a spam bot and that others have been hit too, a friend called me to check if I am OK, another said I must be pretty famous to be impersonated…  whilst I stayed bewildered that the profile is still up.

And a few minutes ago I found what it is all about and it is so bewilderingly brilliant, that after my long round of silence and amidst my crazy commitments to Twestival Beirut (and instead of writing a post about that) I am writing a post about this.

So the secret was revealed when I got the following two Private Messages on Facebook.

brand protection group campaign direct message one - the closest thing to you may be fake brand protection group campaign - direct message

Do I need to rave more about how insightful this campaign was?I would’ve probably created you some nice bullet list and a great deal of reasoning packed into 500 words or so, if I had the time, but I think you guys can go ahead and build it on your own, in the comments below.


So be ware “The closest things to you might be fake”. It’s time to take action.

P.S. What I did not like though that the PMs came from a from Brand PGs facebook user account and that that account is a closed account with little info and there is no Facebook Page for Brand protection.


P.S.2 The funny thing is that I got a Press Release from Leo Burnett a few days earlier about what they were doing for the campaign and tehre was a slight mention of facebook, but i completely disregarded it thinking it will be same old ads + page. I almosty feel like calling this “guerrilla social media” …


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  1. Gaby’s avatar

    Spot on GENIUS!!!


  2. jackie’s avatar

    good one. who else did it happen to?


    1. Darine Sabbagh’s avatar

      I guess they were mostly bloggers and social media influencers, but will try to find out more Jackie.


  3. YaraWithGlasses’s avatar

    no waaaay!!! Brilliaaaant!


  4. Patrick honein’s avatar

    Hello all,
    It’s really so awarding to see positive reactions to this, specially that it is about a cause.
    Thank you from the Brand Protection Group and Leo Burnett Beirut, we are really happy to have bloggers who support the local community. I hope we keep up on your social media expectation :)

    If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we will be more than happy to answer all your questions.. And just for the fun of it, check this;



  5. Lara’s avatar

    Brilliant. i liked it :D Leo Burnett yet again rises to the challenge :D


  6. Mohammad’s avatar

    I’m surprised that you actually have a positive attitude about this. If it were me, I would be seriously pissed and irritated even if it was for a “cause”.


    1. Darine Sabbagh’s avatar

      In honesty, the fact that the campaign was ENGAGING and had BUILDUP overshadowed all my pissed off feelings ( which I do have). Plus I felt relieved that it was not a vicious impersonator.


  7. Liliane’s avatar

    It’s definitely brilliant, great idea and executed wonderfully, making a really good impact. I love both offline and online campaigns done for fighting counterfeit… brilliant.. donno what to add more :)


  8. Maya’s avatar

    Wow!! I just found out that this whole mass profile copying turned out to be a campaign!! Really brilliant on all levels of the campaigns. They also went around city mall imitating people as they’re walking there as part of the campaign. Loved it!!


  9. Jessica’s avatar

    Hi, Darine,
    Thanks for writing about this. I had no idea. But I have to agree with Mohammad. I’d be more than a little upset to see my profile and picture used in this way, even for a good cause and without my permission. On the one hand, I feel like my data was stolen, even if it was just borrowed. On the other hand, I’d feel manipulated. I mean I get why it’s a clever campaign but I’d really like for Leo Burnett to explain how they did it. Did they get any flack from Facebook, which prohibits fake accounts? Did they go in and delete all the fake accounts at the end of the campaign? How do we know that they won’t persist? If they were targeting influencers, couldn’t they have been transparent about what they were doing and brought them in somehow? Finally, did they provide you with any resources about how to write about counterfeiting? Ie, was there an educational component to the campaign beyond just asking you to write that counterfeiting is bad. I’d love to know if you found that info anywhere or if you happen to be able to ask Leo Burnett, that’d be great.
    Thanks for listening…


  10. Ronman’s avatar

    Hmmmm not impressed. although the technique is brilliant, it is very near entrapment. It’s like Kidnapping your kids for a few hours just to make you aware that other kids are being kidnapped for real and how the real life victims feel. It’s like injecting you with heroine to make you aware of the effects of Heroine on drug induction victims. It’s like shooting you in the leg to give you an idea that people are being shot to death indiscriminately…. etc….etc….

    it’s edgy, i like it, but not everybody would be as bubbly about it as you Ms.Sabbagh, I’d be royally pissed.


  11. BeirutBoy’s avatar

    That is VERY out-of-the-box!
    10x 4 sharing Darine!


  12. Darine’s avatar

    @Ronman , I agree not everyone would take the bubbly approach with it.

    @Beirut Boy, thanks for reading :)


  13. moudz’s avatar

    I had the same comment about the reach numbers. I do not think the numbers are statistically studied.



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