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WHY WAS THIS CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED?
In 2021, South Africa has suffered the biggest decline in arrivals out of all the destinations in Africa. However, in 2022, signs of recovery for the industry are slowly becoming more visible. According to Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), air travel to and from South Africa has reached its highest levels of activity since the Covid-19 pandemic – almost 2.3 million through O.R. Tambo, Cape Town, Durban in March – up 70% from the previous year, bringing the airway industry almost back in line with what was achieved in 2019.
Using images of the country’s beautiful sceneries, sun-kissed coasts, diverse wildlife, and vibrant city life, South African Tourism – the country’s destination marketing organization, decided to show the world its first marketing campaign in five years.
The long, seemingly endless period of living with COVID-19 has left a lot of people stressed and numbed, many of them yearning to travel outwards and enjoy life once again, breaking them out of the depressing shell of the pandemic. Seeing this wish, South African Tourism decided to use 2 simple words to encapsulate what they want travelers to see the most:
“Live Again” features a 2:30 mins long video, shot over eight days with locations spanning the Western Cape, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Midlands, and Limpopo. The video tells a young woman’s journey through South Africa that changed her perspective on life for the better. After a tiring day of work, her face was numbed and emotionless, so she decided to head for South Africa.
When she finally arrived, the local people of a sun-kissed Cape Town greeted her with a smile, as she is welcomed to the wonderful land that is South Africa, filled with out-of-this-world sceneries, friendly, fascinating culture with happy people, tasty cuisine, and an exciting urban night-life. The video took us through beautiful shots of safaris, spas, bonfires, wineries, and fun activities like group lunch, surfing, and hiking. The young woman stares at the sky near the end of the video, her expression became softer and more relaxed, a sharp contrast to her appearance at the beginning of the video, as the call to action of the campaign appears: “Come as you are, leave as you’ll never be again,” enticing people who are fed up with the boring flow of daily life to come to South Africa for a life-changing experience.
Throughout the video, it is clear that South Africa wants travelers to come and support local businesses by participating in many of the local’s activities and culture. In essence, the campaign wants to show that South Africa cherishes the optimistic mindset, a resolve to not delay one’s enjoyment and live life to the fullest. Mzilikazi Themba Khumalo, South African Tourism Acting Chief Executive Officer, shared his perspective: “The campaign taps into South Africans’ renowned optimism and resilience that have stood this nation in good stead at every turn when we faced seemingly intractable challenges. Through it all, we never lose our zeal for life and we’re inviting the world to approach the COVID-19 situation in the same way.”
Besides the video, the “Live again” tourism campaign is also a two-way project, with the video above meant for global interests, and a digital campaign called “Lekker (awesome) Local Tips” that localized the essence of “Live again”, by extending a call for local South African to share their unique tips in the form of videos and guides, encouraging travelers from regions of North European, like Dutch, Swedish and Belgium to come and visit.
To encourage more locals to participate, South African Tourism has invited many local travel trade partners to assist with getting tips and advice from locals by extending a request to provide their travel tips and offering rewards to participants who provide tips for the campaign.
Khumalo shared the view behind this particular campaign: “The over-arching insight for this campaign is that we know that our Dutch, Belgian and Swedish consumers appreciate exploring a destination like a local would. They appreciate travel-related information from credible sources such as frequent travelers and people with first-hand experience and those with ‘inside info’.”