Agency turns billboards into tents to shelter Morocco earthquake victims


The Marrakech Al Haouz region in Morocco has recently experienced a devastating earthquake, resulting in the tragic loss of over 2,850 lives and over 2,500 injuries.

The challenge of initiating reconstruction in the short or medium term in these areas is significant, given the delicate topography and rugged terrain, especially in the face of unpredictable weather conditions, including rain and snow, meaning the catastrophe has rendered many people in remote and mountainous villages homeless, exposed to the harsh elements.

Wunderman Thompson Morocco and Jood

In response to this humanitarian crisis, the Jood NGO and Wunderman Thompson Morocco took swift and creative action, devising the ‘Life-Saving Outdoors’.

This innovative initiative aims to repurpose hundreds of 4×3 outdoor billboards into ergonomic, robust, waterproof, and thermal tents, offering urgently essential temporary shelter to the affected population of these villages.

A manufacturing process was implemented within 48 hours of the earthquake to recover and transform hundreds of 4×3 billboards into durable temporary tents.

Unlike some newer digital or paper OOH billboards, these are made from high quality, thermal fabric, which is perfectly waterproof, making the tents robust enough, waterproof, and warm, therefore offering effective protection against the elements, and retaining heat for optimal living conditions.

To swiftly support this initiative, numerous partners including clients, media agencies and local printers like: Allianz Insurance, Mindshare Morocco, Media Rep, Inregie, and others responded promptly by showing solidarity.

They quickly provided support by offering 4×3 billboards, making donations, and even dismantling billboards to contribute swiftly to this noble cause.

Hind Laidi, Founding President of the Jood NGO, said: “This is a powerful demonstration of solidarity and creativity in action, demonstrating that even in the most difficult times, humanity can unite to help each other.

“We are committed to creating a world of solidarity that contributes to relieving the pain and misery of the earthquake victims, and to the realisation of more actions aimed at preserving their dignity.”

Nabil Sarih, Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Morocco, added: “The “Life-Saving Outdoors” concept encapsulates the potential of each converted 4×3 outdoor billboard to serve as a temporary refuge for families of more than eight during critical times. It provides an essential shelter, albeit temporarily, when much needed.

“However, its impact goes beyond simply providing shelter but also rejuvenating old billboards and give it a noble second life, demonstrating their ability to be reused for vital initiatives.

“This principle applies to various disasters, highlighting the adaptability of this solution for rapid and effective response.”

Within 48 hours of the earthquake, approximately fifty tents were crafted, and the production has consistently continued, providing shelter for over 400 families up to the present day, with a maximum of eight individuals per family in one tent.

A cumulative total of 1,219 tents, and 239 tons of blankets, mattresses, and pillows have been supplied. Additionally, 26,615 individuals affected by the disaster have received food assistance, insured by Jood.

Jood has played a pivotal role in distributing over 682,555 food baskets and 2,023 tons of food items to families impacted by the disaster across hundreds of villages.

Beyond these endeavours, the NGO has implemented various measures to aid those affected by the catastrophe, including the deployment of an on-site shower truck with hairstyling services, benefiting 3,790 individuals.

The demand for shelters remains significant, and it is crucial to continue producing more tents to aid those affected by this catastrophe.

As Winter approaches, the Jood NGO is calling on all brands, companies, and individuals to join this noble cause by contributing to the ‘Life-Saving Outdoors’ initiative.

Each transformed 4×3 billboard represents another step towards the protection and preservation of human lives, as well as the safeguarding of affected animals and the establishment of temporary classrooms for students affected by this tragedy.