Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of judging the 4th African Cristal Awards in Marrakesh together with my panel of fellow judges from South Africa to Egypt. The Awards also saw a novel collaboration between Cristal and Goodvertising as it was decided to award the very first “Goodvertising Grand Cristal” – acknowledging outstanding creativity in the non-profit category.
I was happy to award the big prize to a local campaign from Morocco tackling a topic sensitive in many African countries: disability. Despite the heavy-handed topic the campaign was based on a strong insight echoing from its title: impossible. For many families and especially fathers getting a disabled son would seem impossible, but the campaign skilfully manages to turn the impossible into the possible as we follow a family’s struggle turn to a happy ending as the family breaks with taboos and embraces their son’s disability. Creativity in Africa still has some way to go across categories, but there are light houses in the continent such as long-standing hot spot South Africa and an array of good work coming out of Egypt. One of the other campaigns in the Goodvertising space worth mentioning is Seedbank a new collaborative project between a non-profit and brands turning containers into libraries doubling as artistic billboards for brands. Another project worth mentioning is the hilarious testicular cancer campaign Testi-Monials using humour effectively to get men to drop by the GP. Lastly the brand Glad went on to champion the cause of food waste in a clever Instagram take-over. There are unprecedented opportunities across the continent for brands to play a meaningful role in people’s lives and mounting environmental and social challenges only makes this call for change more apparent. Across the award show most brands were still stuck with aspirational messaging, but this is only a blue ocean to be utilised by brands who dare to pick up the baton for Goodvertising and make a meaningful difference.