Russian Bear Premium Vodka and Y&R South Africa’s Cape Town’s office recently launched the #IAMNEXT campaign.
It’s been two years since Russian Bear partnered with South African MC, producer and rapper Riky Rick. The partnership made the brand synonymous with the next level of urban culture, style and hip-hop. #IAMNEXT is the latest embodiment of this partnership, inspired by the iconic Limited Edition Russian Bear x Riky Rick bottle featuring the rapper and his lyrics.
In December 2016, budding hip-hop lyricists across the country were invited to show off their lyrical prowess by penning and submitting their own fiery, attention-grabbing one-liners about reaching the next level on the #IAMNEXT online platform, www.russianbear.co.za. The catch: they had to do it in 150 characters. An online video series featuring the top three wordsmiths performing their lyrics were released on Russian Bear’s social media channels earlier this month — giving the fans a platform to show off their talent.
Keagan Reece Rhoda, (aka Spectak), Moabi Maseko (aka RE3D) and Sicelo Ngozwana (aka J.Retta) battled it out to be crowned the #IAMNEXT king. The fans spoke and selected Sicelo “JRetta” Ngozwana as the official #IAMNEXT winner – a promising rapper from Port Elizabeth who professed that ”number 2 and number 3 don’t get the gold medal”.
“This campaign is not simply about allowing fans to contribute to the creative process,” says Graham Lang, Chief Creative Officer of Y&R South Africa and Africa. “Many vodka brands are paying big money to endorse already successful hip-hop stars. We wanted to change the game and demonstrate that Russian Bear knows how to do more than just engage their target; they also know how to empower their fans’ creative ambitions by building platforms for them to shine. The brand is collaborating with everyday South Africans and helping to take their talent to the next level.”
Russian Bear brand manager, Simone Burns adds: “We were blown away by the response from Russian Bear fans. The launch of the #IAMNEXT campaign literally opened the floodgates of talent in South Africa. We are excited to watch careers blossom through new talent platforms — and all that comes next…”
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