Vans has expanded its “This is Off the Wall” ad campaign with “Vanguards,” a multi-part series that highlights female skateboarders. Timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, the activation includes several digital videos and global workshops.
“Vanguards” tells the story of four Vans team riders—Lizzie Armanto, Brighton Zeuner, Yndiara Asp and Mami Tezuka. The first spot, released on Wednesday, explores the idea that each skater’s identity and style is influenced by the world around them.
Armanto’s smooth, “breezy” style, for example, is directly influenced by her seaside Santa Monica home while Tezuka demonstrates precise timing thanks to her musical training. Asp is a determined Brazilian athlete that keeps trying no matter what. In fact, she is seen faceplanting into a pole, grabbing some ice and going again. Zeuner wears Vans but makes them her own—dyeing white pants into bright colors that match her style.
“Vans extends beyond traditional campaigns by funding efforts that create meaningful interactions with loyalists and newcomers alike,” said April Vitkus, senior director of Vans global brand marketing in a statement. “’Vanguards’ aims to not only tell a story of four women but invites everyone to experience the creative depth that surrounds what we cherish most – skateboarding.”
Last year, Vans says it began a global initiative to teach women of all ages how to skateboard.
Beginning on Friday, May 8—Women’s Day—and running through May, Vans will host a series of live engagements in California and around the world that have been curated by the “Vanguards” campaign stars. These events include a girl’s skate jam, girls combi contest, workshops and free clinics. The workshop on March 10 will include food “inspired by” Lizzie Armanto and Brighton Zeuner.
“Our brand’s identity is continually inspired by personalities such as the women you meet in the ‘Vanguards’ campaign,” said Erwin Federizo, Vans’ global executive creative director in a statement. “By sharing their stories, we are able to continue celebrating the unique individuals who are living and breathing Vans’ ‘Off The Wall’ ethos. Creative campaigns like this are a true testament to our purpose.”
Vans launched “This is Off the Wall” in 2017, focusing on unique style and self-expression. The campaign followed on the heels of the brand’s 50th anniversary in 2016, during which Vans shared its history from deck shoes to surfing and of course, adoption by the skateboarding community.