Network BBDO, Johannesburg wins Outdoor Grand Prix with solar powered effort

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The 2007 Outdoor Grand Prix went to a campaign that quite literally gave power to the people. Network BBDO, Johannesburg took home the top prize in outdoor work for NedBank's "Power to the People" solar-powered billboard.
In the last hour and half of deliberation, the jury flip-flopped between the South African work and a BBC World campaign created by BBDO New York which featured a single photo of soldiers and allowed viewers to vote via text message whether they were occupiers or liberators. The Times Square billboard kept a running tally of the votes.
"We were torn between the head and the heart," said Porky Hefer, outdoor jurist and executive creative director, Lowe Bull Cape Town. "Sometimes you get overwhelmed by the technology, but you have to get back to the idea." What ultimately swayed the jury in the favor of the NedBank work was the fact that the solar power being collected by the billboard was helping to power several community buildings, including a school house.
At a time when it so common to have short term promotions, the fact that it was "work that continues to work and continues providing, " said jury chair Jean-Remy Von Matt, founder-chairman, Jung Von Matt, was key. The fact that it was actually making a difference in the community made all the difference to the jury.
There was a strong sense from the jury that corporate responsibility and advertising work that supports social responsibility is the example they'd like to set for future creatives.
"This one piece was more than advertising. It was help and it was hope," said Mr. Hefer. "The results and the winners have a big impact on [the creative] youth and they copy the star [we award].If we award ads that have guns and mayhem, those will be the ads that we will start seeing."
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