Twitter Army

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Viral
Market South Africa
Agency Joe Public
Executive Creative Director Pepe Marais
Creative Director Xolisa Dyeshana
Art Director Monique Kaplan, Gawie Joubert
Copywriter Charlotte Marriner
Producer Ananda Swanepoel
Released April 2012


Caples Awards 2012
Other Media Social Media Gold

Credits & Description

Category: Socila Media & Viral Marketing
Advertiser: JHHESA
Product/Service: BROTHERS FOR LIFE
Executive Creative Director: Pepe Marais (Joe Public)
Creative Director: Xolisa Dyeshana (Joe Public)
Copywriter: Charlotte Marriner (Joe Public)
Art Director: Monique Kaplan (Joe Public)
Art Director: Gawie Joubert (Joe Public)
Producer: Ananda Swanepoel (Joe Public)
: Vega Students (Vega School Of Advertising)
Media placement: Social - Twitter - 1st December, 2011

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
For World AIDS Day last year, Brothers For Life, a South African NGO, wanted to make an impact with a limited advertising budget. South Africa is plagued with AIDS fatigue; the same message has been told time and time again. The public has been desensitized. Brothers For Life wanted to create something unique, something never done before and something that would get people, specifically the masses, talking.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
We decided to harness the power of social media, our aim being to get people around South Africa to set up an organic discussion about AIDS. At midnight on the 30th November, the eve of World AIDS Day, we created 1,000 Twitter accounts. Students, friends, family and colleagues became our tweeting army. Each account tweeted hourly for the next 24 hours, signing off with our hashtag #HIVarmy. The messages themselves were the same, one united voice, from the perspective of an HIV-positive sufferer. At midnight, 1st December 2011, each and every account died.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
It was important for us to begin a conversation with people, as opposed to lecturing them. AIDS prevention is about education, which is why it is crucial to target the youth while they are still able to change any bad habits and ultimately stay healthy. Social media is the perfect platform to attract such an age group. Similarly, Twitter is a site where 'normal' and celebrity collide, where people from every corner of the world, different ages and races can meet, talk and share views.

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.
Within hours of tweeting we trended in Johannesburg, then Durban, then Cape Town and then the entire of South Africa. By 11am #HIVArmy was trending globally and continued to do so for the next 12 hours. Through the simple power of social media, we managed to get the world talking about Aids in an entirely fresh, new way. And we didn't have to spend a penny.