Celebrating Brand Heritage

Celebrating Brand Heritage

A brand’s heritage can be a very compelling differentiating factor, significantly adding to its legitimacy and authenticity. Celebrating that heritage gives a brand the opportunity to showcase their heritage in a way that can reframe a brand in the minds of the consumer. Memory can be incredibly powerful and if a brand has the right balance of nostalgia and authenticity, celebrating the past can mean a lot of brand equity for the future.

There are some very distinct campaigns that well-known brands in South Africa have run to celebrate their Heritage and the story that makes them, them.


20 Years of Living in LEVI’S®.

In 2014, Levis celebrated being in South Africa for 20 years. Following the peaceful and democratic elections in 1994, Levi’s was one of the first global companies to re-enter the South African market.

The brand tasked Creative Youth Agency, ANDPEOPLE, with helping them celebrate this milestone while paying tribute to the people, ideas, product and stories that made the brand the success it had become. A documentary was created ‘20 Years of Living in Levis’ wherein which the past and present employees shared their memories and experiences with the brand. The documentary further gave audiences a chance to see the story of the brand, as it had grown over a 20-year period. This documentary undoubtedly reinforced the legacy of this iconic brand.


20 Years of Living in Levi’s® in SA – Documentary 2014

Central to the heritage of Levi’s brand identity is that it was born in San Francisco. So, it was further decided that a real brand experience would be created. San Francisco was brought to the streets of Cape Town for one night… ultimately bringing the history of the brand to life and giving the people of South Africa the chance to live one night fully immersed in the heritage of the brand.


Levi’s® 20th Anniversary  2014, brand experience 2014.


Goodbye Citi Golf.

After 25 years in the South African market, VW decided to retire the much beloved, legendary, Citi Golf. This car had become so embedded in the culture and heritage of South Africa, that it was felt it was deserving of an epic farewell.  The brand did this by giving the whole of South Africa the chance to bid farewell to this iconic car with the campaign called ‘Goodbye Citi’.

The farewell campaign gave one of the last made Citi’s in South Africa the chance to do a victory lap around the country; giving South Africans the chance to bid farewell by signing the car. Carin Merkel, Volkswagen South Africa’s Communications Manager at the time stated, “Actually, this campaign is about the South African public saying goodbye - because the car has become theirs, as much as it is ours.” What a powerful statement- completely affirming the fact that South Africans truly did connect with this car, on such an emotional level.

Chris Gotz, Creative Director of Ogilvy in Cape Town summed up the legacy of this renowned car, "The Citi brand means so many things to so many different people. Thousands drove it as their first car. To them, the brand is all about freedom. Others personalised their Citi's. So, for these people, it's about individuality. Some owned and drove a Citi for decades, and then passed it on to their kids. Some were even born in a Citi. In fact, almost everyone has a Citi story and Citi means something different to each of them.”


Farewell TV Commercial- VW - Goodbye Citi Golf 2009.


Can you #AMGgrowl?

South Africa Mercedes-AMG is acclaimed for having given the motoring industry one of its most distinctive sounds… its signature engine growl. To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, AMG is encouraging South Africans to imitate the famous engine sound with the #AMGgrowl campaign.  Using 8 celebs a brand film was created by their best interpretation of the growl. The aim in this being to ultimately to inspire and encourage the AMG fans to submit their interpretations of the signature sound that they had come to love.

Why not celebrate your brand's 50-year anniversary by connecting with customers through the differentiating factor that makes the Mercedes-AMG, the Mercedes-AMG? According to Selvin Govender, Mercedes Benz Marketing director, the adoration portrayed by the South African market for this iconic sound is what ultimately inspired the campaign. He further states, "It’s a celebration of Driving Performance as well as a ‘thank you’ to all who hold our brand close to their hearts.”

Celebrating 50 years of Mercedes-AMG 2017.

In today’s world, it is crucial for brand’s to cut through all the clutter to connect with their customers in very real and authentic ways, and storytelling forms an integral part of this. Your brand heritage could be a gold mine, rich with many memories, and it is with memories that people are able to connect with emotionally. Celebrate these memories and boast about your longevity!

If you need help in defining your brand story contact us here.




Jeary, J. (2016, September 23). Celebrating Brand Heritage. http://www.wearebowline.com/blog/celebrating-brand-heritage/

Bradt, G. (2014, October 8). The Three Imperatives of Authentic Branding.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2014/10/08/the-three-imperatives-of-authentic-branding/#2eef4c9831c0

Mahlaba, M. (2015, April 15). 20 Years of Living in Levis | Documentary by ANDPEOPLE. http://10and5.com/2015/04/15/20-years-of-living-in-levis-documentary-by-andpeople/

Goodbye Citi - farewell campaign for iconic brand. (2009, November 5). http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/82/41734.html

Can you do the #AMGgrowl? SA celebs celebrate 50 years of Mercedes AMG. (2017, August 3). http://www.wheels24.co.za/WildOnWheels/can-you-do-the-amggrowl-sa-celebs-celebrate-50-years-of-mercedes-amg-20170803


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