The Best of the Best Award is recognized as the top campaign of the year, and last year our winner also celebrated the most Gold medals won at the CMA Awards!
The 2019 Best of the Best Award was presented to Black & Abroad for its powerful Go Back to Africa campaign, in partnership with creative agency FCB/SIX.
Go Back to Africa is a pan-African tourism campaign that turns a racial slur into an uplifting call to action for Black & Abroad, a North American travel brand serving the black community.
Black & Abroad discovered two barriers to promoting African tourism. The first was widespread misconceptions of Africa as dangerous and undesirable. The second was under-representation of black tourists in commercial travel imagery.
The goal: create a positive narrative around black travel while building Black & Abroad’s brand equity.
Sadly, racial slurs like “go back to Africa” are used on social media platforms and that narrative has to change. The strategy was to flip the slur and make it a rallying point. The campaign brazenly hijacked hateful uses of “go back to Africa” on Twitter, redacted racist context, then used it as positive content for hyper-targeted ads.
Hateful tweets can become powerful raw material to shape a better story about Africa: one that involved, rather than excluded, the black community. But completing the story required images of real black travellers in Africa. The opportunity was to find those images.
The solution was an algorithm that combs Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for African travel-related visuals, then uses Google Vision AI to identify context and composition.
The ads drive to GoBackToAfrica.com, a mobile hub designed to address the lack of representation in commercial travel imagery. This unique content platform contains 54 country galleries, celebrating the black community travelling in Africa.
By flipping from hate to a proud headline, this campaign is helping to rewrite the narrative in a powerful way.
Chief Creative Officer: Ian Mackenzie
Associate Creative Directors: Frederick Nduna, Andrew Bernardi
Designer: Ramon Charles
Copywriter: Curtis Chapman
Account Director: Fraser Jackson
Integrated Producer: Gillian Morrison
Junior Producer: Kristine Lippett
EVP, Strategy: Anna Percy-Dove
Director, Strategy: Paul Hanlon
Strategist: Simran Kaur
Senior Manager, Data Analytics: Andrew Yang
Data Analyst: Abdul Dau
VP, Head of Data and Technology: Jacob Ciesielski
Product & Technology Solutions: John Sime
Front-End Developer: Heung Lee
President: Andrea Cook
SVP, Director of Global Communications & PR: Melanie Mitchem
Post Production House: Rooster Post Production
Editor: Colin Murdock, Jeff Poremba
Assistant Editor: Shane Preston
Executive Producer: Yumi Suyama
Media Agency: Initiative Media
Public Relations: Shannon Stephaniuk - Glossy PR
Music/Sound: Grayson Matthews
Audio Design Music Producer: Mark Domitric
Sound Engineer: Vlad Nikolic
Media Producer: Nicholas Shaw
Let's see who takes home Gold this year; submit your campaigns for the 2020 CMA Virtual Awards!
The CMA Marketing & Experiences Team