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The One Rand Man

The One Rand Man

the one rand man2

On the first of July 2014, Sanlam launched their new campaign called the One Rand Man. The video was posted on Sanlam’s YouTube channel and has been shared through the subsequent social media platforms. The video starts off with a man describing his life. “My life is pretty good, I’m young and I earn a good salary…” he then goes on and explains how his financial life is all run digitally. Although he was earning more money it seemed that he had less money. This man teamed up with Sanlam to be a part of a social experiment, where he will convert his entire salary into R1 coins. Everything he pays for in the month of July must be paid for in R1 coins.

With the digital world becoming more and more technologically advanced, the need for physical money is no longer a massive priority, it is less convenient carrying around notes and coins instead of one plastic card. It’s all about convenience, you have to evolve with the world, you know?

But in this evolution, have we lost touch with physical connection? Is our never-ending quest to connect so many aspects of our physical lives with the online world, actually severing the manual ties of physical interaction so much so that we are left detached by our very own connections?

Perhaps not. Not all physical connections can be good right?

A couple of years ago people were involved in a social experiment where they had to pay online for everything they wanted, to see if the trend toward online shopping would be a viable one. Fast forward 14 years later and now the experiment is done in reverse. Can someone who makes cashless transactions for the most part of their salary actually cope with monstrous amounts of coinage?

We really like the fact that in the video on YouTube, the man does not start off by introducing himself by his first name – with no name, one cannot attach a sense of identity, setting the perfect scene for him to take on his new role as the One Rand Man; free from any associations one would make. For example if he had to say “I’m Peter* and I am the One Rand Man” one may subconsciously give an identity to Peter, when in fact this campaign is all about the One Rand Man. Sanlam cleverly omitted the man’s real name from the campaign, because it allows the personality and identity of the One Rand Man to grow and evolve in many different aspects.

the one rand man3


With the social experiment only into its third day we’re curious to see how this will unfold. Who knows? We’ll just have to follow One Rand Man’s Twitter, Instagram and YouTube posts for the month of July.

Perhaps the sheer counting of the coins would frustrate him to the point where the very word “one rand” cannot be uttered in his presence; perhaps he’ll experience a new found connection for the value of money. Perhaps nothing significant at all will happen.

It is an experiment after all, isn’t it?


the one rand man






#sanlam #onerandman #digitalrepublic #socialexperiment


*name was chosen at random, we have no idea what his name really is.

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