South Africa has invested several billion dollars into hosting the FIFA World Cup, in large part to boost its image on the world stage. The country is highly motivated by “reputation-anxiety,” says South African journalist Mark Gevisser. But the spotlight holds a risk. As a senior government official told him: “When the world’s cameras are trained on you, sure they pick up the feel-good stories … but they also look for trouble—which is not difficult to find in South Africa.” (Case in point: This AlJazeera English broadcast, titled “South Africa crime clouds World Cup” on YouTube.)
To keep the emphasis on the positive, South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) has been sponsoring the Shine 2010 campaign, which consists of a website and the usual social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, etc.). The site (billed as “Home of the 2010 World Cup good news”) offers an upbeat blog, a Good News section, video clips, podcasts and guides for World Cup attendees. “We believe that confidence in South Africa only needs a home,” the About section explains. The idea is to “shape perceptions online” and inspire locals “to be active ambassadors,” FNB’s head of marketing told BizCommunity.com.
For a brand operating in a relatively new nation (the post-apartheid era began in 1994) worried about potential embarrassment, FNB seems to be doing a good job not only positioning itself as a South Africa booster but giving citizens the tools to join in.
Photo Credit: http://www.shine2010.co.za/community/default.aspx