Monthly Archives: June 2009

What if we put advertising money in advertising?

The top prize in poster campaigns at the Cannes Advertising Festival was given to TBWA in South Africa (TBWA\Hunt Lascaris), for their campaign for the daily newspaper “The Zimbabwean”.  This opposition newspaper has not only been forced into exile in South Africa, but it is also victim to a 55% “luxury import tax,” making its price prohibitive to native Zimbabweans.  It’s as though freedom of speech were considered a luxury.  To protest this injustice and to attract funds for the paper in South Africa, the agency decided to use the symbol of the country’s political and economic defeat: the devalued money (with its famous trillion dollar bill!).  These bills, which are cheaper to use than paper, served as a powerful visual aid for the following messages: “Thanks to Mugabe, this money is wallpaper”, or “It’s cheaper to print this on money than paper” or “Fight the regime that has crippled a country”.  Not only have donations increased, but within the first week of the campaign, the website generated over 2 million hits.

This is not the first time that real money has been used in an ad campaign.  3M also used money, to the opposite effect in a campaign showing the safety of their security glass.

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