Tribute to TBWA

LONDON - The Trillion Dollar Campaign executed by TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg for The Zimbabwean was unique in the history of advertising. It took creativity to another level and the international profile of the newspaper went along for the ride.

The talented creative team worked with our South Africa-based marketing guru, Liz Linsell well known in the advertising industry in Zimbabwe to create a powerful message. They then communicated it with eloquent simplicity.

For me, the campaign achieved two things: it highlighted the problems of Zimbabwe on its slide from the jewel of the Africa to almost failed state; and it raised the visibility of The Zimbabwean on the global arena. Nothing like this campaign can ever be repeated. Its a one-off. It cant be copied. Using the valueless currency was a stroke of genius. Nobody bothered to steal it! None of the posters or billboards were ever defaced despite the fact that they were made of actual notes. This proved beyond doubt the worthlessness of the currency and the failure of the Mugabe regime to manage its economy.

I received countless opportunities to speak about the campaign and the newspaper to radio and television stations around the world and to tell the story of Zimbabwes voiceless millions. The highlight was the D&AD awards in London recently, where the creative team insisted I accompany them on to the stage to receive the Yellow and Black Pencils. A night to remember indeed!

The agency has done a great service to The Zimbabwean and to Zimbabweans. On behalf of us all, thank you and congratulations!

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