According to Pernod Ricard South Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the world as we know it with people living, thinking and buying differently.

The brand says that the 2020 festive season will also be different, putting a more considered slant on giving.

Nearly one-third of small businesses closed during lockdown, with three million jobs lost and 40% of employed South Africans losing their main source of income, according to NIDS-CRAM, the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey.

Against this backdrop of need, consumers have shifted to more mindful consumption, a deeper consciousness of community and the need to support local enterprise, says Pernod Ricard South Africa.

It will also see local artists, makers and manufacturers from local communities conceptualise, design and create a range of truly South African 'gifts that give'.

"We are re-routing festive season spend that has traditionally been spent on imported gifting packs to make a fundamental shift towards supporting local," says Sherman Mouton, off trade director at Pernod Ricard South Africa.

Five up and coming artists were commissioned to create bespoke pieces of artwork, inspired by their individual understanding of 'gifting different' to 'give gifts that give'. Through their artwork, the artists tell the stories of their backgrounds, their beliefs, their struggles and their drive to fulfil their dreams. The artwork captures the artists' own essence and that of the brands they have worked on.

50 Women from a network of township-based sewing co-operatives have created linen tote bags. These will be gifted with every bottle of participating premium spirits purchased in selected liquor outlets.

In working with these co-operatives through the Township Patterns NGO, Pernod Ricard South Africa says that it has helped to sustain employment and support dependencies.

In addition to the tote bags, manufacturers and artisans from local businesses across the country have created a range of aluminium mugs, gift bags and wrapping paper as additional gifts.

Pernod Ricard also worked with the Learn to Earn NGO to engage an up-and-coming black-owned activation agency JTC to recruit 225 brand activators who are being trained in business, interpersonal, selling and functional skills to enable them to bring to life the campaign in retail stores.

The brand has additionally partnered with Springbok stalwarts Siya Kolisi and Cheslin Kolbe. The duo will be encouraging South Africans to stand together to invest in the local economy by giving 'gifts that give'.

"I am proud to be partnering with Pernod Ricard, whose commitment to making positive change in South Africa couldn't be stronger. As a collective, we share very similar values: caring for our people, family and fellow South Africans," says Kolisi.

While Kolisi does not consume alcohol, he is also spearheading Pernod Ricard's message of responsible drinking over the festive season.

Through the '#SisonkeMzansi' campaign, approximately 268 new jobs have been created and a further 220 manufacturing, artisanal, creative and service jobs have been sustained. This has benefited 2 550 people in local communities and supporting the alcohol and hospitality sectors hard hit by the pandemic.

"While gifting will remain part of the festive season landscape in 2020, consumers are looking to be more relevant in difficult times. Giving 'gifts that give' is a positive way of spreading light in the lives of South Africans in need," concludes Mouton.

For more information, visit