For many of us, hours spent hawk-eyed, back-bent, pouring over the chaotic hustle and bustle of a Where’s Waldo book is the stuff of fondest childhood memories. Whether or not you’ve honed your spotting-skills to perfection, or like our wandering protagonist have found yourself a little lost, UN Women Egypt created a new puzzle, which may be the hardest to solve yet.

The campaign is designed to mimic the children’s book’s same maddeningly labyrinthine scenes, but instead of searching for Waldo the idea is to seek out the lone women amongst the dizzying throng of male workers. Using Egypt’s three up-and-coming industries as the setting, the illustrations use science, technology, and politics to highlight a startling gender disparity.

The three ads, created by DDB Dubai and Ic4design Illustration are entitled “Finding Her” and were published in Egyptian magazines at the end of 2016. Offering a creative way to show just how seriously underrepresented women are in the country’s labour market, the messaging on each illustration reads, “It shouldn’t be that hard to find women in the workplace.” At the moment, only 23% of Egypt’s workforce is made up of women, which according to UN Women is one of the lowest percentages in the world.

unwomen-politics-closeup

“Finding Her” is also a deliberate nod towards the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day. On 8 March 2017, under the umbrella of “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up for Gender Equality,” UN Women will call for the rapidly changing working world to recognise women’s economic empowerment in issues such as the gender pay gap and women’s roles in the informal economy.

The illustrations, which have been picking up a steady snowball effect of media coverage since the launch, successfully shed light on the devastatingly unequal ratio. And as Firas Medrows, ECD at DDB Dubai, puts it, “by challenging the reader to actually spend time and look for the women, we proved our point.”

Cleverly using a universally recognisable game to make an eloquent point about financial empowerment, DDB Dubai turns understanding the gravitas of the situation into…well, childsplay. 

Science | Click to enlarge.
Science | Click to enlarge.
Politics | Click to enlarge.
Politics | Click to enlarge.
Technology | Click to enlarge.
Technology | Click to enlarge.

Campaign: Finding Her

Brand: UN Women Egypt

Agency: DDB Dubai