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The Invaluable Distinction Between Relevance and Presence

Davey Spens, Executive Creative Director, Stept Studios

Some brands are so focused on being relevant, they forget to be present.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of chasing ‘latest’; ‘new’ and trends so you can be seen in the right spaces, and do all the right things. But being trendy is a full time job that often leaves brands distracted, rather than present and in the culture and participating in the conversations that are happening.

Stept is a modern day studio that exists to tell the kind of stories we want to see more of in the world— thoughtful, cinematic, human that explore everything it means to live and be alive, in every sense of that word. As the world opened up after the pandemic, we set about looking for stories and people who were finding and creating colorful spaces to play, to let their hair down, and be their brightest selves. We wanted to be present in this weird old moment we collectively found ourselves in, and make a series of films about American communities ‘at play’ almost as an open invitation for the rest of us to join in—permission to find moments of joy once again.

We wanted to find the perfect brand to partner to bring these stories to life. Smirnoff is an iconic brand that has always been inclusive, optimistic and committed to celebrating people who are living their truth and having fun doing it. With Smirnoff's new Vodka For The People campaign and the mandate to tell stories that represent all of America, we’d found a partner as hungry and focused on telling these stories as we were.

"Come On In" is a series of cinematic documentaries that celebrate the life and color of America’s diverse subcultures and scenes. A love letter to the irrepressible American spirit, the three films celebrate togetherness and people connecting and coming together around passions and pastimes, from the Drag Community in Chicago, to the Roller Skating scene in Atlanta and a Soundsystem Collective in Bed-Stuy. The series was led by three visionary directors: Jess Colquhoun, Courtney Sofiah Yates and Jasper Rischen, with each bringing their own style and lens to the collection of films. Three stories; three cities; three scenes of America, fully present in this moment, living their truth and having fun doing it.

The truth is if you want to be relevant in culture, being present is never a bad place to start.


About Davey Spens

Davey Spens is the Exec Creative Director of Stept Studios Entertainment, a division of Stept; A creative, production and post studio.

About Stept Studios

Stept is an award-winning creative and production studio known for work that feels more like entertainment than advertising. Stept partners with brands, agencies, and platforms to create campaigns, commercials, and branded content with authenticity at its core. Their award-winning roster of directors represents the next generation of storytellers, working across commercial and documentary genres. Learn more - visit


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