Jul 8, 2011

In your face, Zedbeats!

As part of the push to market Zambia more aggressively the Tourism Board (ZTB) is rebranding the logo and slogan. For the last 31 years or so, the slogan has been Zambia, The Real Africa. I remember as a youngster, my grandpa made sure we all had t-shirts and other paraphernalia with the logo, and hey I was happy to oblige; it was always a great conversation starter – “Oh, are you from Zambia?”

An open competition recently netted the following winning result:
Discover Zambia, Experience Africa

It’s still growing on me. I must say it’s fresher and is catchy, though lacking a professional feel that I'd expect to see.
Now this whole endeavour would likely have gone largely unnoticed by most people until the Board announced the New Brand Relaunch Concert scheduled for this evening. The music headliner is Fally Ipupa. For those who don’t know, Fally Ipupa is an award winning, Congolese artist based France; his music is quite popular.
Earlier this week, I started hearing grumblings from Zambians on Twitter and Facebook about this decision. People want to know why ZTB chose a foreign artist to headline this event. Zambia has no shortage of musical talent, and in the last decade the industry has really flourished. If the aim here is to draw attention to all the natural beauty and resources in Zambia, why wouldn’t the Tourism Board use this opportunity to showcase local musical talent?
This is nothing against Ipupa. I like his music just fine and having him perform in the country is not an issue. However, this is not the appropriate event! I’d like for someone at ZTB to explain the rationale here. Surely, they aren’t insensitive to emotions that rise to surface when we talk about foreign music getting more airplay and attention over our own? Perhaps, we have it all wrong and they were spurned by more local artists than they could count and had to look elsewhere.
Answers please!

5 comments:

The logo is def fresh, but maybe I prefer the older one. On Fally, maybe there's no local artiste that has the same star power? And the programme even as it's about Zambia is also meant to go international, right?

I wonder how much of that decision is to do with the fact that many Zambian artists can't really perform live. We need less auto tune, more musicality and stage presence!

The tourism industry may benefit from more prudent pricing. I've had many a conversation with people who see just how expensive package holidays to Zambia can be and are put off. Sure the resorts may be great but if we don't have the airlines, roads or other infrastructure to support them can we really justify anything up to 2000 pounds for a holiday?

Oh and I like the new logo!

Myne – I certainly see what you mean about going international and this is something I thought about earlier. I think this could have achieved by having a local headliner complemented with others such as Fally. I think of someone like JK who has international and local name recognition. It would have been nice to see a mix of talent.

P.S. I still like the old logo; we’ll be friends for a lifetime though it was time for a change.

Mwanabibi – the quality of music by some artists still needs to come up especially on the point of performing live and the asinine use of auto-tuning. However, I would counter with this, if you don’t make people step up by issuing the challenge of performing at such events, how will they grow? I’m certainly not suggesting that this be used as testing ground for any Tamanga who think he/she can hold a tune, but if you have someone like Afunika perform and is successful others will want to replicate that, and improve their game!

On your point about Zambia as a tourist destination, this is HUGE! All the charges that GRZ mandates on the part of the lodges and other providers make us less competitive than neighbouring countries; the hassles are too much. This needs to be tackled beyond just rebranding the logo. Ministry of Tourism needs to stop yapping about “we value tourism” without following through with a meaningful change in the policy and make Zambia more attractive to visitors (local and foreign).

I don't understand this whole rebranding effort, as the old logo was a logo and slogan everybody, or at least everybody with interest in this region knew. Now we have a new slogan 'Let's experience', who should connect this with zambia? The logo, is just a useless idea, as it is a copy of the polish tourism logo. (See also the Philippines logo: http://www.polishforums.com/news-politics-4/philippines-tourism-logo-borrowed-polska-47914/).

They should have paid a proper designer, and refresehend the old logo, but ok this is done.
Concerning Fally, if you see him playing compared with all the other guys zambia has, he is different. I've worked with some local artists, and they play bad or playback, have problem with alcohol on the stage or other problems. He is different.
But still, most of the concerts, Ndola and Lusaka (Sportsground) were nearly empty. Even Lusaka (Taj) was not full.

If you're interested.
http://justcreativedesign.com/2008/05/22/why-logo-design-does-not-cost-5-dollars/
http://www.davidairey.com/logo-design-contests-bad-for-business/
http://justcreativedesign.com/2009/07/27/what-makes-a-good-logo/

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