I read plenty of advertising and marketing trade magazines, emails and blogs, and honestly most of it is self-serving, trivial bollocks served up as if it’s clever, vital, somehow important. And then occasionally I read something that prickles my back, makes me wish I’d been involved. Some of the writing that describes these campaigns fits the usual hyperbolic tone. But to my mind the aims of these campaigns are noble, and the executions are genuinely moving.
The first is an Australian campaign for the UN using whizzy interactive posters to alert people to the stories of minorities and other marginalised groups. It is actually a clever use of traditional mainstream bus-shelter posters with interactive mobile technology. The marketing cynic within me wonders whether there wasn’t enough money for TV. But if there wasn’t, good. This is way better than any preachy TV campaign could have been.
The other campaign is an even simpler, more striking use of posters, where the medium for once really is the message. The Zimbabwean ran billboards of worthless Zimbabwean bank notes to raise awareness and promote readership of the newspaper, and recently won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix award for outdoor advertising.
The ads outline how the regime of Robert Mugabe had introduced a 55 per cent import ‘luxury’ duty on The Zimbabwean, making it unaffordable for the average Zimbabwean. The campaign went further, distributing trillions of dollars worth of Zimbabwean money stamped with provocative messages and a call for support for The Zimbabwean.
There are further images on The Zimbabwean’s Flickr photostream.