On Shelf
On Shelf

#OnShelf: Creativity and purpose drive new brand campaigns

by Louise Burgers. Bold new ventures and campaigns put international and South African brands on the global stage.

by Louise Burgers. Bold new ventures and campaigns put international and South African brands on the global stage.

Vans celebrates creativity with new artist-first global campaign

Vans, which regards its brand as “the global icon of creative expression”, presents These Projects Are Ads for Creativity, a new artist-first brand campaign that showcases creativity in its purest form. Through enabling Vans’ family of artists and creatives to go out and make things — drawings, sculptures, music videos, custom shoes, digital animations, and much more — Vans continues to celebrate the diversity of creativity itself and honours the talented individuals behind the work. Instead of following a conventional ad campaign approach, Vans committed their resources to support the physical act of creativity itself, empowering artists to bring their ideas to life in the vast forms that art can play. Unveiled as a digital hub of art projects at vans.eu/offthewall, Vans’ new brand campaign is aimed at inspiring a journey of discovery — while the website serves as a capsule of creativity that will continue to expand all year-long.

“Instead of creating advertising that talks about creativity, we wanted to use this campaign as a vehicle to showcase true, physical creativity in all of its forms. So, we simply enabled creatives all over the world to make things,” said Rob Teague, Vans global executive creative director. “Drawings, paintings, music, sculptures, video edits, skate spots, crazy animations, weird surfboards, and things we didn’t expect. In place of traditional ads, we as a brand wanted to get out of the way and support a diverse range of people, and their different creative outputs. That’s what Vans is all about – to not just talk about creative expression, but to actively champion it through our products, platforms and campaigns.” Vans is an American manufacturer of skateboarding shoes and related apparel, started in Anaheim, California, with universal appeal among the youth. This ongoing creative journey will live on the Vans website all year long, cultivating a digital hub of global projects that will uplift various artist stories and inspire fans to create their own version of creativity in its purest form. See the full campaign at vans.eu/offthewall. View each artist’s campaign story on YouTube. Consumer brand fans can also share their own story and join the conversation with Vans, using  #OffTheWall on social media.

Chivas Venture returns to champion grassroots community initiatives

Chivas Venture – a platform from leading blended Scotch whisky, Chivas, that supports the world’s hottest social entrepreneurs – is returning to South Africa with a dynamic new format that will launch with a collaboration with streetwear legend and Grade Africa founder, Zaid Osman. The new platform will see Zaid and Chivas provide up-and-coming fashion designers with the tools and support needed to produce a nine-piece capsule collection that will be sold via ‘Drops’ with exclusive retail partners. The production of the collection will provide local African communities with employment opportunities, empowering newly appointed apprentices to join forces with Chivas and Grade Africa. Collectively they will blend their skills and talents, enabling them to source and manufacture the collection sustainably. Proceeds from the sales of the collection will be given to the apprentices and donated to the Grade Africa Foundation, whose mission is to eliminate extreme poverty and bring unique opportunities back home to Africa.

Osman founded Grade Africa in 2018 with the hope of bringing African talent to the table and showcasing African pride in the fashion industry. Chivas and Grade Africa will collectively blend their skills and talents, enabling them to source and manufacture the collection sustainably. Proceeds from the sales of the items will be given to the apprentices and donated to the Grade Africa Foundation. To date, the Chivas Venture has given away $6 million in no-strings funding to 142 social entrepreneurs, who have positively impacted over 3.3 million lives, in more than 65 countries. This includes providing 34 million litres of safe drinking water to communities, recycling 1,300 tonnes of waste, helping over 2,500 farmers’ families out of poverty and funding over 75,000 days of education for women and girls.

Pura Soda lists on Amazon to expand customer base

South African soft drink brand, PURA Soda, recently listed its product range on the Amazon platform. The move makes it easier for fans around the world to purchase its better-for-you products, and allows the brand to successfully penetrate the US and UK markets. At the end of 2020, the team at PURA Soda set an audacious goal to be the next billion-dollar company. The start-up company that launched to market in 2017 and has since expanded to 13 countries, conducted extensive customer research that indicates that this objective may well be in reach. According to Greig Jansen, CEO of PURA Soda, the recent listing on the Amazon platform is an ideal way for their business to rapidly increase their customer base. Jansen highlights that it is essential to focus on expanding both brick and mortar sales, and the brand’s presence in the ecommerce space to secure global distribution. When listing a product on Amazon, this grants access to a huge pool of already established customers with over 70 million transactions taking place on the platform every day.

With roots in Cape Town, South Africa, PURA Soda has cemented its position as a global brand, exporting to 13 countries including the US, UAE and UK. In 2019, they won kudos at the Aurora International Taste Challenge, thrilling expert tasters and being named as the “Best Tasting Non-alcoholic Beverage”. Continuing this winning streak, PURA Soda was then named as the “Best Cold Beverage” at Product of the Year 2020, the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation.


Main image caption: Vans artists (from left) Start From Zero, Eloise Dörr and Lalese Stamps


Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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