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São Paulo Fashion Week

Objective: To innovatively and effectively advertise South Africa to Brazilian tourists.

Context: In 2006, tourism marketing companies advertised in classic tourism media outlets. We opted for innovation and including fashion and culture in our strategy.

Strategy: Use unconventional channels to present South Africa in a way that tourists have never seen before. Work closely with SP Fashion Week, at the time was one of the largest events in terms of media capillarity, second only to the World Cup.

Approach: Invite the creative director of SP Fashion Week, Paulo Borges, to use South Africa as the inspirational backdrop for the event.

Actions: The entire event was planned and decorated with South-African motifs. Designers Lino Villaventura, Alexandre Herchcovitch and others showed off collections inspired by South African ethnicities and trends. We also threw a South Africa themed closing party with typical music and food. Guests included Brazilian celebrities. Print and online media exposure was phenomenal and lasted an entire month, including the weeks leading up to the event, Fashion Week itself, and the week following the event.

Result: South Africa came to be seen as a cool, desirable and fashionable destination.

ROI: Return on investment of over 10 million dollars. This project proved to be a watershed moment for tourist destination marketing in Brazil and inspired actions for other countries.


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