2019 Winner

Black and Abroad

Go Back to Africa


Grand Prix

GoldData/Tech Strategy

GoldGame Changer

GoldNiche Strategy

The internet is a marketer’s oyster, where shucking big data is the order of the day. While finding and consuming gargantuan amounts of information can be thrilling, data gluttony is often difficult to digest.

Not for FCB/Six though. Proving once again that it can scrape and assign meaning to an unfathomable amount of data, the agency’s “Go Back to Africa” work for U.S.-based Black & Abroad is a feat worthy of a Grand Prix. The campaign also won three Golds, one each for mastering Data/Tech, achieving Game Changer status and its Niche Strategy genius.

The top Strategy Awards winner turned an archaic racial slur into an uplifting call-to-action in a campaign that also has a Grand Prix Cannes Lion to its name. It started with the misperception that Africa is a dangerous and undesirable place to visit. Black & Abroad is “a cultural collective dedicated to redefining world experiences for the modern Black traveler” and set out to address this widespread belief in tandem with the misrepresentation (or lack) of black travelers in commercial images.

For more than 300 years, 12.5 million African people were removed from their homes and shipped to the West where they were forced into slavery, and oppression continues today, with social media users telling those of colour to “Go Back to Africa” every three minutes. Those racist bullies became the target and their slurs became the message: the team hijacked the phrase as it appeared on Twitter and then used it in headlines for hyper-targeted ads promoting 54 African countries.

Those ads drove people to GoBackToAfrica.com – an algorithmically curated content hub that contained 54 galleries, built with the purpose of showing members of the Black community traveling in Africa. FCB/ Six used machines to compile and shortlist several thousand travel-related images from millions that appear online every day. The final images were not selected by AI though, the human team had to follow ethical principles around “shadeism” – a type of racism that implies some shades of black are better than others (however, the AI program learned from those decisions for its own subsequent recos).

The living, breathing, data-driven platform powered interest-based programmatic ads to members of the Black community online. And the strategy created a powerful and positive narrative, which trickled down to the Black & Abroad brand, creating a 315% increase in awareness.

Digital Agency: FCB/SIX

Ian Mackenzie
Executive Creative Director, FCB/SIX

Frederick Nduna
Associate Creative Director, FCB/SIX

Andrew Bernardi
Associate Creative Director, FCB/SIX

Ramon Charles
Designer, FCB/SIX

Curtis Chapman
Copywriter, FCB/SIX

Fraser Jackson
Account Director, FCB/SIX

Gillian Morrison
Integrated Producer, FCB/SIX

Kristine Lippett
Junior Producer, FCB/SIX

Anna Percy-Dove
EVP, Strategy, FCB/SIX

Paul Hanlon
Director, Strategy, FCB/SIX

Simran Kaur
Strategist, FCB/SIX

Andrew Yang
Senior Manager, Data Analytics, FCB/SIX

Abdul Dau
Data Analyst, FCB/SIX

Jacob Ciesielski
VP, Head of Data & Technology, FCB/SIX

John Sime
Product & Technology Solutions, FCB/SIX

Heung Lee
Front-End Developer, FCB/SIX

Andrea Cook
President, FCB/SIX

Melanie Mitchem
SVP, Director of Global Communications & PR, FCB NY

Colin Murdock
Editor, Rooster Post Production

Editor: Jeff Poremba
Editor, Rooster Post Production

Shane Preston
Assistant Editor, Rooster Post Production

Yumi Suyama
Executive Producer, Rooster Post Production

Shannon Stephaniuk
Public Relations, Glossy PR

Mark Domitric
Music Producer, Grayson Matthews

Vlad Nikolic
Sound Engineer, Grayson Matthews

Nicholas Shaw
Media Producer, Grayson Matthews

For submission inquiries, please contact Clare O'Brien at cobrien@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.