South African city of Johannesburg is now the ‘playground’ of young graffiti artists who lead the Sho’s Left campaign aiming at the revival of domestic tourism. Its creators are hoping to bring the true meaning and reward of tourism back to the people of South Africa.
South African domestic tourism has been decreasing in the long run. Many marketing specialists agree that in order to improve its international profile as an appealing tourist destination, the locals need to get a sense of their own cultural potential. The numbers only confirm that South Africans are gradually losing interest in their own country. A new project has recently been introduced, whose major aim is to appeal to the locals and present the true value of tourism in their country to them.
It is no ordinary project which would stay within the boundaries of an average marketing campaign. In fact, it uses alternative versions of art to advertise itself. The Sho’s Left Campaign uses among other tools the power of graffiti to deliver the crucial message: everyone is a traveler; it is only a matter of how we perceive ourselves and if we can grasp the opportunity to get out there and explore. Street art is a very simple and creative way of approaching the public and making them think and wonder.
The streets of Newtown, Johannesburg, where the campaign is centered, have now turned into a colorful art gallery as walls that seemed ‘dead’ are now alive and inviting. Young people between 20 – 34 years are the main target group of this campaign. The state is hoping for them to take the initiative and well – to travel and discover their own country. Graffiti is often associated with vandalism. However, diverse artists and graffiti professionals prove that this is not true – their art proves it.
Sho’s Left Campaign derives its name from a local popular expression used for giving taxi drivers directions: Sho’s Left indicates that a customer will ‘jump off’ at the next corner. And that is exactly the purpose of the campaign – you don’t need to travel far to discover something spectacular.