The ‘Start Something’ campaign serves as an inspiration to South Africans to actively start applying the right energy that will ultimately see their dreams turn into reality.

Kirby Gordon, marketing manager for Sanlam Growth Market Solutions, says at the core of the Start Something drive is Sanlam’s desire to encourage a culture of saving amongst South Africans. “Sanlam wants to see this campaign as the catalyst that will propel South Africans into action - by starting with the small, attainable steps towards reaching the ultimate goal, and moving their goal posts as they progress.”

“The campaign offers a fresh, positive and empowering alternative to normal doom prophecies that predict the end of the world as we know it if we don’t all start saving immediately,” he quips. “Without being naïve about the cash flow challenges South Africans grapple with on a daily basis, it is important that we continue to inspire one another through good news, real-life stories – and preferably those ones with financially successful endings!” Gordon says.

During the 2011 National Start Something Day campaign the ‘start’ uptake and response from the public exceeded Sanlam’s initial expectations. The National Start Something Day Facebook page and microsite received over 7 000 ‘start’ pledge and related stories. “This is a solid indication that the campaign caught the imagination of ordinary South Africans, who heeded the call by taking the first steps towards pursuing their dreams,” he says.

Citing one such an example was the ‘start pledge’ from a young Free State girl who wanted to save her first R500 by putting away each and every R5 coin that landed up in her purse. “Towards the end of last year’s five month campaign she was well underway to achieving her goal – a classic example of how a simple action can help you deliver on the dream – with the right attitude and by staying focused on the outcome,” Gordon says.

During the 2011 campaign South Africans were able to pledge their ‘starts’ through the different campaign platforms, including the National Start Something Day microsite, Facebook page, Twitter feeds, radio competitions on Metro and 5FM, magazine giveaways and via a national toll-free campaign number.

A National Start Something Day competition element rewarded random inspirational ‘starts’ that adhered to competition criteria, and a grand finale cash prize was awarded to four winners on National Start Something Day (2 September) to help facilitate their dream ‘starts’.

The 2012 campaign will again include these same elements, with an overall cash prize amount of R200 000 being given away on National Start Something Day, which will fall on Friday, 7 September this year.

Peter Biven, business unit manager at The Jupiter Drawing Room, creative agency for Sanlam, says this year's campaign picks up from the success of last year's National Start Something Day. “Like last year, the main purpose of the campaign is a rallying cry for all South Africans to start something for a better and more fulfilling future,”

“The creative aims to encourage ordinary South Africans to start something – no matter how big or small. It was heartening to see so many people respond and get involved in last year’s campaign, and we hope that, again, this year’s campaign will inspire even more people to start something,” Biven says.

Concurrent to the nationwide campaign, Sanlam launched an internal campaign aimed at creating a groundswell of ‘start activism’ amongst it 4 000 employees at the Sanlam head office in Bellville, Cape Town. The campaign will track the ‘start pledges’ and progress from participating staff members - from highest level of senior management and across all levels within the organisation.

Visit the official campaign site at, or on Facebook at for news on inspirational ‘starts’, ranging from budding artists, eco warriors, mentors, entrepreneurs, hobbyists and dreamers alike. Updates can also be followed on Twitter via @StartSmthngDay.