Money Matters

Posted on 2010/05/04

It is difficult to imagine using a 100 Trillion dollar note in your daily living for shopping let alone advertising. Shouldn’t this figure be used to describe the GDP of a country and how depressing would it be that you couldn’t even buy a loaf of bread with it.

Trillion Dollar Bank Note & Flyer


It has been a little over a year since the  Zimbabwean dollar was put to pasture, and to commemorate this moment we look back on the savvy campaign put together by South African ad agency TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris, The Trillion Dollar campaign.We can all get a bit jaded with advertising then out of the blue a stealthy idea appears breaking through the white noise, an intelligent disruption.

So here is the little bit of intelligent disruption that poignantly brought the plight of ailing Zimbabwe front and center, and aimed to increase readership for the newspaper, The Zimbabwean.

The campaign deftly used the near to worthless dollar notes printed with provocative messages. Granted the act of intentionally defacing legal tender was likely illegal yet it was far too cruel yet poetic an idea to miss up. By printing on the currency, a cheaper solution than buying used paper, the medium became a strong element of the message and powerful evidence of the collapsing economy.

This brilliant campaign included billboards, posters and tearaway flyers. It received 7 awards at the 2009 Annual Cannes Advertising Festival, the most accolades for any campaign originating from South Africa in the last 57 years of Festival.


Poster & Flyers

About the Zimbabwean Dollar

On April 12, 2009 the Zimbabwean dollar is officially abandoned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

On 2 February 2009, the Reserve bank removes 12 zeros from the currency.

On January 16, 2009 100 Trillion Dollar note issued (approximate equivalent at time of issue $30 USD)

Inflation as of 2008 estimated at 231 Million Percent.

About The Zimbabwean

The first newspaper publication for Zimbabweans in exile of which there are over 3 Million living between the U.K. and South Africa.

Since 2002, freedom of the press has been severely hampered in Zimbabwe with the passing of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),

About TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris, South Africa

Through advertising, causing disruption which in essence is the art of asking better questions.

In the Annual Cannes Advertising Festival 2009, The Trillion Dollar campaign won 2 Bronze Lions, 2 Gold Media Lions Best Use of Mixed Media, 1 Gold Outdoor Lion for Best Outdoor, 1 Grand Prix & 1 Silver Direct Lion Award.

[Images via The Zimbabwean’s Flickr stream]

Where is Zimbabwe on the African continent?

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Posted in: Design