Go back to Africa is one of the nasty jibes with which racists taunt migrants. According to NetBase’s social listening platform, the phrase is used over 4,500 times a month online. FCB/SIX has repurposed it, turning the negative taunt into a positive affirmation of the appeal of the African continent, for Black & Abroad a travel and lifestyle company for Black travellers.
FCB/SIX and IPG’s Initiative Media have developed a series of paid ads on Twitter, YouTube and digital OOH, that blacks out hate-fueled Twitter posts and reframes them into positive tourism messages that show the beauty and diversity of Africa’s 54 countries.
The campaign video shows how that was done.
The campaign transforms social media user-generated photos from African American travelers using an AI platform to turn the negative taunt into positive affirmations of the attractions on the African continent, such as Go back to beauty, Go back to the edge (over rugged landscape images), Go back to the start (over images of historical sites).
“One of the campaign’s goals is to effectively strip the perceived power away from those who use the phrase, Go back to Africa, with derogatory intent,” says Eric Martin, co-founder of Black & Abroad. “If we can strip the expression of its impact by showing more diverse pictures of this beautiful continent, then we can debunk the age-old narrative that Africa is a desolate, disease-ridden wasteland undeserving of our time and travels.”
At the heart of the project is a digital platform designed to locate, quality control and gain permissions to use aspirational images of African Americans travelling in Africa. The platform, fueled by Google Vision and crafted by FCB/SIX, is an AI-powered content marketing engine purpose-built for the travel and tourism industry. The platform searches for images and ingests thousands of pieces of user-generated visual content from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It then uses Google Vision’s image recognition technology to filter through content by location, subject, quality and relevancy – all in real-time. Once curated and customised into campaign materials, the content is pushed through Black & Abroad’s social channels via hashtag, #GoBackToAfrica and website, GoBacktoAfrica.com.
“Do a quick Google image or stock image search of the word, travel, and you’ll immediately see how biased the industry is toward Caucasians,” noted Ian Mackenzie, executive director of FCB/SIX. “GoBackToAfrica.com is a place where African American travellers can see themselves represented with positive images set in each one of Africa’s 54 countries.”
Executive Creative Director: Ian Mackenzie
Associate Creative Directors: Fred Nduna & Andrew Bernardi
Copywriter: Curtis Chapman
Designer: Ramon Charles
Account Director: Fraser Jackson
Producers: Gillian Morrison & Kristine Lippett
Strategy: Anna Percy-Dove, Paul Hanlon & Simran Kaur
Data Analytics: Andrew Yang, Abdul Dau
VP, Head of Data and Technology: Jacob Ciesielski
Product & Technology Solutions: John Sime
Front-End Developer: Heung Lee
President: Andrea Cook
SVP, Director of Global Communications & PR: Melanie Mitchem
Post Production: Rooster Post Production
Editor: Colin Murdock, Jeff Poremba
Assistant Editor: Shane Preston
Executive Producers: Kristen Van Fleet & Yumi Suyama
Media Agency: Initiative
Public Relations: Shannon Stephaniuk, Glossy
Music & Sound Design: Grayson Matthews
Music Producer: Mark Domitric
Engineer: Vlad Nikolic
Media Producer: Nicholas Shaw
Client: Black & Abroad
Co-Founder: Eric Martin
Co-Founder: Kent Johnson