Russian Bear continues its tradition of taking things to the next level with the launch of its Ultimate Collaboration, which culminated in the brand’s release of two anthems with some of South Africa’s best and brightest. The multi-award-winning premium vodka has always been rooted in urban culture and collaboration, and the recent opportunity proves once again why Russian Bear is one of the most loved brands in the hip-hop and urban space.
The aim of the competition was simple – provide young, up-and-coming creatives with the opportunity to collaborate with two of South Africa’s most current and influential artists, Nadia Nakai and Blaq Diamond. Fans were asked to dust off their portfolios and show Russian Bear what they could do by sliding into their DMs on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and they did not disappoint. In fact, fans and creatives alike took the competition to the next level with over 700 entries across music, fashion, and art.
“We were overwhelmed at the number of entries received across our three brand pillar categories, namely Music, Fashion and Art. We also reached over one million consumers during this campaign, surpassing our projected targets,” said Lauren Justus, Marketing Manager at Edward Snell.
“There is an amazing pool of talent in South Africa, and we are extremely proud that Russian Bear is able to give our consumers a platform to level up their craft. We filtered through all the entries before shortlisting the top nine applicants, three in each category. Each of the finalists were interviewed before we asked our Russian Bear audience to vote on their favourite in each category. Then came the very hard task of selecting our top five winners. To do this, we enlisted the help of our loyal consumers’ votes alongside celebrity influencers, Nadia Nakai and Blaq Diamond, the Russian Bear brand team and partner agencies MullenLowe and the Influencer Management Team at Jailbird,” continued Lauren.
Collaboration is in Russian Bear’s DNA
“Nadia Nakai and Blaq Diamond really exemplified what we look for in collaborators. Not only are they hard-working and respected creatives in the industry, but they have what it takes to take things to the next level. Blaq Diamond represents Russian Bear Original and Energy Fusion while Nadia, our first-ever female on the brand, represents our various other vodka flavours,” added Lauren.
“Collaboration is in our DNA, and it’s all about collaborating with the people who matter the most – the fans, the artists, the creators, the innovators, the dreamers, the mentors, the change-makers, and the boundary-pushers. These are people who persistently think outside the box and take things to the next level. The winners of the Ultimate Collaboration Competition got the incredible opportunity to collaborate with both Blaq Diamond and Nadia Nakai to produce two dope anthems to be used in future Russian Bear campaigns, as well as designing the album cover and killer drip for both artists,” continued Lauren.
Nadia Nakai adds, “Being part of the Russian Bear family as the first-ever female brand ambassador is a dream come true. Working with young, up-and-coming artists and creators, many of whom remind me of myself, is a great way to give back to the audience that helped me build my career. I have so many people to thank who helped me get to where I am today and collaborating with the Ultimate Collaboration Competition winners is just one exciting way to give back. We truly have shining stars in South Africa, and I’m proud to be a part of a brand that recognises this and provides a platform for success,” commented Nadia Nakai.
Blaq Diamond also shares their thoughts on the importance of collaboration. “Being able to meet and work with industry professionals comes with the job but getting to this point is no easy task. With brands like Russian Bear giving urban youth the opportunity to make their mark is incredibly valuable. We hope other brands follow Russian Bear’s lead, which we believe can only lead to greatness.”
Nadia Nakai Collab & Winners:
Ultimate collaboration anthem ft Nadia Nakai and Asah M. Album cover art by Rebel Rabbit. Fashion/styling by Lenneth Bowers
Music video: https://youtu.be/RD2QbTefCqc
Music – @asahm_sa
Art – @rebelrabbit_za
Fashion – @lennethbowers
Blaq Diamond Collab & Winners:
Ultimate collaboration anthem ft Blaq Diamond and Ethnix Namibia. Album cover art by Sinalo Ngcaba. Fashion/styling by Lenneth Bowers
Music video: https://youtu.be/N_nAWCCuW3g
Music – @ethnixnamibia
Art – @snalo
Fashion – @lennethbowers