South Africa's Awkward Teenage Years

South Africa teenage image.jpg

By Eve Fairbanks, Foreign Policy, January 3, 2012

Not long after I moved to South Africa, in mid-2009, I was invited to the government's relaunch of its national "brand." Over hors d'oeuvres and cocktails in a pavilion overlooking the Cape Town waterfront, Paul Bannister, the tanned, pink-shirted CEO of a governmental marketing arm called Brand South Africa, told a group of  journalists that it was time to move past Nelson Mandela and the Rainbow Nation thing and toward a new, more muscular national identity.

How to characterize this new identity, though, posed a trickier problem. Bannister offered us a series of ad agency-generated concepts, each one vaguer and more Madison Avenue than the last:"South Africa: alive with possibility." "A country that inspires others in different ways." "The Apple of nations: Think different!" Read more ...