The International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s anti-trafficking Public Service Announcement (PSA) won the Best Overall Award at South Africa’s 9th MultiChoice VUKA! Awards, held at The Bassline in Newtown, Johannesburg, on Wednesday 21 November 2007.
The tv commercial, produced by Lesley Anne Roe of Saatchi & Saatchi and directed by Amy Alais of Fresh Eye Film Productions in Johannesburg, also walked away with the best soundtrack award. Both awards were won in the Professional Category.
The commercial focuses on a girl in Zambia being lured into prostitution in South Africa with the false promise of becoming a model. The unassuming young woman is not aware of her trafficker’s deceptive ploys, but the audience is alerted through a series of subliminal phrases that become part of the dusty township landscape as the plot unfolds, for example, text on a passing taxi and graffiti on a wall. The commercial encourages viewers to ‘see the truth’ and call IOM’s counter-trafficking helpline for South Africa – 0800 555 999.
This PSA is the product of a fruitful collaboration between IOM and international advertising firm, Saatchi & Saatchi.
Grant Meldrum, Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa motivates his company’s involvement in the project. “We were touched by the IOM’s work and the difference it makes to women who are trapped in appalling conditions.”
“This hard-hitting PSA captures the evil realities of human trafficking and shows how ruthless traffickers shatter the hopes and dreams of their victims”, says Karen Blackman, Information Specialist for IOM’s Southern African Counter-Trafficking Assistance Programme (SACTAP). “Human trafficking is happening in Southern Africa today, but awareness levels remain worryingly low.”
The advert has so far been aired on South African channels SABC 1, SABC 2, SABC 3 and Etv in primetime slots, as well as CNN and BBC World on DStv, which broadcasts throughout Southern Africa.
During the two weeks of its broadcast at the end of May 2007, the advert prompted a spike in relevant calls to IOM’s helpline; compared with the two previous weeks, about twenty times more calls were recorded, particularly requests for information about human trafficking.
As part of the reward for winning these awards, MultiChoice will screen the commercial free of charge on a range of DSTV channels throughout 2008.
MultiChoice is a premium television entertainment provider, broadcasting 70 video, over 40 audio and 28 radio channels, and more than 6 data channels, 24 hours a day on its DStv platform.
Says Jacki Rikotla, Corporate Affairs General Manager of Multichoice: “Every year we dare aspiring and professional filmmakers and advertising creatives to put their skills and energy into making an advert that counts for our society. And every year without hesitation they meet and surpass that challenge.”
(Best overall and Best soundtrack)
A glamorous woman entices an innocent would-be immigrant to South Africa, whilst the images and text depict a contrasting reality. A hard-hitting commercial with the message that human trafficking is slavery.
Charity Organisation: International Organization for Migration
Production House: Saatchi & Saatchi
Producer: Lesley Anne Roe
Director: Amy Alais
Cinematographer: Lars Cox
Concept/Script: Alison Stansfield, Louis Maass and Gift Manganyi
Sound Design: Louis Enslin
Editor: Jason Basson
For more information, contact:
Nde Ndifonka, International Organization for Migration, MRF Pretoria, Tel: +27 12 342 2789 Email: email@example.com – www.iom.org.za
Karen Forrester, Saatchi & Saatchi, Johannesburg, Tel +27 11 548 6000, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – www.saatchi.com