How the 1 Billion Meals' campaign turned citizens into philanthropists helping the unprivileged during Ramadan
Posted on 2022 May,03

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The Mohammed Bin Rashid AL Maktoum Global initiatives (MBRGI) transform thousands of UAE citizens into philanthropists as part of its '1 Billion Meals Initiative'.

In Dubai, on 16th April, a special number plate bearing the number AA8 on it was sold for an AED 35 Million. Four days later, in Abu Dhabi, a plate with the number 2 sold for AED 23.3 million. In total, more than 560 special plates were auctioned off for good causes as part of 'The Most Noble Number Charity Action', raising an incredible AED 164 million ($43.8 million), which made it the world's largest plate auction for a humanitarian cause.

The auction was part of a wider campaign for UAE's '1 Billion Meals Initiative', which ran during Ramadan this year, aiming to provide food aid for the world's underprivileged and undernourished. 
To fill even more empty plates and the world's hungry with a bit of hope, the MBRGI created thousands of different number plates that gave everyday citizens the chance to support the initiative and become philanthropists themselves. 

The campaign cleverly highjacked car plates in car parks and parking lots across the country by partially covering the car owners’ plates with adhesive stickers. These were designed to cover part of the plates and to leave just a few small numbers visible next to a poignant message, highlighting powerfully how even the smallest of numbers, and AED donations can make a big difference. And that little, by little, became a lot when many joined in to help those who are less fortunate. 

Khaled AlShehhi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication for the 1 Billion Meals initiative, said: “Not every small number on a registration plate will fetch millions like AA8 in Dubai and 2-2 in Abu Dhabi. While the Most Noble Number Charity Auction broke records with more than 560 number plates, we created a groundswell with everyday car plates. The surprising idea, covering part of the plates of thousands parked cars, only revealing the last few digits, with a message encouraging donations, across the UAE pushed the 1 Billion Meals campaign over the line. The idea was that everyone can be a philanthropist and a small amount can make a big difference. It’s the continuity in thinking and the consistency in execution that make these activations so powerful and effective. They build on and amplify each other, creating a massive echo chamber that makes the call to donate impossible to ignore. In many ways, disarmingly simple and yet, the more you think about it in the full context of the fundraising campaign, stunningly smart and impactful.
The wider campaign recently reached its goal of raising enough funds for the ambitious 1 Billion Meals initiative. And as such, thanks to the Mohammed Bin Rashid AL Maktoum Global initiatives and its fundraising initiatives, the world is a less hungry place today.
The client behind it is the UAE Government Media Office and the creative agency is Mullenlowe MENA.