Writing Art History Since 2002

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CAPE TOWN – At first glance, Art South Africa and Gun Free SA, an alliance of organizations lobbying for stricter gun control laws in South Africa, might seem to share little in common. The two organisations were introduced in late 2008 on the advice of Cape Town agency Young & Rubicam, who created a polemical multi-platform campaign intended to highlight the issue of illegal gun ownership in South Africa while subtly profiling the two organisations’ brands. The resulting campaign was awarded two bronze Loerie Awards at the advertising industry’s annual 2010 awards ceremony, held at the Goodhope Centre this past weekend. The promotional initiative started out as a simple poster campaign in late 2008, but later grew into a national project involving radio and print. Building on the momentum and interest created by the 2008/9 poster campaign, which dialled into the editorial focus of the December 2008 issue of the magazine, Y&R helped Art South Africa and Gun Free SA place strategic print adverts in national media as well as produce a choral song that re-interprets ‘Umshini Wami’, a struggle song controversially re-popularised by Jacob Zuma in the build-up to his presidency in 2008. The radio spot, titled ‘Umshini Wako’ became a clarion call to hand over illegal forearms to the police during a gun amnesty that ended earlier this year. The campaign was the brainchild of Clinton Bridgeford, executive creative director at Y&R Cape Town, whose agency received an Ubuntu Award for their successfully integrated campaign and a further bronze in the category Radio Commercials. To read what Ivor Powell, Kevin Bloom, Lesego Rampolokeng and others had to say in Art South Africa‘s extended enquiry into the song ‘Umshini Wami’, order a back issue of the December 2008 edition. Edited by Sean O’Toole, the edition opens with a custom graphic by Richard Hart and Roger Jardine, of Durban design agency Disturbance.

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