Bilious Cretins 4 Bafanaby Andy Davis / 03.10.2009
Prepare ye for the glutt of 2010-shaped hucksters, grifters, conmen and bald-faced liars, marketeers and other vermin, bent on making a quick buck by stoking the embers of Mandela-era nationalism and dressing it up as your patriotic and civic duty to support Bafana Bafana, and by implication the healing of our nation, our economy and everything else that matters, simply by purchasing their product.
Take for example the Support 4 Bafana Bafana Wristband, euphemistically called the Support 4 Bafana Bafana Social Project. What a load of self-aggrandising bollocks, dressed up as a charity project that intends to make the principals loads and loads of money while preying on your finely tuned cocktail of emotions; guilt, nationalism, empathy and the desire to not be embarrassed when the world focusses her attention on Mzanzi in June next year.
Here we quote from the PR: “The Bafana Bafana Social Project is part our national football team’s legacy programme for 2010 – their way of making a difference through a credible social programme; and at the same time leaving a positive mark in the community from now leading up to the World Cup.”
“The wristband represents a tangible unifying symbol; as well as being an affordable accessory with which all South Africans can identify. By purchasing a band, South Africans are not only able to show their support for the team, they are also contributing to the success of World Cup 2010 and contributing to social upliftment.”
So you’re going to get hustled by the Raymonds, Ackerman and Hack, Pick ‘n Pay, SAFA and a whole bunch of other dirty, shameless hucksters, into buying a colourful rubber band to strap around your wrist in support, not only of our largely inept football team, but also in support of the success of the 2010 World Cup, nation building, orphans, the elderly, the glory of South Africa and any other emotional balls they can tack onto your withered psyche and diminished sense of national pride.
“‘We are incredibly proud of this initiative,’ says Raymond Hack, CEO of the South African Football Association. ‘Football has the exceptional ability to unite a nation, and the funds generated through the sale of the bands will go a long way in building the champions of tomorrow.'”
These bullet proof, stone cold snake oil salesmen hope you’ll be swept up in such an orgiastic swell of emotion, (or is that shame?), that it will override your empirical thought processes and you won’t do the maths. These rubber bands will cost you R14.99 each. A quick internet sweep will tell you that you can buy a silicone rubber wristband for $0.15 each. And that’s a retail price.
And: “For every band sold, one rand will go to developing football stars of tomorrow, as well as to credible charities through The Trust*.”
They admit it themselves.
“‘The marketing strategy around this project is a mix of emotions aimed at bringing out the best in all South Africans, coming together as one for the best possible ‘off- field’ performance of our country unified as one team for 2010,’ says MD of SLAM, Vivian Casaletti, who together with SAFA conceived of this plan.”
But wait the philanthropy doesn’t end there.
“In keeping with their ongoing commitment to social responsibility, Pick n Pay has taken their involvement even further by committing to match every rand donated to the campaign through the sale of the wristbands.”
“Said Jonathan Ackerman, Marketing Director of Pick n Pay: ‘Since the inception of Pick n Pay some 42 years ago, it has been our practice to serve the communities in which we are privileged enough to operate, and this campaign has provided us with the ideal platform to do exactly that. We are particularly proud to be involved as launch partner; and to be able to provide hope where it is needed most.'”
Where’s that Jonathan? Your bank accounts? You see, I’m not so good with maths, but I’m not so bad that I can’t work out 15 minus 2, leaves 13 odd Rands for Pick ‘n Pay, SAFA and all the other corporate vampires and charlatans to grow ever fatter on, while we get duped into believing that buying a rubber bracelet is going to propel Bafana Bafana to World Cup glory and solve all our social problems and save our nation, in one go.
And they’re nothing if not ambitious. “With the entire nation uniting in support of this incredibly worthwhile cause, we will be sure to reach our goal of raising 10 million Rand by 2010 and truly making a perceptible difference.”
Well if they manage to raise 10 million Rand, these bilious cretins will make something in the region of R50 million for themselves. Not bad going, huh?
Frankly wearing a Support 4 Bafana Wristband is akin to telling everyone that you’ve been duped in the name of narrow-minded, nationalistic, “development-washing” marketing by corporate South Africa. And you know what, it won’t help Bafana play a better game of footie.