Are you ready to enter the Democratic Republic of Design? Absa is. As headline sponsor of this year’s Design Indaba in Cape Town, the bank has shrugged off the fuddy duddy image of banks to develop a stunning design driven campaign in support of the Indaba.
The campaign has a serious underlying message: that design is the backbone of a country’s economy and that a country that honours design is a good place. To that end, Absa has developed a virtual ‘country’, the Democratic Republic of Design.
“Delegates share inspirational experiences at Design Indaba by tweeting, posting photos and attending lectures. We therefore decided to reward them for doing just that this year by inviting them to become citizens of The Democratic Republic of Design (DRD). This is a virtual country where, above all else, design and inspiration rule. In the DRD, capturing and sharing inspiration has a value, a worth, that makes both the citizens and the country as a whole richer,” explains Sizakele Marutlulle, Absa’s chief marketing officer: Africa.
“Our DRD campaign speaks to the heart of good design, and is crafted to be engaging and inspirational. This theme will run through all our touch points, from our initial delegate communications to the décor in our media lounge in what is essentially a highly targeted, fully integrated and dynamic sponsorship campaign,” she says.
Delegates need to download the free app to become DRD citizens, and then tweet and post photos about the conference to earn virtual currency – design dollars (D$). These dollars can be spent at the DRD Concept Store. Delegates can also earn D$ for their fellow citizens, by “liking” their tweets and photos.
“The Concept Store is our real-world touch point for the DRD. It contains a selection of beautifully designed products. Citizens can cash in their earnings here to get their hands on these must-have items,” Marutlulle adds.
In addition to earning D$, the daily highest earning citizen will become president of the DRD and receive a VIP experience that evening for themselves and a friend. The top ten daily highest earning citizens, as well as 10 randomly selected delegates, will go into the grand prize draw to win an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to Design Indaba 2014.
The DRD app will be made available for download before Design Indaba is underway, and while it will have no live-streaming content at that stage, it will be populated with speaker information and profiles; general conference news and programming; and information about DRD products that will be on sale.
Being an active social citizen is central to the Absa brand. Absa believes that to achieve sustainable economic growth, every individual needs to be empowered to make a meaningful economic contribution. Thus, in addition to the DRD concept, Absa will be announcing an exciting competition at the end of Design Indaba, which will help one young designer to kick-start a great business start-up idea.
Check out our Pinterest board on how the design developed, and some stunning products in the Concept Store.