Friday, 18 January 2013

You can help, a message from the children of South Africa

Press release

South Africa is rich in values, tradition and culture, a truly wonderful country, and one that is admired around the world. Yet, as South Africans, we sometimes forget what our great nation has achieved and remains capable of achieving. It is in times like these that we need to be reminded of the greatness inside all of us, and what is possible when help is joined to common purpose and courage to necessity.

At 18:57, on 17 January 2013, FNB launched a new brand campaign with a live broadcast to South Africa. The broadcast carried a message from the voices we don’t often hear, the children of our great country. A message we believe will inspire the nation.

In September 2012, we undertook what is likely the most current snapshot of the opinions of the youth, their views on our country and the role of help. Help, not in terms of coordinated interventions, but little, everyday help; and the power help has to make a big difference. The survey was completed by HDI Youth Marketeers, an independent research firm.

In assembling these views and opinions, we spoke to over 1300 learners and students (ages 10 to 22) from around the country and from all walks of life. We learnt that today’s youth are losing their innocence, not to apartheid, but to the many social ills and tragedies that came after it. One child said, “If I was President for a day, I would make South Africa safe for children, women and teens who are abused." Another 10-year-old boy added the following, "I get scared when people are killing each other."

But though some of what they had to say was hard to hear, we learnt too that our youth carry inside them a fire that burns with hope and positivity. Their sense of identity is astounding, and they have an unprecedented interest in working as a community to improve our society and environment. A 12 year old said, "When we help people, we make them feel like they're somebody". Another child said, "If we help each other, we raise our country". Yet another student, aged 10, said “In the future I want to live in South Africa... I know South Africa is full of crime, but if I didn’t live here I don’t know who I would be.” A 15 year old said, "We help each other because we are one blood, one soul, with a 13 year old saying, "If we don't help each other, who will help us".

“The intention of the campaign is not to talk about ourselves, but rather to be a brand for betterment by providing the youth of our country with a stage to voice what impacts the daily reality of many South Africans through the lens of our brand’s core positioning of ‘Help’, says Bernice Samuels, FNB Chief Marketing Officer.

”FNB is a brand of high ideals and has a long history of leading from the front, not just in terms of product and service innovation, but also in terms of its social focus on building a stronger, unified and values-based nation, referring to our Praise Singer, Anthem, and Dog ads to mention a few” adds Samuels.

The chosen venue for the live advert, Naledi Secondary School, played an integral role in the events of 1976, a time when the youth of South Africa sent a message that could not be ignored, and in doing so, helped change the future of our country.

Jason Levin, Managing Director of HDI Youth Marketeers said; “The survey provided a good overall snapshot of the South African youth opinion and was hugely rewarding as it helped us gain insight into how the youth view South Africa. The research was truly inspiring. It is only through projects like this, that true feelings are clearly reflected.”

FNB also created a dynamic online portal to support the campaign and everyone is encouraged to visit the blog site, to participate in the ongoing national discussion we believe will be triggered by the campaign. The campaign is integrated across all platforms, including TV, OOH, digital ( and social media on Facebook and Twitter (#littlehelps).

“All of the great things we've done, we've done together by helping each other. Perhaps it's time for us to listen to the voices we seldom hear, the youth of our country, because it is the South Africa we build today that will be the country they will inherit tomorrow," concludes Samuels.

In Nelson Mandela’s words, “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness." Let us join hands in helping to build this beautiful South Africa we all dream of.

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