The Loerie Awards, held in Cape Town 21-23 September 2012, is aimed at recognising, rewarding and fostering creative excellence in all areas of brand communication This year the Loerie Awards created new categories that encouraged entries from outside South Africa. The rest of Africa and the Middle East were encouraged to participate in the seven different categories covering disciplines from eventing and PR, to integrated campaigns. MetropolitanRepublic Uganda, although only being in operation for a year, won a bronze Loerie for its MTN SIM card registration campaign.
"A number of well established advertising agencies in Africa from very large communication groups entered campaigns which makes the win that much more meaningful for us," says Alex Rukundo, Managing Director, MetropolitanRepublic Uganda.
MetropolitanRepublic Uganda was opened in 2011 when Johannesburg-based agency, MetropolitanRepublic recently spread their wings into sub-Saharan Africa venturing into Zambia, Swaziland, Rwanda, Southern Sudan and Uganda, after winning the MTN account across the South, East African region. The campaign:
Early this year the Ugandan government stated that by March 2013, every SIM card in the country would need to be registered with the authorities. If it wasn't, the SIM card would be cancelled and the holder would lose their mobile number forever.
In a country where street names are scarce and a vast number of the population do not have ID documents or physical addresses, one's telephone number has becomes integral in their identification.
In a bid to get MTN customers to register their sim cards before the deadline, MetropolitanRepublic Uganda developed a campaign centred on a fictional character, David Dumba, to showcase how extremely important it is to have your SIM card registered and in turn retain one's 'identity'.
The campaign depicts David's old friend Steve who is desperately trying to get into contact with David to let him know that he has inherited 250 million dollars from a distant relative. Steve starts placing his message in different ways that David might see them.
The campaign started by putting up posters in the MTN offices then went on to place an advert in the national papers. Soon TV and radio adverts were broadcast. Finally billboards all over the country sprang up. Several Ugandans started looking for David whilst some pretended to be him by using the call to action, Steve's cell number.
MTN's message was made very clear to its seven million customers, do not become like David, your mobile number is your identity, register your MTN mobile number today. The proof of this is the 65% that have already registered their SIM cards.