‘Mswenko’ is a Zulu expression that implies confidence, vibrance, uniqueness and stylish flair.
VW and their creative agency partner, Ogilvy invited the people of Mzansi to join the #MswenkoChallenge, showcasing their unique interpretation of local flavour and umswenko. From unique rap freestyles to vibrant designs, local aspiring artists participated in their numbers, with over 300 entries from every corner of Mzansi.
The campaign unearthed a new community of creatives and fans, who felt seen by the brand.
Three overall winners were selected from the 15 finalists of the #MswenkoChallenge, who each walked away with Superbalist vouchers, a limited-edition print by Yay Abe, merchandise by GALXBOY, as well as the opportunity to have their artistic work showcased on the Volkswagen platforms.
Camilla Clerke, executive creative director at Ogilvy Cape Town, “Ogilvy is honoured to have been involved in a campaign of this nature, which gives a platform to local talent, to showcase and amplify their work.”
Clerke says, “Social media was a major driver for the campaign. The feedback that the #MswenkoChallenge has received has been positive, and truly rewarding. Looking through the entries was a ‘wow’ moment, as we recognised the degree of talent we have in the country. It’s rare that aspiring South African artists are recognised by global, highly admired brands. The campaign was one-of-a-kind for Ogilvy, and our client partner, Volkswagen SA.”
First-place winner, Best J Ncube, stood out amongst the entries, leading Volkswagen to help pave the way forward for his creative journey, in a way that paid tribute to the brand’s ‘Drive Local, and Support Local’ ambitions.
As such, Ncube and Yay Abe were partnered with The Pro Shop to bring to life their unique designs in the form of a limited-edition, locally made streetwear range that was made available to the public for purchase, from 03 August 2021, exclusively through VW’s online lifestyle store. The range is locally designed, and locally-inspired-by the streets of SA, and the new Polo Vivo ‘Mswenko’, and most importantly, locally produced, bringing the best of local together.
Meredith Kelly, head of marketing, Volkswagen South Africa, “Volkswagen has always been committed to moving people forward – on the road and in their ambitions – and under this philosophy VWSA has remained passionate about supporting local talent, individuals and businesses under our ‘Drive Local’ ambitions and campaigns.”
Kelly adds, “It only felt natural and imperative to celebrate our locally produced limited-edition Polo Vivo Mswenko by supporting local talent once more on a mission to Drive Local creativity forward. We were inspired by the many talented submissions to our Polo Vivo #MwenkoChallenge and are honoured to share our platforms with our top artist, as an opportunity to showcase his designs, because we understand the power of exposure for young local artists.”
The two limited-edition merchandise collections created by Yay Abe and Best J Ncube are renditions of what ‘Mswenko’ means to them personally, and just like the car, the Mswenko streetwear drives the local scene to show that the streets have a new look. The street-inspired range includes swagged out bucket hats, socks and t-shirts that speak to each individual’s artistic styles.
#MswenkoChallenge winner, Best J Ncube, “I would have never thought that a guy like me from Pretoria would be working with someone like Yay Abe and with a big brand like Volkswagen on such an amazing project like this. Volkswagen has truly made my dream come true - this opportunity will not only assist me with local and possible international exposure but with the confidence to pursue my dreams further.”
To shop or view the two limited-edition merchandise collections created by Yay Abe and Best J Ncube, visit the VW Lifestyle store here: https://shopvwlifestyle.co.za/artist-collab.