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Brand Strategy Vans Anomaly

Vans ramps up creative self-expression in ‘This Is Off The Wall’


By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

April 7, 2023 | 4 min read

The 57-year-old brand’s new global campaign celebrates individuality by shining a spotlight on “creative voyagers.”

beatrice diamond

Vans Skate team rider Beatrice Domond poses for Vans’ 2023 brand campaign / Credit: Vans

California-based skate shoe and apparel brand Vans this week kicked off its 2023 global brand campaign, ‘This Is Off The Wall,’ introducing its fresh brand foundation - and a fresh take on a classic shoe.

Handled by creative agency Anomaly, ‘This Is Off The Wall’ is a digital, social and out-of-home campaign that went live on Wednesday. It debuts Vans’ new brand foundation, which champions self-discovery and creative self-expression. The campaign‘s title riffs on Vans‘ iconic ‘Off the wall‘ tagline, which the brand introduced in 1976 in honor of a phrase that skateboarders had long when skating in empty pools.

“This year’s campaign represents a larger, more holistic creative approach than Vans has taken in the past, elevating our brands’ values and iconic products in a fresh, authentic, and bold way,” says Rob Teague, vice-president, global creative at Vans.

Part of the effort entailed partnering with various athletes and creatives around the world - including (but not limited to) Vans skate team rider Beatrice Domond, British rapper Little Simz, DJ Arthur Bray and Nigerian-American poet Salome Agbaroji - each of whom was selected for being “creative voyagers ... seeking authenticity in themselves while propelling culture forward,” per a press release.

Timed to coincide with the new campaign, Vans also unveiled the ‘Knu Skool’ – a modern interpretation of the popular 90s low-top skate shoe, the ‘Old Skool.’ When compared to its predecessor, the Knu Skool shoe is chunkier, with a puffed-up tongue and ankle collar and a re-envisioned “Sidestripe.“

knu school shoes

According to Teague, Vans spent all of 2022 perfecting its new brand foundation in order to solidify the brand’s relevance among today’s global consumer base. At the same time, the campaign also borrows from Vans’ previous efforts to amplify creative culture, like ‘These projects are ads for creativity,‘ a campaign from February 2022 which tapped various artists to create their own projects.

“We had an extremely strong brand foundation that drove the last decade of growth, so we started with what was already working for us and have built upon it as part of this evolution,“ Teague says. “This is a consumer-informed, nuanced sharpening and evolution of the original work – not an overhaul.“

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