1 August 2017
Russian Bear just ended a successful two-year collaboration with Riky Rick, one of South Africa’s biggest hip-hop stars. But the vodka market was over now saturated with big name rappers… so Russian Bear needed to change the game.
Instead of giving an already famous artist another lucrative endorsement deal, we invested our budget into a nationwide talent search, for the people that matter most: the fans. We called it #IAMNEXT.
Any great rap song starts with the written word; so using Twitter, fans were asked to show off their lyrical prowess in just 140 characters along with the #IAMNEXT hashtag.
Thousands of unique entries were automatically pulled through to a microsite, and we shortlisted it down to three finalists from across South Africa.
We shot a music video for each finalist in their hoods, showcasing their skills — and every week for three weeks, we introduced one of the finalists to the public. The films were uploaded on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
We then asked the public to decide. Fans of the three finalists had their say and after a heated debate online, there was one winner.
With just one Tweet, the winner, Sicelo, went from being an amateur rapper from Port Elizabeth to the new face of Russian Bear.
Sicelo featured on over 20 billboards nationwide, received radio play and even got his own limited edition Russian Bear bottle.
While the other two finalists might not have won the competition, all three finalists now have a music video to help launch their careers!