Thursday, 5 January 2012

Yes we can

I think that if the FIFA World Cup 2010 did nothing else, it did unify South Africans more and ignited a sense of all fighting for the same cause. I just remember the hosting of a rugby match (a traditionally more white, Afrikaner sport) on the 22nd of May 2010 between the Blue Bulls ( from Pretoria) and the Crusaders ( from New Zealand) at Orlando Stadium, in Soweto ( it stands for South Western Township). Instead of focussing on the influx of white people into a black township and turning it into some racial debate, the people of Soweto embraced  the visitors and it became a party of fans decked out in blue and drinking Black Label ( a local beer) in shebeens. Friends who went told me that the locals invited them into their homes and that it really felt like a moment of integration and friendship. Here is a slide-show of photographs taken on the day, and here a link to a video of a journalist (?) travelling with the Bulls' greatest fan.

Now, more than a year later, Coca Cola has launched a series of advertisements and a site, reasonstobelieve, that also speak to the unifying character of the World Cup and to a sense of optimism regarding South Africa's future. Many people feel it is unsafe and emigrate elsewhere, and although I often also feel the same way, there is still a sense of loyalty to this country because it is home and it has formed my opinions to be more accepting and more conscious of other people's struggles.

I know Coke is appealing to our emotions and it is all a bit clich├ęd what with the children singing about a "brand new day", but I still think it is a nice ad to see in between those for burglar bars, supermarket discounts and weight-loss pills.

There are three different versions, if you like the ad check them out on Coca Cola SA's Vimeo page ( the link is under the video).

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