SA ad picks up top honour

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Ad agency Ogilvy Johannesburg has been announced as one of 10 winners of the inaugural 2011 TED Ads Worth Spreading Challenge at the high profile TED2011 conference in California. This honour was bestowed on Ogilvy Johannesburg’s highly acclaimed Selinah campaign for HIV/Aids relief organisation, The Topsy Foundation.

Produced by Egg Films, Selinah features the true story of an Aids sufferer who experiences the ravaging effects of her disease being reversed over a period of 90 days through the administration of anti-retrovirals (ARVs). The remarkable piece serves as an illustration of the power of advertising to do good. Since the launch of the campaign last year, Topsy has seen an influx of support, and the number of patients requesting ARV treatment has also risen sharply.

The 2011 TED Ads Worth Spreading Challenge, which focused on online video, called on creative individuals around the world to submit their ads worth spreading, and culminated in thousands of entries. The winning ads were those that served to raise the bar, elevate the craft, and invent new forms of online engagement.

As one of the winners, Ogilvy’s Selinah finds itself in the company of Intel’s The Chase, and Google’s The Wilderness Downtown. According to the multidisciplinary judging panel, the Topsy campaign was one of the stand-out entries to the competition.

Says Ogilvy Johannesburg Executive Creative Director Fran Luckin: “We are proud and humbled to receive this recognition from what is undoubtedly one of the most powerful international gatherings of thought leaders in the world today. Selinah’s power and deep emotional appeal seems to be able to transcend cultures and continents. We are thrilled that what was a labour of love for the team continues to have such a positive impact on the world at large.

“Selinah has already enjoyed great success – both on and offline – in South Africa, and we are hoping that the TED recognition will elevate the campaign, and its message, to another level by exposing the plight of HIV/Aids sufferers, and the hope that ARVs provide, to a global audience’, concludes Luckin.

Winners of the TED Ads worth Spreading award will receive thousands of dollars worth of exposure on TED.com, YouTube and Facebook as well as during other large TED conferences in 2011.

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