My Original Since

Q&A with the Vans man on his brand’s latest campaign

Photography by Grant Payne

Every now and again we see something on the internet that we wish we’d thought of first. Eat your cereal Ryan Gosling. How Sway. Vans’ My Orginal Since campaign. The waffle-soled sneaker brand carefully curated ambassadors and then got them to speak about their first time with the jazz-stripe. Here’s marketing manager Warren Talbot unpacking Vans' latest campaign for us.

Tell us about the My Original Since campaign.

We consulted with Mat Kieser on this particular project and came up with a simple, yet effective campaign taking people's stories about their first experience with the Vans brand and amplifying them. It’s real storytelling stuff, which everyone can relate to, and at the same time subtly drives our latest apparel range by shooting these individuals in their environments. Each and every one of the people featured have an amazing story and that’s where Vans excels as Vans has such a rich history. People almost glaze over with nostalgia.

How do you select the people you feature?

It’s actually a really hard process as there are so many people that we would love to feature, but it’s also about finding a balance between the different timelines and characters. We try to make sure that we have an all-round selection of people, that way the stories can resonate with different people. 

Who is the team behind the series? 

It's been a real team effort within the Vans family and everyone has worked closely on the project, especially Mat. We also have a great photographer, Grant Payne, who has been working with us for a while and understands how the look and feel of the Vans lifestyle should be portrayed.

What have some of your favourite features been and why? 

I’d say I have two real favourites that stand out. The first one is Brett Shaw, because it’s so real and embodies that Vans way of life. I mean, he slept on beaches and kept his Vans on his feet the whole time so no one could steal them. The other one is Waldo’s two boys - just because they are living that Vans way of life. Outdoors, skating and surfing; just being young and carefree. That’s how it’s meant to be.

How much longer do you plan on running this campaign for? 

The initial campaign was to showcase 30 individuals, but has been so successful that we’re actually going to be inviting everyone to share their stories. So it’s a call-to-action and we’ll curate the content shared by the public and shoot the people with the best stories. So in a way we’re putting it out there for the public to give their input.

If you could feature anyone in the world who would you choose and why?

Obviously for me I’d say THE GODFATHER  of Vans - “Steve Van Doren”. He’s second generation Vans family as his dad Paul Van Doren was the founder of the Vans brand. Can you imagine how many great stories he could tell? The guy has seen it all and has been everywhere.

You just sponsored the Yours Truly staff. Tell us about your seeding strategy.

Our seeding strategy is a well kept secret! What I can tell you about the sponsorship with Yours Truly is that it is a symbiotic merging of two like minded lifestyle brands.

You're never in the same place for very long. Where has this year taken you and would you agree that you have the best job in the world?

I’m constantly busy, whether that's events, social networking, sponsorships or behind the scenes stuff – what I do is never going to be a 9-5 job. Switching off is never an option. This year I’ve had to bounce around locally with events like the Allah-las’s with the Psych Night guys, The Rolling Retro, the Vans Campsite Stage at Rocking the Daisies, Kimberly Diamond Cup and we have The Black Lips coming out in November follwed by a sales conference in Milan. In between all this I found the time to get married and go on honeymoon in Indo. It’s a great job to wake up to every day, and obviously it helps having a great team, which you can pretty much call family.

Check out everyone's original story, here