South Africa We’ve Done It Before

The International Marketing Council of SA in 2007 launched a television commercial to boost confidence among South Africans about the future of their country. Known as the “We’ve done it before” campaign, it was built on the premise that South Africans continue to defy all odds. Just when the going seems to be impossibly tough, they pull through. This is the kind of campaign that nations throughout the world may need to produce in the next few months as they face economic struggles.

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The advert shows the first democratic election in 1994, the long queues of patient people, and ends with a woman walking past the line of voters after casting her vote, capturing the sentiment of an inner victory. The opening line is taken from a speech by former president Nelson Mandela: “Of all the challenges we are yet to overcome, none is greater than those we have already overcome.”

Click on the image below to play the video.

Kheepe Moremi, marketing director of the IMC, said, “It makes the point in almost lyrical fashion that South Africans are no strangers to overcoming obstacles that appear to be overwhelming. As we have shown before, we can beat any odds – and we’ll do it again.”

“The TV advert was about telling a true story. And those stories are often the hardest to tell because they are the easiest to get wrong. We believe we got it right. We captured the spirit of the South African people, a nation which now serves as an example to the rest of the world”.


TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris creative director Hennie Stander worked with directors Teboho Mahlatsi and Gavin Joubert via Bomb. Music was a collaboration between Victor Masondo and JB Arthur. The commercial was shot at Kudung Middle School in Heidelberg.

The featured cast are Nomonde Mbusi (Mom), Tshimega Bogopane (Baby), Christell Webb (White Woman), Eunice Phetlhu (Grandmother), Lehlonololo Taaso (Grandfather), Daya Naidoo (Trader) Aubrey Lapidos (Farmer) and Mzothule Zondi (Wheelbarrow guy).