Eid and Unity PSA by Gulf Broadcast to remind Bahrain of the common good
In previous blog posts we talked about the elements that Public Service Announcements (PSAs) should have to highlight a company’s values or public message.
At Gulf Broadcast, we applied what we preach with our latest PSA. We released our Eid and Unity PSA in time for Eid Al Fitr, in late July 2015, to remind Bahrainis that even at a subconscious and instinctive levels, they are united.
The one minute spot tells the tale of a wall, which unlike most; is not a barrier, but actually brings people together, uniting them towards a common goal, their love for the island and its traditions.
Today, we will analyze the elements of the Eid and Unity PSA so that you too can craft your public service announcements more effectively.
It is important to have a clear and thought provoking message in a PSA. Unity was ours. The importance of showcasing how people from various places in Bahrain – some which might be construed as too divergent in culture and outlook – Muharraq and Sitra, Diraz and Riffa for instance, were not afraid to share thoughts and reflections on the walls of a local eatery.
The traditional local food restaurant, Emmawash, is unique in that it allows its patrons to write their thoughts, aspirations and even superficial messages on its walls. They even provide the marker pens for them to do so. Noticing the overwhelmingly happy notes on these walls, and the unconscious placements of a lot of them next to names and areas which some who would want people to believe that enmities exist between them is what prompted our founder, Mahmood Al-Yousif, to celebrate these walls through which messages of happiness, unity and common grounds are very much evident.
Because the message was directed at the nation as a whole, Mahmood wrote a script that spoke to every level of Bahraini society. He wrote a short colloquial poem and narrated it in his own voice for the video. His mature male voice-over resonated with all age groups as a father, husband and brother.
Emotion was heightened even further by revealing a child – who ultimately symbolises innocence and represents hope for future generations.
To help promote this message of unity, the spot was circulated through WhatsApp, uploaded to YouTube, posted on Facebook and integrated into Gulf Broadcast’s website. A 15 second edit was published on Instagram too. People took notice of our PSA as it reached over 77,000 people on Facebook alone with over 1,500 combined likes on social media, over 2,000 views on youtube in just the first few days of release.
In other efforts to spread the message of unity, a hashtag in arabic was created #مذهبي_بحريني which was a natural progression from an original #JustBahraini campaign against sectarianism that Mahmood launched in 2007.
Traditional print media also took notice of the Eid and Unity PSA and an article was published in Al Wasat newspaper featuring an interview with Mahmood Al Yousif – the visionary behind this PSA.
Eid Mubarak . عيدكم مبارك وأيامكم سعيدة
هل كل جدار يعزل؟ أم هل هناك جدران تلم الشمل بغض النظر عن أي تكوينات كانت؟
هذه هي قصة أحد تلك الجدران التي تقرب ولا تعزل الناس عن بعض. فالكل سوايسة في الإنسانية
كل عام وأنتم والبحرين بخير
This is a story of a wall. Bahrainis don’t need an excuse to come together, nor do they habitually look for affiliation before they make friends. In this film, we explore how a wall – which traditionally divides people – actually brought people together.