‘Musicians wanted’ in Vans campaign from Better Half

(Better Half’s Bonanno and Mayer)

Better Half has exploded into New Year 2021 with an innovative, integrated campaign for Vans entitled “Musicians Wanted” featuring judges Anderson Paak, J.I.D., Bohan Phoenix, Nilufer Yanya, and Tierney Stout.

A new-age, mobile-first creative studio, Better Half was founded by Co-Creative Director duo Alyssa Bonanno and Will Mayer in 2018. Created with the goal of making content that is more intentional, more enduring, and more meaningful for audiences, Better Half tailors campaigns specifically for the platforms on which they’re digested.

In previous years, Vans’ “Musicians Wanted” was a global battle of the bands that brought together 15 musicians from across the globe for live concerts on three continents in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The Covid-19 Crisis in 2020 rendered this format impossible. The team at Better Half wholly innovated the event to be entirely digital, remotely filmed, and just as immersive.



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“Hard to tell who the Better Half is with both Alyssa & Will running the show,” says Jared Abe, Creative Director, Global Content for Vans. “Usually, you get one or the other, creative or the business side, but rarely do you get both. Better Half has figured out how to successfully deliver fresh creative assets while being the best partners and have become an extension of the Vans family over the past 12 years.”

“Vans was my first paying client,” reflects Mayer. “They found me when I was 14 shooting skate films. It’s bizarre to see how things have grown at Vans and yet stayed the same. There is an authenticity this team has that I would argue would be impossible to replicate. They know talent when they see it and focus on highlighting those who they believe deserve it.”

Mayer continues, “I’ve been sent across the world by the Vans’ team, followed musicians, kept up with athletes; and was so lucky to be given a start like this. Bringing in Better Half felt like a natural progression of our relationship. The teams meshed seamlessly and feel like an extension of the other. It’s been exciting to bring new offers to Vans like motion graphics, remote capture, and creative strategy and to watch Better Half grow alongside Vans as I did when I first got my start.”

For Bonanno, the “Musicians Wanted” project for Vans was a perfect encapsulation of where Better Half excels.

She explains, “Working intimately with the Vans team upfront we fleshed out guidelines, design samples, a motion graphics suite, photo usage, etc. to help determine the boundaries and logic of the project. Initially, we didn’t intend to assist on the production end, however with the Covid-19 Crisis complicating delivery and capture of this massive global battle of the bands the Vans team was in a little over their heads.”

Better Half built and delivered over 20 camera packages, coordinated with all of the global talent, remotely directed, and edited over six hours of material. From the main live event to the last little piece of social content — Better Half created. “I think a success like this only comes from two partners that really trust and understand one another,” concludes Bonnano.


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“We know how to do right by Vans and them us. As 2021 kicks off, we’re prepping for another year of Vans Side Stripe Sessions and are eager to see what else is in store for us.”

Click here to view the new Vans campaign.

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