Come on, Cape Town!

I was recently passing through the fantastic new Cape Town International airport and, as a Gautenger, I must admit to a fair degree of envy when comparing the fantastic new departures terminal to that of OR Tambo. Congratulations to the team that put it together, it truly is world class and made the years of departing through a tent well worth it!
Come on, Cape Town! - Brand Union
Just as I was basking in the glow of what the country can achieve, I ran into some of the Cape Town tourism wall posters and was floored by the total lack of thought and due diligence that went into the campaign!

"Cape Town. Live it! Love it!" screams the colourful poster. "Live it! Love it!" seems like a pretty good line and certainly captures the essence of Cape Town. Problem being, I'd seen it before.

Hong Kong used the line in a huge tourism campaign that I know was running in 2006 when I last visited the island. I returned to Johannesburg and quickly checked out if it was still in use. Visiting reveals that the line is still part of the city's campaign.

Time to rationalise... just how many folks from Hong Kong would be jetting in for the World Cup. Given China never made the finals, probably not a whole lot so we'll probably get away with it, even though it really does show a serious lack of due diligence in terms of process.

Come on, Cape Town! - Brand Union
Google however can find just about anything and a few results below the ‘Discover Hong Kong' site sits another city using the same line. "Leeds. Live it. Love it." No more benefit of the doubt to Cape Town unfortunately; even if Leeds had copied Hong Kong in the first place. I'd imagine a good few residents of Leeds pass through the Cape Town International airport on a daily basis and those numbers are sure to rise come June 11. Is Cape Town wanting to make the residents of this city feel at home perhaps?!

I investigated the Cape Town campaign once again and it seems that there is some disparity in the line itself. Websites tout it as "Live it! Love it! Louder!" Maybe someone pointed out the serious mess of the initial efforts and the addition of "Louder" is meant to create some sort of differentiation? If so why is it not reflected on the posters? And, if anyone has ever visited Hong Kong they'd know that laidback Cape Town could never be louder than the buzzing city of Hong Kong.

Capetonians will always tell you their city is like none other (and they're right) so why can't they capture the essence of that difference and not copy other cities?

Come on, Cape Town!

5 May 2010 08:38


About the author

Gary is a specialist brand strategist with particular skill in brand architecture and brand positioning. A Business Science degree in marketing launched his career at Unilever where he learnt the business at the coalface in sales and key account management. He then took time out to travel Asia and South America before joining The Brand Union in 2004. He now heads up a team of strategists, delivering world-class products to our clients. Gary has recently completed his MBA at GIBS which has freed up his time to read, write, play hockey and cook.

Live it. Love it. Louder (I dont think so)-
Well SPOTTED Gary!
Posted on 12 May 2010 14:01