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Gatorade Can Really Get in South Africa

by on June 26, 2010

This could not have been a better summer for South Africa. Hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the first time ever has produced many commercials not only promoting the world cup but also promoting South Africa herself. Last year the first commercial I stumbled upon was the South Africa “Diski” dance promoting the world cup and Tourism to South Africa.

I have to say I think this dance is so great and after writing a paper based off of this promotional video last year, I was saving my money and convincing a friend that we must go to 2010 FIFA, “When will they do this again?” I said. I think my biggest take away, (looking at it objectively then as someone who was won over by the commercial) was that the commercial and the diski dance made you want to be apart of the people. In the commercial there are natives who work, go to school, play and look as racially and ethnically diverse as any American state, and the obvious tourists that were also very diverse. The commercial was able to successfully promote this feeling, “Come and join us, in South Africa we are one.” That’s the feeling I left with anyway, with that huge diverse crowd dancing the same dance in the streets – they looked like one united nation.

When a commercial can ignite that kind of feeling from an observer from another country, that means your promotion is on the right path. I think any major company looking to expand their brand in South Africa should consider incorporating two major things:

1. Find a nitch that includes South African culture. There is no way a commercial or promotional advertisement will be successful if it is not promoting something relatable that ties in the people’s way of life.

2. Be unifying of the country. To stay on course with the “Brand South Africa” campaign and the marketing direction that the country is taking, it is important that the advertisement promote all of the people then one specific “ethnic group.”

Gatorade would be the perfect company to increase product sales in South Africa. Though it is part of the Pepsi parent company.  In America, Gatorade is directly linked to sports. A good strategy would be to directly make it a drink for school students, connecting with the campaign “1Goal” to educate South African children. Gatorade can use two of the most popular social media outlets to promote itself.

1. Ad purchase on the popular social media community site Zoopy. This mobile and TV web-based community started in 2007 and is quickly growing in membership (and usership) with the people of South Africa. By taking out advertisement that directly links to the Gatorade and the 1Goal education, Gatorade will be able to engage a new audience while supporting an important local cause.

2. Mobile device (mobi-sites as they are referred to in South Africa) usage is the most accessible mode to using the Internet for many people in the country. As mentioned in an interview with Sean Pashley, chief commercial officer of mobile agency Starfish Mobile. A good advertisement for mobile phones is short term and utilizing opportunities where South Africa gets attention like the World Cup (long term tourism – hopefully). Gatorade can make branded content that promotes its efforts to reach school children and promote education and sports at the same time.

This is the perfect time for companies to get involved with South Africa, be original but make sure to add in the South African way. If you can’t get your creative energy flowing just learn to diski to get you on your way.


From → South Africa

One Comment
  1. To me, this post has two distinct parts. The first part works well for me. You dig into the emotion created by the Diski dance and share how it demonstrates a passion for South Africa that is infectious and makes you want to be involved. From there, you go into two lessons that you think that brands can take away if they want to engage in South Africa. It would be great to see a bit more detail around those two suggestions and how you think they might work. The Gatorade part of this post made less sense for me. If you are recommending Gatorade may want to strategically approach targeting South African children in schools to promote their product, that needs more justification. The recommendation to purchase an ad buy on Zoopy also needs more detail on why you think it would be a good idea – particularly when the first part of your post talks more about television and the power of a viral video idea versus just a straight ad buy on something like a mobile network. (3)

    PS – This is a very small thing, but also be careful about minor details in your post that might accidentally undermine your credibility in the reader’s eyes. Your first line talks about “summer in South Africa” – but it is actually their winter.

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