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#BizUnity: A Citizens in Solidarity movement

The TBWA Group, along with a number of partners and contributors from various media organisations are working with the Solidarity Fund to launch a national campaign. TBWA ECD Carl Willoughby tells us more about their Citizens in Solidarity campaign and why we need to come together as not just an industry but a nation...
The idea was developed by a small team who collaborated with the client, Solidarity Fund with the intention to affect behavioural change and inspire the nation during this time.

#BizUnity: A Citizens in Solidarity movement
Commenting on the importance of unity or coming together for the industry and the nation as a whole during this pandemic, TBWA ECD Carl Willoughby could not stress enough how important this is.
With the need to kickstart the economy and I guess life in general, we’re seeing people ambitiously trying to resume life as if Covid doesn’t exist. This is not the case, in fact we need to exercise more caution and adopt these behavioural actions to help us through this pandemic. The industry coming together helps us amplify this important message beyond our own means. The nation coming together helps us fight this virus. We’ve come together before, as South Africans we can certainly do so again.
As much of the country prepares to go back to work, it is essential that everyone takes personal responsibility for how they act. Washing your hands, wearing a mask, keeping a safe social distance doesn’t just protect you, but also those around you. So the campaign asks all South Africans to display that unique generosity of spirit and can-do attitude as we actively fight Covid-19, together. By doing this they become not just citizens of South Africa but also citizens in solidarity, and that is really the crux of this campaign.

Willoughby commented on its effectiveness, being predominantly copy-based. "Copy can be direct, it can be short and instructional, and the boldness of it helps create a recognisable identity. While copy-based it also allowed us to create a sense of colour, of vibrancy that is uplifting. We didn’t want the communication to seem depressing or dreary. The structure also allowed us to create clear messaging in various languages to help us remain relevant to all South Africans. In short, if the messages are clear, then it’s easy for people to understand how they can become citizens in solidarty."

Carl Willoughby, TBWA's ECD
Carl Willoughby, TBWA's ECD
The Citizens in Solidarity campaign will appear in all media from TV, print, radio, out of home and across all social channels. In addition, role models such as Bryan Habana have joined the initiative. He is also currently working through his own foundation to deliver food parcels to the most vulnerable.

The campaign also has a smart layer of utility. Any South African individual, brand or corporate can access a free downloadable Citizens in Solidarity toolkit. This toolkit can then be used to integrate the campaign messaging and artwork within their own communications and platforms. The idea is for the campaign to become a movement, and for that we need the largest share of voice possible.

This is a call for everyone to get involved. "The response to the campaign is great, but we urge people to help us spread the message, to take action. We want corporates to reach out. We want them the see this campaign as a simple open-source solution for some of the necessary communication they need during this time. All they have to do is add their logo. It’s that simple."

To find out how you can get involved as a member of the public, brand or corporate, visit

#Newsmaker: TBWA's Carl Willoughby seeks a better way of working in the ad world
#Newsmaker: TBWA's Carl Willoughby seeks a better way of working in the ad world

Carl Willoughby, who joined TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris in December as ECD, responsible for the major Standard Bank and Nissan integrated accounts, is perhaps more challenged to find a better, more collaborative way of working, not just within the agency, but...

Jessica TennantBy Jessica Tennant 12 Feb 2018

About Jessica Tennant

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