BY Fast Company SA 2 MINUTE READ

Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt whisky, has launched a first of its kind; the first ever functional billboard, complete with all the trimmings that one would expect of a plush whisky bar and audio equipped to capture a unique podcast series, whilst being seamlessly integrated into the Johannesburg skyline.

For the brand with maverick spirit at its core, the idea for a fully functional and immersive space within the confines of an advertisement billboard has been long in the making, serving Glenfiddich’s ambition to spark meaningful conversations with a diverse range of change makers.

Recognised within their fields, by entering The Challengers Club these change makers will transfer their insight, knowledge and passion; creating a ripple effect of inspiration for the next wave of innovators and entrepreneurs.

In January of this year, the mandate was given to youth specialist agency Andpeople to roll out a global campaign in South Africa, where the call to action was to define ‘maverick’ behaviour and how it translates within our local context.

In keeping with the agencies orthodox, a team on the ground was employed to thoroughly interrogate the meaning and connotations that this evoked with individuals who readily fell into this broad category.

What emerged was a very real sense that the meaning was a lot more specific to the unique context we find ourselves in. And while plenty of parallels could be drawn, our local ‘mavericks’ did not necessarily identify with the word. This shapeshifted the brief to become something far more organic and exciting, and where the concept of the Challengers Club was incubated.

“In order to build cultural context, we wanted to define drivers of maverick behaviours and interpretations in South Africa in order to shape and inform future creative utilisation.” says Kelly Johnson, Marketing Manager of Glenfiddich SA. “At the core of this was the need to evolve our interpretation in order to build credible connections with our audience now and in the future whilst remaining true to Glenfiddich.”

The idea for a functional space within the confines of an advertisement billboard served Glenfiddich’s fundamental purpose to facilitate meaningful conversations with the changemakers and luminaries of today; and ultimately for the benefit of future generations to come. By creating a clearly demarcated space used solely for this purpose, the brand enabled real conversations to emerge and to travel, with a series of podcasts being aired on national station Metro FM as an extension to the campaign.

“We have a highly ambitious youth market, but they lack the skills, resources and tools to equip them for their journeys. By bringing together a cross section of established innovators and disruptors of the status quo, we can use these authentic stories to inspire this generation in a meaningful and credible way.” says Duncan MacLennan, Managing Director for Andpeople.

About their core objective, MacLennan says “We wanted to challenge the conventional approach to utilising outdoor media, shifting from simply delivering a passive message, to creating an active experience that creates unique content which can then be amplified via digital and broadcast channels. What we have now is more than a campaign, it’s a programme built on the value it can create for the people it’ll reach.”

The Challengers Club billboard and is set to tour the country, with a unique conceptual space currently being designed for Durban to launch in July, with Cape Town popping up later this year.