On BBC Entertainment, I have just seen the most effective advert for putting a person off the World Cup.
Of the 30 second advert, the distinct majority of footage is awash with grainy black and white images of violence, angry people protesting apartheid etc; clearly with the intention to remind everyone about a pre-1994 South Africa. The ad ends with a last minute, spur-of-the-minute thought, ‘Oh yes. Don’t forget, foreign people who helped implement oppression, colonialism and apartheid, it’s the World Cup time- do come and visit.’
Question #1: How does reminding the world (yet again) of SA’s tragic history help people restore relationships? Wasn’t the TRC supposed to do that?
Question #2: What does the above footage have to do with sport in general and soccer in particular?
Question #3: How on earth does an advertising catastrophe like that create a desire in anyone to watch the WC on TV, much less spend actual money travelling to SA for it? Do they think people are going to come to watch the WC because they feel sorry for black South Africans? … Answers on a postcard…
Personally – I think the ad did more to increase racial tension than lessen it, and it CERTAINLY did nothing to promote sport/integration/soccer/reconciliation whatsoever… But then, that’s the media all over isn’t it?