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

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Industry Newspapers
Media Direct marketing
Market South Africa
Agency TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg
Executive Creative Director Damon Stapleton
Art Director Shelley Smoler
Copywriter Raphael Basckin
Editor Tongai Furusa
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Direct Response Print or Standard Outdoor, including Inserts
Product/Service: NEWSPAPER
Date of First Appearance: Feb 25 2011
Entry URL:
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)
Client Service: Kershnee Pillay (TBWA)
Editor: Tongai Furusa (14 10th Street Productions)
Production Manager: Craig Walker (TBWA)
Project Mangager: Leanne Ferris-Woods (TBWA)
Stills Producer: Simone Allem (TBWA)
Retoucher: Rob Frew
Photographers: Christof van der Walt/Michael Grobler/Lucas Mathebula/Tebogo Suping
Creative Assistants: Thato Moatlhodi/Luyanda Ngobese (TBWA)
Technical Consultant: Rose Shuman (Open Mind)
Media placement: Press Campaign- 5 Adverts - The Zimbabwean - 6 March 2011
Media placement: Press- Insert - The Zimbabwean - 27 March 2011
Media placement: Outdoor Campaign- 9 Billboards - POP Outdoor- Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria - 25 February 2011

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
Calls for change have swept North Africa.
Further south in Zimbabwe, the continent's most brutal dictatorship is arresting people simply for talking 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 couldn't 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 international subscriptions to a newspaper Mugabe's regime was desperate to silence.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
The iconic map of Zimbabwe was positioned onto photojournalism to appear as an empty speech bubble, with a call to action. Billboards and print direct consumers to a website where they can read, locate and hear the accounts of the people in the images, and where subscriptions are purchased personally, or on behalf of people within Zimbabwe. Although this campaign could never run in Zimbabwe, stickers were inserted into copies of the paper crossing the border with a competition to place them in the manner of The Voiceless Campaign.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
Real photojournalism is the basis of this campaign. Simply putting these pictures in public is a statement of intent: as the Voice of the Voiceless, The Zimbabwean's reputation is based on risking more to report the truth.
But if these images inform, then the addition of the map-speech bubble gives viewers the opportunity to act. Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa and the UK recognise their map instantly, and by investigating the stories, nine brave people's voices cease to be silent. And by interacting in the online debates and purchasing newspapers, many more Zimbabwean voices are added.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible with particular reference to the RESPONSE of the target audience including deliverability statistics, response rates, click throughs, sales cost per response, relationships built and overall return on investment.
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.