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Marked by Bravery

Marked by Bravery | Soweto Gold | OpenCo - The Open Collaboration
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Industry: Food
Media:Design & Branding
Market:South Africa
Style: Minimalism

It was the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, which was a major turning point in the fight against Apartheid. Soweto Gold, a craft beer brewed at Ubuntu Kraal Brewery, were about to release a limited edition. With a budget of almost zero, they wanted to turn this special edition beer into a meaningful commemoration of the occasion. It was personal for Ndumiso Madlala, Ubuntu Kraal Brewery’s head brewer. He wanted to acknowledge how the Uprising had paved the way for him to study and eventually become a partner in Soweto’s first craft brewery.

The year of the Soweto Uprising was 1976, and it was spear-headed by the youths of the time. We decided to make the release of the beer all about celebrating the class of '76. Moreover, we wanted to give the heroes of the Uprising another chance to broaden the horizons of Sowetan youth.The beer was named Soweto Gold '76. 76 bottles were pulled from the run to be hand-branded by Soweto residents who were part of the Uprising four decades earlier. These unique bottles were put up for auction online, and the proceeds went to the Motlana Foundation's programme for the upliftment and upskilling of Sowetan youth. As part of the tribute to the class of '76, it was also matured for 76 days, achieving an alcohol content of 7.6%.

Instead of mass-branding all the bottles in the limited edition, we wanted to create a special and personal role for the people the beer was designed to honour - the class of '76.Four veterans of the Uprising, youngsters at the time, volunteered to hand-brand 76 bottles of Soweto Gold '76 beer. As a result, the typography on each of the 76 bottles was entirely unique, and by the hand of someone who was there, back in the day. The typography was applied in gold pen, each bottle was signed and numbered by the heroes, and were completed with their thumbprint. At the same time, the four veterans also penned 76 unique commemorative posters to be paired with the bottles on auction.The 76 bottles went on auction online.

As the first-ever craft beer from Soweto, Soweto Gold was the only beer (and one of very few brands) that could legitimately play a part in the celebration of the 40 year anniversary. With a limited budget for the campaign, we harnessed the one medium they owned, their bottles, to drive the big idea and become the canvas for the tribute.With the Ubuntu Kraal Brewery (the home of Soweto Gold) at the heart of the Soweto community, local celebrities and heroes of the struggle against Apartheid rallied behind the limited edition and were present at the launch. Their influence created awareness of and engagement with the auction far beyond the initial launch.Veterans of the Soweto Uprising, proud to be acknowledged and given the chance to raise money for Soweto's present-day youths, also lent their weight to the campaign.

Soweto Gold, through their limited edition ’76 beer, created the most poignant and relevant commemoration of the anniversary by any brand.Every one of the 76 bottles, hand-branded by the youth of 1976, were sold on auction. A total of R32 955 was raised and donated to the Motlana Foundation's 'Spirit Of Youth' programme, aimed at uplifting and up-skilling Soweto's contemporary youth.The class of '76, often forgotten in post-Apartheid South Africa, were brought back into the spotlight in a meaningful way.The launch event attracted Soweto's most powerful influencers and celebrities, including many prominent veterans of the struggle against Apartheid.The story was covered by local Sowetan media, national lifestyle magazine Destiny Man (, multiple craft beer and event blogs (,,, marketing sites ( and, as well as mainstream national media (Eye Witness News -
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Other credit:Entrant Company: OPENCO – THE OPEN COLLABORATION, Johannesburg, South Africa
Agency Producer, Shoni Nekhabambe, OpenCo - The Open Collaboration
Head of Account Management, Mel Daniels, OpenCo - The Open Collaboration
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017
Bronze Design
Special Editions & Promotional Packaging
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