VIMN Africa and Ogilvy & Mather partner turn MTV monochrome for Human Rights Day

24-hour #LetsTalkColour campaign sparks progressive debate about race in South Africa
VIMN Africa and Ogilvy & Mather partner turn MTV monochrome for Human Rights Day
VIMN Africa and Ogilvy & Mather partner turn MTV monochrome for Human Rights Day

To celebrate Human Rights Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination last month on 21 March, Viacom-owned youth and music channel MTV (DStv channel 130) and an integrated team at Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) Johannesburg and Gloo@Ogilvy Johannesburg launched #LetsTalkColour – a 24-hour campaign which saw MTV symbolically change all of its broadcast, digital and social media platforms across Africa to black and white.

All creative, content and visuals for #LetsTalkColour were conceptualised and produced by both MTV and O&M in a rapid 48-hour turnaround and encouraged conversation on racial discrimination through broadcast, digital and social media. Pan-African youth channel MTV was aired in monochrome throughout the day, featuring animated quotes on race from various contemporary song lyrics as well as inserts of everyday people talking about the importance of diversity. These were also shared across MTV’s social media platforms for a multi-display experience.

"March 21 is a significant day in South African history," said Dillon Khan, Head of MTV South Africa. "For Human Rights Day, we wanted to get young people to openly speak out against racism and discrimination. And we’re thrilled that the multi-screen approach from Ogilvy & Mather helped us encourage a progressive public debate about the issue, and what it means to young people today."

Within the 24-hour campaign period, the #LetsTalkColour hashtag produced ±22.7 million impressions on Twitter and trended for several hours.

Matthew Barnes, Executive Creative Director of Gloo@Ogilvy Johannesburg, added, “Everything about this campaign was non-traditional – the platform, the content, the timelines and the diversity of the team who helped make it happen. Not having the time to overthink and overanalyse gave the idea an authentic and energetic message. The approach is proof that there is power in collaborating with brave clients who are stepping outside of the traditional advertising model.”

O&M South Africa was delighted to support MTV’s courageous campaign and amplify their message by also going black and white across its website ( and social media channels. O&M is committed in creating a diverse workplace for its people by honouring individuality, human dignity and equality, and believes that Diversity Inspires Creativity™.

Client: Viacom – MTV Africa (Dillon Khan, Spencer Mparutsa)
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg, Gloo@Ogilvy Johannesburg
Chief Creative Officer: Pete Case
Executive Creative Directors: Matthew Barnes, Mariana O’Kelly
Creative Directors: Fred Cilliers, Charles Pantland, Terry Mckenna
Art Directors/Designers: Michael Zulu, Marina Le Roux, Henry Pieterse, Nikita Gemeliaris, Titus Bogatsu, Fraternity Mathabatha, Brent Streeter, Kyle Bowman, Brad Delacoliniere, Agi Masekela, Bheki Mavuso, Kiara Pandaram, Nonhlanhla Mkwanazi, Cecile Brits, Anneke Jacobs, Greg King
Copywriters: Lizell van der Westhuizen, Ntando Msibi,
Business Director/Account Director: Shannon Gahagan, Steph De Raedt
Animators: Marina Le Roux, Henry Pieterse, Nikita Gemeliaris, Jared Gower
Social Media Manager: Lizell van der Westhuizen
Media Buyer: Matthew Watson
Marketing Manager, O&M SA: Mark Zeller

5 Apr 2016 13:09