Leading outdoor media owner Tractor Outdoor has joined the Grow Hope initiative, a shared-value movement that aims to support in rebuilding the economy following the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tractor Outdoor has allocated over 50 key sites to the initiative, which leverages the power of creativity to build resilience and enable capacity where it is needed most – in South Africa’s communities.
Says Tom Fels, the concept originator and co-founder at Grow Hope: "We aim to unite local artists and brands to seed city artworks with messages of hope and togetherness, showcased on large-scale billboards.”
“Grow Hope aims to reach over 400 million views over the next six months via Tractor’s billboards, sharing messages of hope and positivity while giving a platform to upcoming young artists and businesses,” says Simon Wall, CEO at Tractor Outdoor.
But the journey doesn’t end there. After a period of time, the billboards are taken down and upcycled into vegetable grow-bags by a social enterprise. The grow-bags are subsequently shared with various food security NGOs that deliver community agriculture training across the country’s main metros.
Wall adds that the billboards are constructed from front-lit PVC. “This material makes for excellent planter bags, which can be used in areas that may not necessarily have good quality soil.”
The purpose of this initiative aims to redress several gaping tears in South Africa’s socio-economic fabric. “Firstly," says Fels, “we hope to uplift the collective mood of citizens by replacing hopelessness with messages of positivity, while facilitating exposure for businesses and local artists, thus supporting creative entrepreneurship.
“Secondly, we aim to address the food crisis with a sustainable solution to ongoing home agriculture, while increasing the impact of local food growing enterprises with much-needed materials.”
Five local artists were hand-picked as Grow Hope creative ambassadors – Vumile Mavumengwana, Ishaarah Arnold, Jesse Yende, Tennessee Barber and Keith Vlahakis. Each has created artworks that share compelling messages of unity, which are available for co-branding by corporate sponsors as partners to the initiative, creating positive brand association while contributing 100% to B-BBEE procurements spend.
Fels adds that brand owners have the option to supply their own artwork, provided it aligns with the spirit of Grow Hope.
Wall urges brands to get behind Grow Hope. “The spirit of ubuntu is well known across Africa. For those of us with businesses that survived the economic turmoil over the past few years; the pandemic, the 2021 riots and this year’s floods – it is time for us to support our communities. Ultimately, when our communities thrive, we all do better.”Brands interested in partnering with Grow Hope can get in touch at moc.roodtuorotcart@ofni.