As an advocate for brand collaborations, I’ve always admired Woolworths for their fresh and unconventional collaborations. The brand has unveiled many notable and pioneering brand collaborations that highlight the unique opportunity for constantly surprising consumers. Product range launches are not exclusive; hence brands are always pressured to constantly reinvent the way in which they communicate their strategic messages to reach consumers. Woolworths is one of the leading brands that have mastered refreshing communication approaches needed to stay at the top. Over the years, Woolworths has partnered with a diverse group of partners from tv personalities, musicians, dancers, models (including Candice Swanepoel and Joan Smalls), bloggers and artists, through compelling campaigns, as a means of growing its market share and reaching a diverse and widened audience.
Inspired by South Africa’s local street fashion, Woolworths unveiled its Modern Winter 2014 collection, a collaboration with four local ‘It girls’ and bloggers, including Pearl Modiade, Melody Molale, Minnie Dlamini and Neo Leoka. Dubbed #thefashioncrew, the quartet of stylish girls used their social media platforms to discuss winter fashion, from their favorite style moments to the fashion faux pas they’d rather forget, while promoting Woolworths’ Mordern Range for Winter.
Alongside the launch of their Summer 2014 range, South Africa’s leading retailer also launched StyleBySA, a ground-breaking competition to revolutionize how fashion is styled and represented in South Africa. Open to Woolworths customers and fashionistas from far and wide, the StyleBySA competition called on fashion savvy socialites and fashionistas to “don their most cutting-edge style and swag” and upload these images onto Instagram using the #stylebysa hashtag. Thirteen fashion-forward South Africans were chosen to be part of Woolworths advertising campaign, including fashionistas Thuli Mola, Tshepi Vundla and Miahs Moloto to name a few. Instagram model and digital influencer Tshepi Vundla went on to win the bonus prize; two all expenses paid tickets to New York and an opportunity to attend New York Fashion Week in February 2015.
Woolworths x Bonang
2014 proved to be a big year for Woolies and collaborations as the brand also announced a trendsetting partnership with none other than media darling Bonang Matheba. The partnership saw B* collaborate with the retailer in an undeniably sexy lingerie line called ‘Bonang For Distraction’. “There is something really empowering about wearing sexy lingerie. Bonang For Distraction is my way of contributing to the empowerment of thousands of South African women, who I hope will gain confidence and freedom through wearing this range,” Bonang opened up to Grazia Magazine about her lingerie range.
Woolworths x Creatives
This time around Woolworths tapped industry influencers including bloggers, stylists and presenters as the stars of their AW15 campaign. The brand once again partnered with young creatives from across South Africa from model Chelsea Rose, Blogger Sarah Langa, Photographer Trevor Stuurman, Former Miss SA Teen Celeste Kumalo, TV Presenter KNaomi and Influencer Tshepi Vundla. Other creatives that have headlined campaigns for the brand include stylists Siya Beyile, Papama Ramogase, and Boogy Maboi. “This is such a great platform for all of us involved. It is great to see familiar faces and it’s an amazing opportunity to be affiliated with such an amazing brand,” KNaomi told Elle Magazine.
Woolworths x Pharrell
In 2015, the brand took its collaborations to the next level by announcing the trailblazing “Are You With Us” campaign, fronted by the imaginative Pharrell Williams. The campaign which had four layers: pure entertainment, showcasing young talent, fundraising for education, and driving sustainable fashion, saw the global superstar put on a private concert for 5 000 Woolworths customers. “Pharrell is a global icon for social cohesion, advancement through education and environmental awareness – these same values lie at the heart of our business and form the foundation on which this partnership is built. We hope Pharrell will help us make sustainability cool for the next generation of South Africans and help us create a better future for our children, our country and our planet,” said Ian Moir (CEO for Woolworths Holdings Limited).
Woolworths x SAFW
In a very exciting twist, Woolwoorths has decided to empower the future of SA Fashion by partnering with South African Fashion Week, through the StyleBySA creative platform, which sees the brand collaborate with local designers. This year, the brand launched their 2017 StyleBySA seasonal campaign by championing home-grown talent, featuring a capsule collection by eight local designers who are causing a buzz in the fashion scene, namely Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu, AKJP, Pichulik, Maria McCloy, Sol-Sol, Selfi and Young & Lazy. The significance of this partnership between Woolworths and SAFW is that it prioritises fast-tracking South African fashion from the runway to the rails. “As the second leg in our commitment to develop South African design talent (The first being our partnership with SAFW), the idea was always to bring talented designers into the Woolworths store. We saw this as a natural progression of the StyleBySA property that we have built over the last few years,” Nabeel Schrueder – Woolworths Senior Fashion Brand Manager exclusively told GuideToCelebrity.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to collaborate with the best so you will have to keep a close eye on us to see who our next big collaborator will be,” Nabeel added. Well Woolworths, we certainly cannot wait!