Isn't the new World Cup Springbok Rugby TV ad brilliant? Uplifting, inspiring, exquisite!
- Fantastic CG animation, our team's kingpins socking it to all those critters who stand in their way, and the final brilliant payoff line - Game On! Fantastic!
A load of bollocks really. And bless the creators of the ad for making my brand bla bla point for me with animated style!
Two blogs ago, in 'Brand's What They Do to Cows In Texas', I bemoaned the banality of brand-centric thinking, which has seen the facade of what a brand projects become more important than the quality it actually offers. And if you've watched the 'Game On' TV ad concurrently with our recent Tri-Nations performances, you'll know exactly what I mean!
Call me a stickler for detail, but the big bravado of the Springbok commercial doesn't seem to be quite replicated ON THE ACTUAL PLAYING FIELD! Anything but. In three Tri-Nations encounters so far, the Springboks have looked like lost shadows of the fearless warriors in the ad - no strategy, handling errors and a style of rugby about as expansive as living in a cardboard box. I don't know - maybe it's easier to tackle a CG graphic than an actual person - especially if Peter De Villiers isn't calling the play. And our players are brilliant, even if their manager and his team couldn't be trusted to win an U13 tournament. But my point is this: We made the same kind of bravado oozing ads when we hosted the ICC Cricket and FIFA World Cups - becoming the first host nation ever to be eliminated in the group stages of the latter, and being summarily dismissed at the quarter-final stage in the former. Where was the bravado then I wonder? And I personally am now sick of all talk and no action!
I don't know about you, but I would swap actual on-field performance for Springbok ad bravado anytime - be far more interested in our team actually making a serious play for the IRB World Cup than smiting comics on TV - would believe far more in an ad that puffed its chest out far less and was backed up by true quality a lot more!
What makes me really sad though, is that within the borders of 'brand SA' this kind of hollow back-slapping tedium that's based on nothing has become the norm - the talking of a great game now more important than the playing of a good one - the pointing to a progressive bill of rights more important than the fact that enshrined rights cannot be accessed - the animated tackle given greater credence than the real one that prevents a try, wins the game, and maybe - just maybe - gives us a shot at a World Cup that right now we seem incapable of actually winning.
So shut up and play South Africa! The Game really is On. And like it or not, we can't just advertise our way to victory!
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