Branded burials in Ghana?

Posted by Rob Walker on May 7, 2008
Posted Under: The People's Marketing,World News

So, see that giant representation of a beer bottle? That’s a coffin. Apparently.

Or maybe this is a hoax of some kind.

Either way, Delicious Ghost points to this Ghanaweb writeup, with more pictures: “The Ga people [of Ghana] believe that when their loved ones die, they move on into another life — and the Ga make sure they do so in style. They honor their dead with brightly colored coffins that celebrate the way they lived.”

Other branded examples include a giant Coke bottle, and an Air Jordan coffin.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

I served in the Peace Corps in West Africa and I’m sure this isn’t a hoax. Although I didn’t see such coffins myself I’ve certainly heard about them.

In a place where few can afford consumer products, anything branded or packaged is novel and a prized sign of wealth.

Another Peace Corps volunteer discovered her discarded Degree deodorant packaging appropriated as home decor. A neighbor had snatched the antiperspirant package from the trash pile and put it on a windowsill in her mud hut.

When I told this story at a party recently, the host couldn’t believe it. And then I pointed to the African masks on his own wall. His decor romanticizes African culture; likewise, some rural Africans idealize the colorful otherworldliness of consumer culture.

Written By Andy Bosselman on May 7th, 2008 @ 10:12 am

I’ve read about elaborate, representational coffins before as well.

Forgive me if you’ve already posted this, but an American has apparently ordered a PBR coffin, which seems a little strange to see in the West. Radio personalities here in Austin are ripping on him for his choice of brew. Of course they think Lone Star would be far more tasteful.

Written By McChris on May 7th, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

Thanks for that Andy, very interesting..

McChris, I had not posted/heard about that, but coincidentally this morning saw someone post about it here:

PBR loyalty can be pretty intense, so it doesn’t surprise me, I have to say.

No comment about Lone Star. I do know some people who would probably go for a Shiner coffin though.

Written By Rob Walker on May 8th, 2008 @ 6:29 am