The World Cup's PR superstar

The 2010 World Cup is in full swing and the matches so far, in my opinion have not been as exciting as hoped, but it's only the first round so I am not too worried. But the REAL buzz of the tournament so far has been the loud, unapologetic and fancy-free vuvu.

The vuvuzela has been creating quite a riot - literally and otherwise - in this year's World Cup. Many people are irritated by the noise which it creates,which mimics an elephant, saying it drowns out national anthems and patriotic chanting and songs and basically distracts from the game. But bet your vuvu, the buzz has made vuvu the unexpected star so far of the World Cup. No player or team has gotten as much coverage as the vuvu and I think it should get a publicist to manage its 15 minutes of fame.

Many games have come and gone without much to remember apart from the football moments. The energy so far from South Africa has been amazing and infectious and the moments are sure to be memorable. When the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to restrict traditional WI cricket cultural traditions as the region hosted the ICC World Cup in 2007, it was no longer a West Indian World Cup. It was a cricket World Cup merely held in the West Indies. The elements which would have made the tournament unique and special were gone, leaving only the cricket and its international players. The calls to ban the vuvu are as loud as the vuvu itself, and there will be much debate about it during the Cup, but it is part of what makes the tournament uniquely South African - giving it a unique selling proposition; setting it apart from World Cup tournaments gone by.

The vuvu may not be the most loved instrument at the moment, but it surely the most sought after, with sales of the obnoxious plastic horn climbing daily. A friend of mine in South Africa at the moment confessed that it is a bit harsh on the ears, but he has bought them in many colours as souvenirs for friends and family - mementos of the first African World Cup. The instrument is also available for sale across the world, e.g. in the UK. and is quickly becoming a cash cow for wily businessmen, seeing the opportunity to capitalise on all the noise.

The vuvu is effortlessly creating greater buzz around the 2010 football showcase and at the moment is surely outplaying stars like Kaka, Rooney and Ronaldo. It says nothing, does nothing, but is still as popular as any star player. It has its own app, is a blog star and is the hot ticket for merchandisers around the world. Additionally, its PR star power has now been harnessed by the United Nations...yes...the UN, to heighten awareness around violence against women and children via its Blow Vuvuzela campaign.

It is doing a fantastic job, like it or not, of selling South Africa and selling its World Cup as distinctly African, and hopefully as one of the most memorable World Cups ever.

Vuvuzela basics:


J Tibbs said...

There are a couple of petitions online to ban the vuvuzela from the World Cup. Here's one:

trinidarlin said...

I have seen them and people are free to voice their concerns and opinions but I think the vuvuzela should stay. Earplugs are on sale at all stadia. lol

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