Women’s Month is about paying homage to the women of South Africa. Leading value retailer Ackermans launched its ‘Faces of Change’ campaign in June, which was created to do just that, through recognising the unsung superwomen of South Africa.

Conceptualised and produced in partnership with the retailer’s lead creative agency 99c,the campaign featured a remarkable cast, including:

Linda Mlanzeli Founder of Gwebza, a women’s sewing cooperative in Khayelitsha;

Nobuzwe Mavis Mbaba Principle of Noluthando Daycare Centre in Khayelitsha;

Carmen Simons, Founder of The Homeless Sanitary Drive which provides sanitary packages to the homeless women in Elsies River.

Mymoena Scholtz, Director of Where Rainbows Meet, a community upliftment centre in Muizenberg;

Margolite Williams, humanitarian and heart behind Ladles of Love in Cape Town.

The aim of the campaign was to encourage consumers to take part in the movement by either donating to the featured initiatives belonging to the campaign’s heroes, as well as to nominate women making an effort to uplift the lives of others within their communities. “Faces of Change was an opportunity to put the spotlight on women who help shape a better world for all of us to live in, women who, despite their daily challenges, show up, stand tall and spread kindness.

We wanted to provide them with a platform to share their stories – to amplify their messages of hope to a world and country that needed to hear them,” says Shameema Maloon, Advertising Manager at Ackermans.

Christopher Smith, Creative Director at 99c said, “These women were inspirational and their acts of kindness – infectious. We were struck by their power, personalities and positivity. We knew then that these women, through their stories, could inspire people to do and be better – and they did. We received phenomenal support for these women and others like them countrywide, proving that even the smallest act of kindness can have the biggest impact. For us, Faces of Change is not a moment, it’s a movement at it’s here to stay.”

The campaign handed over a total of R50 000 to its featured initiatives, while garnering exposure for these important causes via Ackermans social and digital channels, a television commercial (TVC) and multiple PR opportunities to over 7 million South Africans.

Consumers submitted over 1700 nominations of women they found personally inspiring. Living across a multitude of channels including social, digital and traditional media – and with ATL, BTL and PR support – Faces of Change served as a great example of a holistically-integrated piece of work.

Carmen Simons, of the women featured in the Faces of Change campaign and Founder of The Homeless Sanitary Drive, said: Being a part of the Ackermans Faces of Change campaign has  provided us with great exposure, and the donation has allowed us to provide a greater number of women with essential sanitary supplies. The outpouring of support has been nothing short of overwhelming.”

“The Faces of Change campaign has reminded me why I am doing what I do, and to continue being a woman of courage and determination through assisting those who need it most. We are forever grateful to have been part of this campaign,” says Linda Mlanzeli Baleni, Founder of Gwebza.

We are immensely proud to have had the opportunity to highlight and elevate women who selflessly better their communities each day through love and devotion, especially in such a critical time, “ says Maloon.