The eleventh instalment of the annual Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival was a runaway success this past September. The launch of the #72hrsSoweto campaign hit just the right notes as eight local influencers shared their experiences of Africa’s most exciting destination over the three days of the event.

Exposed to the vibrant street art, design, fashion, theatre and culture of Soweto, the #72hrsSoweto digital campaign aimed to position Soweto as a must-experience destination, right on your doorstep; and worth visiting for a few days.

The expectations of the hosted influencers were not only met, but far exceeded. Everyone agreed, Soweto is Africa’s most happening place.

This year, the festival secured a strategic partnership with Destinate, a destination marketing agency owned by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, well known for its innovative work in destination marketing, digital campaigns and wine tourism. Du Toit-Helmbold says; “This year the Soweto Wine Festival and Gauteng Tourism partnered with us on an innovative new digital campaign that saw wine tourism and destination marketing come together in the most effective way. A fun-filled and educational weekend was had by all and this came across in the multitude of Facebook posts, Tweets and Instagram posts shared by our influencers and their followers.”

According to BrandsEye, the #72hrsSoweto hashtag reached more than 9.9 million people and generated an AVE of R2.2million on social media alone. There were 447 unique accounts that posted content using the #72hrsSoweto hashtag, while 986 people shared content that contained the hashtag. On Twitter, more than 1 800 Tweets were posted during the #72hrsSoweto campaign.

Influencers for the #72hrsSoweto campaign were:

  1. Natalie Roos, Destinate and Tails of a Mermaid

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Twitter: @NatalieRoos | Instagram: @tailsofamermaid

2. Sfiso Dlangamandla, LoCrate Market

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Twitter: @LocrateMarket | Instagram: @LoCrateMarket

3. Kate Els, IndiKate

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Twitter: @Kate_Els | Instagram: @kate_els

4. Innocent Mukheli and I See A Different You

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Twitter: @iseedifferent | @iseeadifferentyou

5. Andy Carrie, Instagrammer

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Twitter: @AndyCarrie | Instagram: @andycarrie_on

6. Heather Mason, 2Summers

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Twitter: @2Summers | Instagram: @2summers

7. Hussain van Roos, Fixin Diaries

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Twitter: @fixindiaries | Instagram: @fixindiaries

Heather Mason for @2summers commented; “Before this trip I thought I knew Soweto, kind of. I’d been there a lot, doing a lot of different things. But #72hrsSoweto held many surprises. Almost everything we did over the course of the weekend was new (or at least partially new) to me.”

Andy Carrie, @AndyCarrie, added; “#72hrsSoweto definitely changed my perspective of how incredible our country is. I had one of the best nights of my life in Soweto, and I am South African! The campaign was amazing. Every activity was so special and allowed me to take something away that was personal. I was blown away by the friendliness and acceptance that we felt from the locals. In short, Soweto stole a piece of my heart.”

Andy then went on to use the #72hrsSoweto campaign as an example of “a great campaign to create visual content” in a presentation he did for the E-Tourism Africa Summit 2015 and has posted this lovely #72hrsSoweto video on Youtube.

Mnikelo Mangciphu, festival co-founder and owner of Morara Wine and Spirits Emporium in Mofolo, Soweto, concludes; “This year we introduced a new format to the festival that went down very well and we launched the #72hrsSoweto campaign that far exceeded our expectations in terms of reach. South Africa’s wine industry and Soweto are undergoing exciting changes, so the timing to bring together wine and tourism in one campaign was perfect.

The stage has been set for a new era in the Soweto Wine Festival’s future. There’s just so much to showcase about South Africa’s wine industry, and many different layers to share about destination Soweto, that 2016 promises to be bigger and better. We hope to invite many more influencers – some from around the world – to come and experience Africa’s leading wine, food and lifestyle festival and the warmth, generosity and culture of Soweto.”

The Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival 2016 will take place from 2 – 4 September.

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