Special Report: Brand Livestream

Kevin Best, Contributing Editor, BrandStorytelling.tv


Highlighting Impactful Live Streaming

Vans Launches Daily Livestream Broadcasts with Channel 66

The skateboarding shoe and apparel company Vans has launched Channel 66, a free digital livestream broadcasting network. The channel went live on February 8th, and broadcasts every weekday starting at 11Am EST on the Vans website. The live feeds are based out of flagship Vans stores located in Los Angeles, Mexico City, Chicago and New York, with local programming from each city that aims to feel like a combination of a radio station and public access TV.

While this new project should obviously help drive customers to the Vans website, Vans has expressed that the channel launch really has two main goals: to act as a direct response to the isolation felt by everyone during Covid-19, and to also put a spotlight on local creatives and brick and mortar small businesses that might be struggling right now. Vans is known to be a regular sponsor of live events like concerts and skate competitions, so the brand had to brainstorm how they could pivot and stay involved with their community. While most brands are using livestreams to unveil their latest product, Channel 66 is aiming to provide entertainment for Vans customers.

Rather than having competing programming, the live feed bounces around from each of the cities throughout the day with the start of each new program. An average day will have five or six events on the schedule. There is an expandable chat feature that customers can access if they sign up with their e-mail address, and the layout of the channel allows viewers to shop for Vans products above the video feed.

The live audio and video programming includes live music, DJ sets, and curated playlists, along with talks and workshops intended to cover music, art, food, and action sports like skateboarding. Local stores, restaurants, music venues and record labels will also be given airtime. One such show is called Chessboxing with GZA, which features the Wu Tang Clan member playing chess while chatting with other celebrities. Another is Shop Radio presented by Kingswell, a Los Angeles skate shop run by former pro skaters where the hosts and their guests discuss the ins and outs, importance and value of local skate shops.

Channel 66 is an interesting example of how a brand can use livestream not just as an advertisement, but a way to connect with its consumers. With the increasing demand for live content, offering free entertainment that resonates with their core audience should be bringing more and more people to Van’s website, while also helping local businesses in the community. Vans also recently launched its 12th annual Custom Culture art competition, which rewards high school students with a $50,000 grand prize for the best and most creative digital shoe designs.


Recent Live Streams from Top Brands

World Premier of 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

Brand: Mitsubishi

Platform: Amazon Live

Date: February 16