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#NewCampaign: Gimme #HopeJoanna

Grid Worldwide, in association with a number of other companies, launched its #HopeJoanna campaign on Freedom Day (Friday, 27 April) highlighting the highs and lows of the past 30 years in an effort to convey a message of hope and a sense of optimism to all South Africans. In the words of Clinton Bridgeford, ECD at Grid Worldwide, it is a reminder to all South Africans that our hard-won freedom needs to be cherished and built on.
#NewCampaign: Gimme #HopeJoanna

“It’s a movement that was initiated and funded by a number of companies who have come together around the objective of lifting our collective moral and inspire a feeling of hope,” explains Bridgeford. As the campaign wasn’t commissioned by a client, they’ve had a very limited budget to work off, so they hope more sponsors will come on board so that they can keep the campaign alive and funded for the rest of the year.

The campaign is really a social movement, drawing on Eddy Grant’s Hope Jo’anna adapted using Zolani Mahola's (from Freshlyground) vocals in an electro-house style.

Here, Bridgeford tells us more about it, what they mean by the pay-off line: “When We Have Hope, We Have Everything” and why this is “a case of fiction and life blurring in dramatic fashion”…

What makes the campaign special?

We believe that part of what makes it special is the intention to inspire as opposed to selling something. It’s not every day (in advertising) you get to help lift the collective conscience and mood of your country.

What is the key message? Explain the pay-off line, "When We Have Hope, We Have Everything.”

We South Africans have always found a way to overcome insurmountable challenges; we have the will and ability to overcome the recent social and political challenges. All we need is to believe in one another; we need to give each other hope.

Comment on the music aspect and how it adds to portraying this message.

Something that really struck us was just how poignant the lyrics of Eddy Grants Hope Jo’anna are today. In many ways, they are more appropriate in 2018 than they were in 1988. We believe that the song carries a lot of residual memory of the time in which it was created and reminds SA just how far we have come, which mirrored the visual treatment of the TV spot. It was felt, though, that the song needed to be reproduced to be more in line with current South African musical tastes. Freshlyground, DJ Zion and Rob Roy also helped add their own layers of support and gravitas to the message.

In the release it was written: “What is fascinating about this piece of work is that even as it was being made, South Africa was going through a key moment of socio-political high drama. Here was a case of fiction and life blurring in dramatic fashion.” Please elaborate.

We started the campaign at the height of the state capture reports and groundswell movements by all South Africans to bring it to an end. It was also a time where the leadership of the country was in question and in flux.

Why did you decide to go the TVC route? What other platforms/mediums have you used?

We are using all traditional media, social media and digital platforms, but the TV spot always has a unique ability to convey a message in a very emotive and engaging manner.

What makes this campaign innovative/disruptive?

Its message, intention and honest reflection of our recent past.

What is the desired result and what has the response been so far?

We are hoping to spark debate and encourage South Africans to share their stories and messages of hope.

What’s next?

The new song Hope Jo’anna will be released commercially in the next two weeks, followed by an integrated print and tactical campaign.

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram

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