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BCSA welcomes Brand South Africa's new slogan

The newly formed Brand Council of South Africa (BCSA), has given South Africa's new country marketing slogan - "South Africa: Inspiring new ways" - a thumbs-up, with chairman Sean McCoy saying it has "interesting potential".
"The slogan is a good descriptor for the country's past as well as its future," he told Bizcommunity.com. "It talks to SA's historical reputation as a symbol of change and transformation - and it incorporates a call to action which will hold us accountable going forward.

"The words also position Brand South Africa so that positive intervention is required to continue finding innovative solutions, drive change and improve lives - which is in line with the BCSA manifesto."

BCSA manifesto

The BSCA manifesto states that "...branding, correctly applied, contributes distinctive, sustainable, long-term, economic and social value to our nation". According to McCoy, this statement demonstrates the role and responsibility of a brand at a social, cultural and economic level.

"Brand SA now has a new slogan which hopefully will drive action and behaviours towards positive change, which is in the national interest," he adds.

When asked, after comments by Biz readers, if it were really necessary to change the old slogan "Alive with possibility", which was implemented towards the end of 2002 and then evolved into the "South Africa: it's possible" campaign in the run up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, McCoy told Bizcommunity: "'Alive with possibility' was a good slogan and proposition and was positively open-ended and very open to interpretation.

"Proposition evolves with time"

"As with many brands, this proposition evolves with time and the need to remain relevant in the market. 'Inspiring new ways' does seem to capture that which is positive about our past, but also eludes to a need to drive continuous change and progress into the future - an essential ingredient to the SA landscape."

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tim lineker
South Africa - Inspiring new waysFor Fraud, Higher Taxes, Poor Health Services, Schools that need drastic attention, Housing (Ag Shame)!! A total lack of discipline on our roads (don't which driving schools they went to) or are the drivers just dumb???
Posted on 13 Mar 2012 15:19
Merle Falken
This slogan does not speak to me as a South African, it says nothing about South Africa and being South African. The word "inspire" is hackneyed and old and more suitable to women's magazines and not to a strong brand such as South Africa. It is a soft word and does not inspire me to do anything. Alive with possibilities is a strong, motivational, action orientated slogan. Please go back to the drawing board
Posted on 13 Mar 2012 15:22
Bob Broom
The slogan says precisely nothing and prompts so many questions. Inspiring what, whom? Leave these nebulous words out of communication; the message should be selling S.A. to the global community, not to South Africans. The statement issued by the chairman of BCSA makes use of yet more "industry speak", such as "a good descriptor for the country's past'! Oh please!! And, when are those who are meant to be able to communicate effectively going to dispense with that ridiculous and over-used expression; "moving forward"? It is never the intention of anyone with a grain of intelligence to wish to "move backwards", so why is it necessary to make the distinction about moving forward; to allay the fears of the masses about having a pulse? Re-think this message and give it something that all South Africans can subscribe to and feel justly proud of; in other words, devise an effective marketing message that captures the pride and patriotism of our magnificent flag.Hamba Kahle
Posted on 13 Mar 2012 16:13
Forward with "Alive with Possibilities"!!! Down with Inspiring New Ways! Show me one new way we have inspired?!!!
Posted on 13 Mar 2012 16:22
mario diplock
Geeeez, this is lame! Tomorrow morning when I get to the office I'm going to let my junior creatives have a crack at a new line.Nanny Mouse is spot on, "interesting potential" is hardly convincing.I have to ask myself, new ways of what??? If this is the best Brand SA can do, then we're on a hiding to nothing.As Bob politely put it, " please re-think". It may hurt now, but it will be great in the long run.Sean clearly isn't the real McCoy.
Posted on 13 Mar 2012 17:42
I 'hear' Sean's point and I have great respect for him as a branding expert, as well as for my friends at the IMC (Brand South Africa), but I also suspect that Sean is being politically correct here, especially because he speaks in the name of this new BCSA, which cannot afford to openly criticise the IMC. "Alive with Possibilities", in branding terms, was still relatively young. Not much had been invested in using it to effectively position brand South Africa and many people, here and abroad, had not reached a stage where they automatically associated it with brand South Africa; but it had potential. Furthermore, South Africans were gradually getting around to embracing it. To change it this early (in branding terms) was way too short-sighted. That old slogan had a potential to be 'timeless'. Great, innovative, marketing could have been used to 'play with it' in different media, different markets and in targeting different target markets/ segments. Now vast sums of money, public money, have to be spent over the next number of years to promote the new slogan before, I can guarantee you, someone else decides in a few years' time that it's no longer appropriate. This makes brand South Africa a confused brand that doesn't know what it stands for, what it's all about, constantly redefining itself! How in the world do we convince anyone if we are confused about what we stand for as a brand?
Posted on 14 Mar 2012 16:03
Thuso Mbedzi
Clearly no research was carried out before they agreed on this, from "Alive with possibility" to "Inspiring new ways" ?!?!?!?!? Who is inspired in the corruption be-devilled beautiful country of ours... Just recently I read that an 18 year old was awarded a tender! By his father! The former mayor! "Inspiring new ways"?!?!?!?! Kiss my backside Brand council because that is utter bollocks...By the way I also designed
Posted on 14 Mar 2012 18:39
Andre Redelinghuys
it wasn't.
Posted on 15 Mar 2012 09:52
It might be helpful, in the future, for the custodians / managers of brand South Africa to be less hesitant in using the industry, through forums/fora such as this, to test ideas before implementing them. Important to remember is that brand South Africa is not a Fast Moving Consumer Good and cannot be brand managed as such. Think VERY long-term while clearly being aware of immediate dynamics!
Posted on 15 Mar 2012 12:58