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SheBeen campaign reimagines women’s safety in taverns

According to Interpol, South Africa is the rape capital of the world. One of the most dangerous places for South African women to go is to shebeens. Shebeens are taverns in informal settlements, where women are often harassed and even assaulted. According to official South African Police statistics, over 70 women were raped in shebeens from January to March 2023 alone.
SheBeen campaign reimagines women’s safety in taverns

This context prompted AB InBev’s Brutal Fruit Spritzer, the most popular alcohol brand in the country with women, to take a stand for women’s safety.

“We needed to create a powerful campaign that was bigger than the brand. It needed to be purpose-driven, and able to make an impact for more than just Women’s Month. So we decided to reclaim a dangerous space,” comments Ramona Kayembe, head of brand.

The SheBeen campaign launched on National Women’s Day by flipping the concept of a traditional shebeen on its head: SheBeen, the first women-only tavern. The space afforded women the freedom to have fun in an uninhibited way.

A play on the word ‘shebeen’, SheBeen the venue was curated with every touchpoint carefully considered, from hers and hers bathrooms to bespoke glass chandeliers. SheBeen was curated by women, staffed by women and headlined by women.

“SheBeen brought Brutal Fruit Spritzer’s brand positioning of ‘You Belong’ to life, because there is no space where women should feel excluded or unsafe. Even shebeens,” Ramona Kayembe continues.

But the impact of SheBeen goes far beyond a month-long activation. The brand team saw an opportunity to improve women’s safety in the long-term, and launched The SheBeen Rated Safe Programme.

“We saw an opportunity working with the Brutal Fruit team, and identified criteria that will reward outlets that champion women’s safety. We are currently activating the Programme in outlets across South Africa. We have committed to assessing over 24,000 shebeens across the country, based on criteria that specifically address women’s safety such as increased lighting and security,” states Barbara Copelovici, AB InBev corporate affairs director.

This programme is currently being rolled out in establishments across South Africa, with 750 shebeens having been SheBeen Rated Safe so far, improving the safety of women on an average night out.

The SheBeen campaign has seen impressive results with a reach of 185 million and a media ROI of 23:1. Brutal Fruit Spritzer achieved first place in the category with a 36% social share of voice, meeting the campaign’s main marketing objective. SheBeen also generated awareness across multiple media platforms with an increase of 169% in conversation volume.

“We are passionate about women’s safety and their belonging, and believe that the SheBeen campaign is only at the beginning of what it could achieve for South African women,” concludes Ramona Kayembe.

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Vice President of Marketing – SAB (AB InBev): Vaughan Croeser
Vice President of Insights & Innovation – Beyond Beer: Leanne Owens
Brand Director – Brutal Fruit: Ramona Kayembe
Brand Manager – Brutal Fruit: Sanelisiwe Tshangana

Joe Public

Group chief creative officer: Pepe Marais
Chief creative officer: Xolisa Dyeshana
Executive creative director: Assaf Levy
Integrated creative director: Gareth O’ Callaghan
Integrated creative director: Jeanine Vermaak
Integrated copywriter: Nomfundo Myeni
Integrated copywriter: Cameron Fraser
Brand designer: Lucinda Jordaan
Integrated strategic planning director: Leigh Tayler
Integrated strategist: Courtney Mocke
Managing director: Mpume Ngobese
Special projects Lead: Akona Ndungane

SHIFT Design

Executive creative director: Simone Rossum
Senior designer: Marèzane Trollip


Group production director: Manuel Cardoso Lopes
Senior stills producer: Tammy Chetty


Location: RockerFella, Soweto
Venue design: Tristan Du Plessis
Public relations: M-Sports Marketing and Joe Public Engage
Events and experiences: Living Masks

21 May 2024 11:38