Filipino international photographer Steve Tyrona while working on Don Papa Rum Rum’s “A Sweet Sugarlandia Spring” campaign
With more than three million deaths recorded worldwide, it takes a lot of effort to stay positive in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. To remind everyone that there is still hope, iconic one-island brand Don Papa Rum teams up with celebrity Filipino photographer Steve Tyrona for a magical photo session.
Under the banner of “Sweet Spring Sugarlandia,” Steve is challenged to deliver a message of hope and looks forward to a fresh start in the coming days. His work has been shown worldwide from Japan, Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States, and he has a permanent collection in the Singapore Art Museum. He also did a magical photoshoot in the legendary California home in Beverly Hills, last seen on the popular Netflix 2020 show “Ratched”.
Hope as a sensitive topic
“Trying to convey hope in these times is a rather delicate matter,” he openly told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. Hope can arise from images of normalcy, which in some cases are still just a fantasy for others. For this photo session, we tried to keep the pose as natural as possible. We were not heavy in conveying a specific message. It was all about the general mood.”
Since the Philippines is a tropical country, it only has two seasons – wet and dry – so most Pinoys may not be familiar with the spring season. But for Steve, that’s not a huge concern.
“I had a larger global audience in mind for this campaign, as Don Papa can be found all over the world these days. It’s also good to get the message across that non-Filipinos from elsewhere also enjoy rum made in the Philippines,” says Steve. “The digital space has made the world a bit smaller, and I would like to think that Filipinos have also adopted a more global view. Since the themes of the brand are also global, it resonates well in all of its different markets.”
Support local artists
The photographer then expressed his gratitude to the brand for its efforts to include local art and artists in its various campaigns. “It’s great that Don Papa puts so much effort into supporting and collaborating with artists on their campaigns,” he says. “I think it’s really beneficial for both sides – artists are getting more attention and having a new platform to showcase their art. Likewise, brands should explore other ways to present their products in a non-commercial way, giving them more depth and scope to explore other content opportunities that add value to their global audiences. “.
Looking back, this isn’t the first time the brand’s partners have supported local designs. Before the pandemic, Don Papa held an annual art competition. For this year, the company has partnered with Art Fair Philippines to sponsor residencies for selected artists.
The photo series “Sweet Sugarlandia in Spring,” created by Steve and produced by Hyperion L.A., can be viewed on Don Papa’s social networking site Facebook and Instagram.
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