We Shouldn’t Take This
Last year I posted a blog regarding crossing over and the racism involved in this concept. For the life of me, I never understood why you need to appeal to the White people in this country in order to be treated as a premium brand. I understand this concept in America as the White community makes up 80% of the population whereas in this country the numbers are the other way around.
Premium brands in this country still choose to sponsor White personalities and Black personalities that appeal to White people. Their racist logic is the use of the words “aspirational brand”. This means that they do not want to talk to the actual consumers but they prefer to speak to someone that will influence the consumer.
Brands like Audi and Peugeot prefer to give cars to 5 FM DJ’s, premium alcohol brands would much rather sponsor “white” gigs. This is despite the fact that there are Black artists that appeal to their core consumer base. Artists that are premium and influential but do not get these endorsements because they haven’t “crossed over”.
Gone are the days when we used to purchase goods because we saw White people consuming them. White people are no longer the benchmark as to what is premium. It is so sad when you watch shows on MNet or SABC 3 and you see how much brands invest on these shows. Masterchef, Idols, Top Billing, etc always have prizes that are out of this world. This is because brands are more than willing to sponsor such shows.
Approach the very same companies for a show on SABC 1 which is watched by the people that consume their products and you will hear stories beginning with ‘once upon a time’ and ending with ‘then they lived happily ever after’. This doesn’t just stop at TV shows and artists, it goes on to events. Last year I approached a premium alcohol brand for some sponsorship at a party and they offered me 2 bottles. Yes, not cases, bottles. At that party I had invited various TV shows and entertainment journalists. I was so insulted that I chose not to respond to that brand manager as the profanity filter at that company would have rejected my email anyway.
I know that there are many factors that go into securing sponsorships and endorsement deals but in South Africa, the bottom line is still that what is White is premium and in order to speak to the Blacks, you have to appeal to the Whites and everything will trickle down. There’s a racist connotation to this that doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe I should start a website like Hello Peter where we can post any correspondence from brands when they reject to associate themselves with us so that we as the Black community can reciprocate by boycotting them. We need to mobilise our buying power otherwise this nonsense will never end.