Home Box and Leo Burnett Dubai roll out a moving short to bring light to all hidden rooms in the Middle East
Posted on 2022 Jul,18  | By ArabAd's staff

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On June 16, International Domestic Workers Day - a special yet a forgotten day – Home Box kickstarted its commitment to a meaningful initiative across the Gulf region.

A short film has been launched by the furniture retailer in the Middle East in collaboration with Leo Burnett agency in Dubai. It features real domestic workers, based in the Middle East, each telling their own story and describing their favourite place in the homes they work in. Out of all the places they speak about, one room remains hidden: their own room.

This film, inspired from research where Home Box and Leo Burnett asked 329 domestic workers about their favorite place in the homes they work in, and out of all the places they spoke about, the workers’ living space—their own room--remained unmentioned.

Through this premise, the film addresses an inequality delicately and sensitively.

Expat domestic workers are employed in many homes in the Middle East, often working for years for the same families, living away from their own families. They come from all over the world. But while they work in towering skyscrapers and big villas, their rooms remain very small spaces – typically 7 feet x 10 feet, but sometimes even smaller. These rooms are often furnished with second-hand or third-hand furniture, mismatched, worn out or dingy.

So, the “The Hidden Room Collection” was created by the agency, Leo Burnett Dubai. It’s a specially curated collection, designed in collaboration with Home Box’s design team, that provides beautifully designed furniture and furnishing items for the small spaces where domestic workers live. With these smart living solutions, Home Box can help to transform these spaces, so people feel at home in the homes they work in.

From an executional standpoint, the film, framed intentionally in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, creates the boxed-up feeling that they feel in their constrained and restrictive living space. The camera movement is slow and lingers. Visually, the lenses used were chosen to feel like 70-80’s vignetting, with specially created LUTs and rehoused vintage optics recreating an analog film look.

For the colours and lights, the film was not shot in clean white light. The shots are always filtered with a bit of blue, grey or a bit of dim yellow. Frequent moments in blue lighting cue us into inner sadness and loneliness, balanced with frequent moments of dim yellow lighting that help tap into the darker side of yellow, hinting at depression and loneliness too.

The film directs people to a website, where people can shop for The Hidden Room Collection, which is also available in-store. Demand is said to have started to pour in, and homeowners have started transforming the rooms as seen in the few snippets here– a process that Home Box is capturing for a mini-documentary.

Because this is not another commercial, but a narrative-short that aims to brings light to all the hidden rooms across the region.






Creative Agency: Publicis Groupe ME&T - Leo Burnett Middle East

Production Company: Liwa Content.Driven


Ajay Antal, Chief Executive Officer, Home Box 

Kunal Kapoor, Marketing Manager, Home Box 

Shahzeen Rizvi, Digital Marketing Specialist Omni-channel, Home Box 

Bassel Kakish, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Groupe ME&T 

Kalpesh Patankar, Chief Creative Officer and Creative Direction, Leo Burnett 

Tahaab Rais, Chief Strategy Officer, Publicis Groupe ME&T 

Tahaab Rais, Film Director, Story and Sound Design  

Shereen Mostafa, Head of Production, Leo Burnett  

Sagar Rege, Executive Producer, Liwa Content.Driven 

Aeyaz, DoP and Cinematography 

Aunindo Sen, Senior Creative Director, Copywriter, Leo Burnett 

Kapil Bhimekar, Creative Director and Art Direction, Leo Burnett 

Paurav Shah, Senior Copywriter and Dialogues, Leo Burnett 

Smit Agrawal, Creative 

Vaibhava Bhatnagar, Creative 

Remy Haddad, 1st AD 

Neda Zag, Editor, Cold Cutz 

Karim Mira, Grading and Colorist, LZRD 

Khushboo Sawlani, Strategic and Creative Excellence Designer  

Asma Zaghdoud, Account Manager, Leo Burnett 

Nadine Raad, Account Manager, Leo Burnett 

Shane Vessaoukar, Executive Producer, Liwa Content.Driven 

Neha Jaswani, Production Coordinator, Liwa Content.Driven 

Charbel Zgheib, Production Designer, Liwa Content.Driven 

Puja Chatterjee, Account Director, Liwa Content.Driven 

Nishqa Pillai, Account Manager, Liwa Content.Driven 

Shoaib Ischtiyak, Nikhil Soman, Talal Dakkak, Post-Production, Liwa Content.Driven 

Raed Hakim, Client Operations Director 

Sheni Meledath, Senior Manager - Digital Delivery 

Venkat Krish, Senior User Experience Specialist 

Soundtrack: ‘Art of Silence’ by Uniq featuring Onio