Branding A Movement
Epic Change Begins For
The Children of Tanzania
The Tanzania highlands have the worst HIV/AIDS rate in the country—with a prior estimated 15,000 infected orphans in a region of just 100,000 people. Although world health organizations donated resources in the past, virtually none reached afflicted people due to government corruption. Thanks to the extraordinary people of Tanzania and their new branded PIUMA movement, AIDS rates now are improving along with new hope for the children.
Make A Difference
A first in Tanzania, a 56-mile PIUMA march brought HIV/AIDS awareness, testing and prevention deep into the country’s remote villages—where perpetuated by ignorance and poverty, a hitherto dire crisis ravaged the population. Each of the hundreds of native Tanzanian volunteers and marchers are HIV positive. PIUMA is comprised of 250 HIV patients who have tested positive and are receiving antiretroviral medication. Each one joined in song as they marched.
Here in the Highlands of Tanzania the local HIV/AIDS advocacy group PIUMA marches from village to village under the banner of its new brand. As the seeds of hope, proud members exude their new face to teach awareness and bring life to an otherwise deteriorating situation.
~ Edwin Deetz, BBC
Brilliant! As [your agency has] shown us, the need for strategic branding goes beyond 5th Avenue…
~ Edwin Deetz, BBC
The challenging journey began with a client of ours who was deeply shaken after he traveled deep into Tanzania. Thousands of HIV positive Tanzanians—many of them children—were dying and receiving no treatment. Global efforts never reached intended destinations. Corrupt government officials ran off with the funding.
After returning to North America, our client reached out to us and reported his experience. As we we sat down and talked, it was clear that, yes, we could do something to help. We concluded that efforts needed to start with education and awareness, then getting medical help into remote villages.
So, tireless adventurer and creative director Michael Wou packed his bags and flew to Tanzania to meet with PIUMA volunteers—working closely to build this new organization to fight HIV/ AIDS; Creating the messaging, brand design system, tools, media and brand applications. Surprisingly, one of the most important applications was the PIUMA stencil along with a simple can of red paint. The stencil version of the PIUMA logo became a rallying device applied to flags, walls, posters, tattoos, and anywhere else a stencil could go. The stencil was incredibly effective as a reminder why the PIUMA movement is so important. The symbol and the story quickly spread from village to village deep in the heart of Tanzania.
Creative Director, Michael Wou, as he travels from village to village, starting a new movement to help the people of Tanzania.
What We Learned
The PIUMA story of adversity and hope was vital to creating a branded experience with transformative results. Meaningful stories move people, get retold, and inspire actions.
Hope + Adversity = Story.
Story + Action = Results.
Stories shape how the brand looks, feels, and speaks—yes, but much more. Stories also articulate shared values that people will passionately spread, creating actions that can lead to a movement—making a difference in the world.
The resilience and strength of the Tanzanian people is legend to us. Two men appeared huddled in front of a village fire when we awoke around 6AM. They came to join the 56-mile PIUMA AIDS march that day. They’d walked 40 miles the night before—and both had AIDS.