You’re probably sick of hearing it, but now is the ‘age of authenticity’ in advertising.
According to consumer trends, young audiences in particular pay more attention to content that appears real and inclusive. Brands that try too hard inevitably end up looking like Hans Moleman holding a skateboard.
As brands scratch their chins about how to get on the same level as young people – and not be known for a TikTok misfire – Converse has been capturing youth culture for years.
The ethos? “We know that we can’t tell this new generation what’s next, they are the ones creating it,” says Converse global partner markets VP of marketing Andres Kiger.
Converse’s major All Star Series, which Kiger stresses is ‘not a campaign’, first kicked off in Sydney in 2017.
Named after the Converse shoe, it’s a program for emerging creatives from largely underrepresented communities. The series has expanded to include more than 2,500 people from over 56 cities around the world.
Each All Star champions change in either art, sport or culture. Converse’s role is to increase their exposure and access to resources.
“Our work with All Stars is a mutually beneficial relationship that connects, authenticates, and energises the Converse brand in the communities we care about, while giving members unique exposure and professional creative opportunities,” says Kiger.
The series comes to Sydney
The All Star Series recently returned to Sydney for a much larger undertaking, with 30 young creatives from around the world gathering to collaborate and forge the ‘next’ in music.
Thirty young creatives from around the world gathered to collaborate and forge the ‘next’ in music.
During their time together, the All Stars created five original tracks and a visual expression of the sound. Another team then documented the process.
Over the course of the three-day workshop, the All Stars worked with mentors like multi-disciplinary artist Abdul Abdullah, creative director Ken Leung and music producer Justin Elwin.
The series culminated in a showcase of the work to American rapper and long-time brand partner Tyler, The Creator.
Aysha Nanai-Leifi, Editor of ISLE Magazine, was among the All Stars who came to Sydney.
Converse first contacted Nanai-Leifi in 2018 after seeing her social content and presence. She joined the community in June, 2018 and with the support of Converse, launched her online and print platform representing the Pacific Islander community.
“I went to Malaysia and LA in 2019 with Converse, and last month I was lucky enough to speak at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City,” she says of her time as an All Star.
Converse is undoubtedly spending a lot of money on its All Stars, creating what Kiger says is “a grassroots community that has become an integral part of what [the] brand stands for”.
“This is Converse’s overall long-term investment in the next generation of creators,” Kiger explains.
“They are our trusted creative partners that help us look at issues that matter, and find ideas and solutions that can work and be activated all around the world.”