Innovative use of currency in outdoor advertising spotlights hyper-inflation in Zimbabwe

23Apr09
Zimbabwean Poster

Zimbabwean Poster

Here’s an interesting spot by Steve Hall on Adrants.

As you know the Zimbabwean economy is in meltdown and sadly the currency is now near-worthless.

The Zimbabwean is a popular newspaper in Zim and is also distributed in other countries. At home it has been hit by a 55% luxury tax by the government, pushing its price out of the reach of many readers. So a poster campaign developed by TBWA\HUNT\LASCARIS aims to raise readership amongst people following the plight of Zimbabwe, but living in either South Africa or in England.

The posters use actual Zimbabwe currency to form the visual backdrop to the ad; with the headline ‘Thanks to Mugabe This Money Is Wallpaper.’

I noticed Graeme Douglas, W&K London, post a photo of a 100 Trillion Zimbabwe dollar note recently.

100 Trillion Dollar Note

100 Trillion Dollar Note

They had a value of around US$300 each the day they were launched, if I’ve understood the exchange rate correctly. They are now being sold as oddities for collectors on ebay for US$5 or US$10.

Inflation rose to 231 million percent, year-on-year, in July 2008 and this hyper-inflation has led to a devaluation of the local currency. It is now fallen out of everyday use and since February 2009 it has been legal for individuals and businesses to adopt other currencies to make payments. The US and South African currencies now being most common in every day transactions.

100 Billion Dollar Eggs

100 Billion Dollar Eggs

And here in London we think we have economic problems? I guess we all do, but some perspective is possibly helpful.

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