Instead of running a traditional brand campaign Vans has commissioned artists to create individual projects, which it will host on its site throughout 2022.
The first installment of the ‘These Projects Are Ads for Creativity’ campaign will coincide with Black History Month, with artists briefed to create work that uplifts Black voices and communities.
The skate apparel brand hopes the featured artists and projects show how creativity can be used to “celebrate purpose and uplift communities.” Among the debuting artists is the work of Brooklyn-based charity Stoked, which works with schools and mentors to host after-school activities for disadvantaged young people. Stoked hosted a workshop to paint and assemble skateboards for the local community.
The second work is from punk rock band RadKey, who created a music video for their song P.A.W, which challenges racial and social discrimination.
Across the year Vans will display the art on its main landing page, with featured work including music videos, sculptures, paintings and projects that improve access to skateboarding.
“Since our inception, Vans has always been driven forward by creative culture. We found our place listening to skateboarders, musicians and artists to let them show us what creativity looks like from their vantage point,” said Carly Gomez, vice-president of marketing, Vans Americas.
“We believe creativity allows you to build what comes next – it’s a vehicle to channel your ideas into tangible forms of expression, experimentation and meaningful moments,” she added.
Upcoming projects include work from viral female punk band The Linda Lindas, experimental musician Serpentwithfeet and Ghanaian skate school Surf Ghana.