THE VOICELESS CAMPAIGN by TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg for The Zimbabwean

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THE VOICELESS CAMPAIGN

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Industry Newspapers
Media Design & Branding
Market South Africa
Agency TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg
Executive Creative Director Damon Stapleton
Art Director Shelley Smoler
Copywriter Raphael Basckin
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Design Photography
Advertiser: THE ZIMBABWEAN
Product/Service: NEWSPAPER
Agency: TBWA\HUNT\LASCARIS JOHANNESBURG
Date of First Appearance: Feb 25 2011
Entrant Company: TBWA\HUNT\LASCARIS JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Entry URL: http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/voiceless
Chief Creative Officer: John Hunt (TBWA)
Executive Creative Director: Damon Stapleton (TBWA)
Art Director: Shelley Smoler (TBWA)
Copywriter: Raphael Basckin (TBWA)
Featured Photojournalists: Dirk-Jan Visser/Robin Hammond/James Oatway
Account Director: Bridget Langley (TBWA)
Operations Director: Carol Soames (TBWA)
Production Manager: Craig Walker (TBWA)
Stills Producer: Simone Allem (TBWA)
Project Manager: Leanne Ferris-Woods (TBWA)
Retoucher: Rob Frew
Project Photographers: Michael Grobler/Lucas Mathebula/Tebogo Suping (TBWA)
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Media placement: Billboard - Mother's Funeral - Soweto - 25 February 2011
Media placement: Billboard - Burn Victim - Fourways - 25 February 2011

Describe the brief from the client
Calls for change have swept North Africa.
Further south, in Zimbabwe, the continent’s most brutal dictatorship arrests people for simply speaking about what’s happening in Libya.
Our client is a newspaper called The Zimbabwean. For speaking-out against this regime, its vehicles are burned, and its vendors are beaten.
This newspaper could not rely on street sales in Zimbabwe. They needed to target over a million Zimbabweans who have fled to South Africa and abroad.
In a global news environment noisier than any in history, we had to sell subscriptions to a newspaper Robert Mugabe was desperate to silence.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Last year, The Zimbabwean carried reports that Mugabe’s notorious Central Intelligence Organisation had raided a small exhibition of photography in Harare-arresting several photojournalists. We knew anything the regime wanted to suppress, was exactly what we needed to show.
We sent an appeal to every photojournalist who had worked in Zimbabwe over the past year. Within days, we possessed hundreds of images documenting the crimes against humanity that lay beneath ZANU-PF censorship. Our objective was to demonstrate The Zimbabwean’s role as The Voice of the Voiceless, and, most importantly, what the viewer could do to ensure it was heard.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
In designing these posters, it was conceptually critical that the journalistic integrity of the photographs prevail. We positioned the iconic map of Zimbabwe to appear as an empty speech bubble at the corner of the subject’s mouth, illustrating the call to action ‘Give a Voice to the Voiceless’. This simple design intervention allows an image that informs to become a poster that compels viewers to act. We displayed these posters at retail/information points throughout expatriate Zimbabwean communities, Zimbabweans recognised their map instantly –making purchases and following through to a subscription website. An oppressed country became its own symbol of freedom.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
In our first two months, The Voiceless Campaign has increased hits to The Zimbabwean website by 287%.

The Zimbabwean’s subscription base is growing by 10 % weekly.
Over half these subscriptions are bought for people inside Zimbabwe.

We used the silence the regime imposed, to talk to the world.