Monash - Blaccout Change It

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A.B. Original are a hip-hop duo from Australia. They’re fiercely outspoken and make headlines for their liberal views on Indigenous issues and social injustice.

They’re also anti-commercial and anti-establishment – but for the first time ever, they’ve partnered with a brand to write an original new track specifically for a campaign. The collaboration between A.B. Original and Monash University was unlikely and unexpected, but it demonstrated what can happen when two parties are passionately aligned to not only reach a specific audience, but to provoke them into action.

‘If You Don’t Like It, Change It’ was a campaign that woke people up from their apathy. Climate change, war, disease, famine, inequality… we’ll complain about it on Facebook, but what are we really doing to make positive change? Monash University needed to slap people into action and remind them why universities exist: to make change for the better.

The idea’s provocative nature needed a voice to match, and A.B Original was the perfect fit. Their song, ‘Blaccout’, was written specifically for the campaign. It was dripping with attitude, and the lyrics married with Monash’s message. When ‘Blaccout’ launched with the campaign, it got music blogs, fans and news sites talking. People either loved it or loathed it, creating a perfect storm for a passionate discussion about how we must take action to create change in the world.

The film and song were so controversial that they got the attention of conservative media commentators all over the country – even the Federal Minister for Education. Ultimately, the film was banned from free to air TV, which just made people want to engage with the campaign even more. Six months later, Monash University recorded their highest number of new applications and outperformed its competitors. ‘If You Don’t Like It, Change It’ was unlike any university campaign Australia had ever seen, and it rewrote the rules for university advertising.

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