You are not the only one benefitting from well executed Netflix productions, the country a series is produced in may also gain benefits from their display to the public. This holds especially true for interesting narratives taking place in scenic environments, which brings us neatly to Blood & Water.
The series first aired in May 2020 on Netflix and has since been renewed two times with a fourth season incoming. Blood & Water
is categorized as a teen drama and evolves around the life of Puleng, played by Ama Qamata, who transfers to an elite school in order to debunk the mystery of her sister that was taken from the family shortly after birth. The drama enjoys a good reputation and has won several awards at the 2021 South African Film and Television Awards.
The major positive about a Netflix production is the worldwide audience that is reachable instantly.
In the past, western productions used to dominate the Netflix repertoire, especially US productions and more recently European productions as well. Blood & Water was one of the main reasons for Netflix to release the Made in South Africa collection on its streaming platform as the series toped US rankings in 2020 and was well received around the world. This is part of Netflix strategy
of broadening the spectrum output outside the US.
South African Tourism and Netflix have partnered up showcase the best of South African and African culture to the worldwide audience
of over 200 million subscribers. They also want to enable South Africans to tell their stories and creating a benefit for everyone.
A cultural affinity survey conducted by Netflix revealed that consumers of South African content were far more likely to consider South Africa as a travel destination and even more likely to learn a local language. Using storytelling to attract tourists has been a hard and complicated task for tourism boards around the world and local Netflix productions seem to do the trick.
The South African series dig deeper than beautiful imagery of scenic landscapes, they also include fascinating narratives and authentic and true stories which showcase South Africa as South Africans see it. At the same time the stories are relatable, and viewers see their own aspirations and needs in the lives of the characters.
In the end it is all about building soft power and being known in the world. The way in which people who have never been to the US will instantly recognize US landmarks like the Hollywood sign or Central Park is what other nations are trying to achieve now as well. Providing scenic backdrops in South Africa for stories that producers and Netflix want to tell is an ideal tool to achieve just that and stay in people’s minds in the best case attracting them as tourists in the future.