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Inspired by - South Africa

Forgotten history. Lost Future – South Africa

Posted by rod - 15.04.2010

“What’s to become of a celebrity-obsessed generation that’s forgetting its history?
The history of the struggle against Apartheid is a history of men and women who sacrificed everything for freedom. It is the story of people like Steve Biko and Albert Luthuli, Joe Slovo and Oliver Tambo. People who suffered brutality, exile, prison and in some cases paid the ultimate price.
It is their struggle and vision of a non-racial and democratic society that our new country is built on.

The Apartheid Museum exists as a monument to the rise and fall of apartheid. It chronicles a history we should forgive, but in so doing, never forget. Unfortunately, the museum is struggling to attract South Africans and particularly younger South Africans. So they asked us (TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris) for an advertising campaign to help get people interested in visiting the museum.

We had a suspicion that a lack of interest in the Museum was part of a larger societal problem. A mere sixteen years after the fall of Apartheid, our history and the lessons it can teach us were being systematically forgotten.  So we decided to expose the reality. And start a conversation. After all, the most important step in addressing a problem is knowing that there is one. So we took to the streets and interviewed our youth directly. We simply asked them to identify a series of famous people. First popular culture icons and lastly a famous anti-apartheid leader.
Our suspicion turned to reality. Over 86% of the people interviewed easily recognised the popular figures and failed to identify the South African anti-apartheid leader.

We turned these interviews into television, radio and viral adverts, to be launched on the days leading up to Freedom Day, a national holiday to mark our nation’s transition from apartheid to democracy.

We let the sobering truth of the interviews work for us. What is the consequence of this ignorance?
That a history forgotten is a future lost.”

Thanks for TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris South Africa for getting in touch.

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2 Comments (add yours?)
  • From: Khalid
  • Apr 21, 2010

its sad whats happened to out youth. not only in Africa but all over our celebrity-obsessed world.

Who do we blame though for the youth not knowing anything about their history. Do we blame the media, social networks, the government or do we blame ourselves. The is a lot of young people who prefer to be famous that to be lawyers, historian, doctors and so forth. We have libraries packed with book that reflects on our history and the struggle we have been through. it is up to the individual to read.
However. our media advertise “celebrity obsessed” lifestyle more than our history. The struggle our grand parents and parents fought for is now celebrated by clubbing and alcohol. Lets reflect people and never forgot where we come from. Lets be thankful and be knowledgeable about our history, freedom and struggle.

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