A silver lion at the Cannes Festival would be considered a phenomenal success, were it not for the five golds and the Grand Prix the Trillion Dollar Campaign won the same week. Award shows in South Africa and around the world yielded similar results, -the ultimate honours, including the first Black Cube the Art Directors Club in New York has ever awarded. There was something else to celebrate that month; the government of national unity finally dropped the insidious luxury tax imposed upon The Zimbabwean.
Last week, Shelley, Nadja, Nicholas, Damon and myself were in the UK for the final show of the circuit, and undeniably the most prestigious: Britains D&AD, or Design and Art Direction Awards. At a gala dinner on a summers night 14 000 kilometres from Zimbabwe we finally got to meet Wilf Mbanga, who indulged us with a little of his own story one of a struggle much greater than we had known. As the proceedings started the competition looked blinding -brilliantly conceived campaigns for global brands with millions of (real) dollars behind them swirled through the screens and speakers of Camdens Roundhouse as we collected no less than three Yellow Pencils for the Trillion Dollar Campaign.
Many people recently have asked us the simple question: did we think we the Trillion Dollar Campaign would ever become the most awarded campaign in history? I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that that is something we would never have presumed. But I always knew that it would do well, because the best creative people in the world judge these shows, and they, like the best journalists in the world, can never turn their backs on the truth.
Wilf, Trish and Liz took an enormous risk and the awards that the campaign has won will never mean as much to their careers as they will to ours. But as we watched the beauty, the elegance and the immaculate execution of the worlds best creativity on that night we realised what a privilege it is to ply our trade in a free society. Having won the continents first Black Pencil that evening, we hope that the opportunity to excel and be recognised for having done so, is soon a reality for our friends at The Zimbabwean, our friends in Zimbabwe and for all those who make their living there by saying what should be said.Post published in: News