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The 2020 festive season will be about ‘Gifting Different’ as supporting local takes precedence

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the world as we know it with people living, thinking and buying differently. One thing is for sure – the 2020 festive season will also be different – putting a more considered slant on giving.

Nearly one third of small businesses closed during lockdown, with 3 million jobs lost and 40% of employed South Africans losing their main source of income, according to NIDS-CRAM, the National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey. Against this backdrop of need, consumers have shifted to more mindful consumption, a deeper consciousness of community and the need to support local enterprise.

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Pernod Ricard South Africa will be ‘gifting different’ this festive season, investing in the local economy through the #SisonkeMzansi campaign which launches today.  The campaign sees flagship brands Absolut vodka, Beefeater gin, Chivas Regal, Jameson Irish whiskey and Ballantine’s Scotch whisky amongst others, standing together with local artists, makers and manufacturers from local communities to conceptualise, design and create a range of truly South African ‘gifts that give’.

“We are re-routing festive season spend that has traditionally been spent on imported gifting packs to make a fundamental shift towards supporting local,” says Sherman Mouton, Off Trade Director, Pernod Ricard South Africa.

Five up and coming artists were commissioned to create bespoke pieces of artwork, inspired by their individual understanding of ‘gifting different’ to ‘give gifts that give’. Through their artwork, the artists tell the stories of their backgrounds, their beliefs, their struggles and their drive to fulfil their dreams. The artwork captures the artists’ own essence and that of the brands they have worked on.

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50 women from a network of township-based sewing co-operatives have created high quality linen tote bags, distinctively printed with the bespoke artwork to create ‘gifts that give’. These will be gifted with every bottle of participating premium spirits purchased in selected liquor outlets. In working with these co-operatives through the Township Patterns NGO, Pernod Ricard South Africa has helped to sustain employment and support dependencies. In addition to the tote bags, manufacturers and artisans from local businesses across the country have created a range of aluminium mugs, gift bags and wrapping paper as additional ‘gifts that give’. These people have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 – many having been retrenched or working reduced hours.

Pernod Ricard also worked with the Learn to Earn NGO to engage an up and coming black-owned activation agency, JTC, to recruit 225 brand activators who are being trained in business, interpersonal, selling and functional skills to enable them to bring to life the campaign in retail stores.

There’s more…Pernod Ricard South Africa has partnered with Springbok stalwarts Siya Kolisi and Cheslin Kolbe.  The duo will be encouraging South Africans to stand together to invest in the local economy by giving ‘gifts that give’.

“I am proud to be partnering with Pernod Ricard, whose commitment to making positive change in South Africa couldn’t be stronger. As a collective, we share very similar values – caring for our people, family and fellow South Africans,” says Kolisi.

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Whilst Siya Kolisi does not consume alcohol, he is also spearheading Pernod Ricard’s message of responsible drinking over the festive season.

Through the #SisonkeMzansi campaign, approximately 268 new jobs have been created, a further 220 manufacturing, artisanal, creative and service jobs sustained, benefitting 2,550 people in local communities and supporting the alcohol and hospitality sectors hard hit by the pandemic.

“While gifting will remain part of the festive season landscape in 2020, consumers are looking to be more relevant in difficult times.  Giving ‘gifts that give’ is a positive way of spreading light

in the lives of South Africans in need,” concludes Mouton.

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