Pakistan is a country of 200 million people. Karachi is the country’s major port and the biggest city. It is not Pakistan’s capital but its economic, financial and industrial hub. People from all over the country–and from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and other countries come to Karachi to find work and prosperity.
During this struggle, some of these people have to go through difficult times and find it hard to afford a decent living. While there are many venues of cheap–and some times free–food available to these people, the next challenge is to find a place to sleep. This situation is further aggravated by adding the unemployment caused by huge power shortage in the country and the economic recession.
Some of these poor people have to sleep on the sidewalks and green belts on hard floor and grass or dirt.
With the passage of time, this situation was becoming a norm. people stopped taking notice of these people sleeping outdoors on a footpath.
But one day it changed. Enter Molty foam company: the biggest and oldest mattress and foam company in Pakistan.
Molty had been advertising heavily in the past and it was a well known, household name. They have been using electronic media as well.
The company installed these Billboard beds, or Billbeds in Karachi which were essentially a billboard advertising the company’s iconic Molty Foam but can be rotated to be converted into a mattress bed for anyone to sleep on.
The idea was an instant hit. People loved it. The company started with only a few of these “Bill-Beds” in Karachi but later expanded the idea to the second biggest city, Lahore too and later to 9 cities across the country.
The company made a video of the idea and people’s comments and posted it online. It went viral as it touched the emotions. People loved the idea. a great solution for a huge problem that enhanced the company’s PR profile.
This PR also went beyond borders. A Japanese blog, Brilliant ideas, also wrote about it with video and pictures.
The advertising agency Barten, Barton, Durstine and Osbron (BBDO) also won a prestigious one Silver award in the category of Public Affair and one Bronze award in the category of Billboard at the Clio Awards in 2015. BBDO Pakistan was also shortlisted in the category of the most innovative campaign for this very Billbed campaign.