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11 July 2012

What it means to be South African

Brand South Africa recently launched the ‘Inspiring New Ways’ television commercial that encapsulates the ‘can do’ spirit of South Africa.

Natalie du Toit Champion swimmer Natalie du Toit

What’s truly amazing is the number of South Africans doing fantastic things locally and internationally. Part of the power of the commercial is the mix of well-known names and faces with relative unknowns. Our spirit of finding new ways to get things done, to succeed, runs very deep in us as a people - Matthew Barnes, Executive Creative Director,  Publicis.

The emotionally charged Inspiring New Ways television commercial was launched last week by Brand South Africa.

The commercial features famous South Africans – boxer Baby Jake Matlala, singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka, comedian Trevor Noah, soccer legend Lucas Radebe, musician Trevor Rabin and designer Nkhensani Nkosi, among others - alongside a number of lesser-known South Africans who are making waves in their fields of expertise.

Over 20 inspiring South Africans – shot both locally and in Los Angeles - are featured delivering a very powerful message of what it means to be South African.

Miller Matola, Brand South Africa's CEO, believes that the commercial illustrates the determination of South Africans to overcome obstacles and find new and better ways of doing things.

'Through this television commercial,' he explained, 'we want to get across the message that Inspiring New Ways is an over-arching country position for South Africa relating to everything we do and who we are.'

Matola points out that the pay-off line, Inspiring New Ways, is a natural progression from the Alive With Possibility slogan that was previously used to market South Africa. The new campaign, however, reflects a more mature outlook.

'Since our successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, and our inclusion in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping of nations and in the G20, South Africa has matured a lot and come of age to a large degree. We are no longer an adolescent nation and this progression needs to be reflected in our brand identity and positioning,' said Matola.

Matthew Barnes, Executive Creative Director at Publicis, the agency that devised the commercial, says the mix of characters was chosen from a very long list.

'What's truly amazing is the number of South Africans doing fantastic things locally and internationally. Part of the power of the commercial is the mix of well-known names and faces with relative unknowns. Our spirit of finding new ways to get things done, to succeed, runs very deep in us as a people,' he said.