Wednesday, 21 December 2011

'Tis The Season to be Jolly!

'Tis the most wonderful time of the year, it is a time for family, lots of yummy delicious food, the gift of giving and the day our saviour was born. I really don’t understand the whole I hate Christmas attitude some people have. The Christmas lights, tinsel and carols should be enough to uplift any mumbling idiot who chooses to be the Christmas Grinch. I for one love Christmas, maybe it is because I am still a kid at heart who loves to put up the Christmas tree, stay up until 12 on Christmas Eve to open up presents and looks forward to eating Trifle on Christmas day. The best thing about Christmas though is the wonderful Christmas campaigns, packaging and commercials big companies put together to entice customers to spend their hard earned Christmas bonuses on purchasing Christmas gifts at their stores.

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is not as magical as Christmas in the North; we don’t get snow, decorate our houses or have desperate customers rushing through stores to get limited edition toys. I have never experienced a wintery Christmas but the movies do paint a vivid picture of what Christmas should feel like. It is really difficult to convey the Christmas spirit in advertising here in South Africa. One has to bear in mind that South Africa has Christmas in the middle of summer so companies have to promote the summer holidays without losing the magic of Christmas.

Pick 'n Pay:

Pick ‘n Pay does a great job at this, they recently did a commercial promoting a summer Christmas feast, add a bit of humour and we have ourselves a winner. The only thing I don’t really like about this commercial is that it is maybe too corporate for Christmas and it doesn’t really allow you to connect with the advertisement.



Checkers also did a commercial for Christmas last year; they decided to go with the same campaign for this year. They definitely captured the Christmas spirit more than Pick ‘n Pay did. Their advertisement was also way more creative. They focused on promoting their toys and food whereas Pick ‘n Pay only promoted their food.


The true inventers of the modern day Christmas comes from the powerful Coca-Cola brand. We have all grown to know and love the friendly face of Coca-Cola’s Father Christmas (Santa). Their Christmas commercials and can/bottle designs take on a new form every Christmas. They capture the magic of Christmas in a can. I still have my limited edition Christmas Coke can from the year 2000. I love the vintage style of the design as well as the hand drawn illustrations. Hopefully this soft drink can will be worth something one day.

The Christmas Trucks Coca-Cola commercial is by far the most popular Christmas commercial ever produced. I think Coca-Cola wanted to convey that they bring the Christmas cheer and excitement to everyone. It has over 4 million views on line to date.


You might recognise these commercials by Coca-Cola, they are more recent. The one is an advert done for America and the other was aired in South Africa. I love both these commercials; they are original and give me goose bumps every time I watch it. The ad makes you feel like you in it and the music selection does the advert a lot of justice. The commercial is called Snow Globe:



South African


EA Sports Fifa12:

For the football lovers I also added Fifa12’s Christmas commercial, it is definitely not as great as their other commercial they made to promote the launch of Fifa12 but it is still pretty good, take a look:


Christmas is the time of the year where companies make the most sales so it is only logic that they spend the majority of their advertising budget on year end promotions which allows for the biggest and best campaigns. Therefore every year I am able to witness the new and exciting ideas companies come up with. Yes, it is a very commercial holiday but it is up to you not to forget the true meaning of Christmas. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The aMazing Journey

As the year draws to a close I can’t help but flash back to all the great things I have experienced and accomplished throughout 2011. Not only has it been an eventful year for me but for the rest of the world as well. Catastrophic events filled the news on a monthly basis, but there were many great worldwide achievements particularly in the field of technology. We saw the introduction of Google+, the IPad2 and the IPhone 4S to name a few. This year has been a great year for Cape Town in particular, Cape Town was not only named the Design Capital for 2014 but Table Mountain was also selected as a preliminary Seventh Wonder of the World.

I have grown a lot as a person throughout the year. I have learned that when an opportunity crosses your path you should grab it, and that is exactly what I did. I originally planned to study further at the start of the year but I also got offered a job at an in house design company. It was a really tough decision but in the end experience is always more beneficial. I have learnt so much this year, in terms of design. Deadlines are shorter, standards are higher and clients are meaner. I have developed a really tough skin, and I rarely take it to heart when the clients want numerous changes to be done to the work you thought was just short of perfect. I have worked on some great projects this year with some wonderful people. I have learnt not to try and impress everyone, but to be myself rather, people will appreciate you more that way. Let your work speak for itself, being a kiss-ass gets you nowhere in life. We recently had our year end function and the theme was “Cruising into the New Year” hopefully the year to come will present me with exciting new challenges which I will gladly take on. We went to Hout Bay and took a trip to seal island, I have included some images of our year end function:

The design style of 2011 was very much retro, sometimes one has to look to the past to fine inspiration for the future. There has been some great campaigns by some of the world’s leading brands which created much of an impact in the world of advertising, Heinekens The Entrance advert for example got 75+ editorial posts, 4million+ YouTube views to date and ranked number 1 on the Viral video chart and the Facebook likes on the Heineken page increase by 91 680. View the advert here:

The KFC So Good campaign was definitely one of the best campaigns in South Africa for the year. Their commercial has over 300 000 views online and was nominated for a Loerie award. The commercial with the biggest impact goes to Nandos for The Last Dictator Standing, although it got pulled off the air it has over 1 million views on YouTube to date. View the advert here: 

I believe that 2012 will be an even better year in terms of world growth. Adverts will be smarter, campaigns will be bigger and technology will be better.

I have many personal goals for the New Year as well:
  • Paint, draw, scribble and sketch
  • Learn Web Design and/or Photography
  • Meet loads of new people
  • Love and live more
  • Say yes to as many opportunities as possible
  • Win some awesome design competitions to get my name out into the industry
  • Travel
  • Work on amazing campaigns that will blow your mind away
  • Limit my laziness to a bare minimum
  • Grow taller (wishful thinking) 

Although to some 2012 may be the end of the world, I feel it is just the beginning of the next chapter in my life.  

Monday, 5 December 2011

Deadmau5 Cape Town

Deadmau5 live in South Africa, this was definitely one of the most anticipated concerts of the year, the hype was crazy before his arrival. Deadmau5 was not only a recurring trend on twitter but the tickets for Cape Town sold out before you could say cheeeeese. This forced Computicket to change the venue from Ratanga Junction to the CTICC. I purchased my ticket on the day of release, it's not often that such acclaimed electro artists come and visit us. I was quite bummed that the concert got moved though, as Ratanga would have allowed the concert to be more intimate, but in the end money speaks and 9000+ people were able to get tickets to watch Deadmau5 at the CTICC. 

Electro is my favorite genre of music so I was definitely more than excited to see him. I've seen many of his performances on YouTube and I listen to his music more often than not on an online music site called Groove Shark ( When Deadmau5 arrived in Cape Town, I followed his tweets and Facebook status updates like a bonafide stalker, hoping that he was enjoying our beautiful city. Yes, I am sure that you all did the same. I think he was as excited to be here as we were having him here.

I didn't get much work done on the day of his concert, I made sure I got to leave early, after a couple of pre-drinks we left to the concert. There were hundreds of people sporting mau5 heads, mau5 ears and Deadmau5 shirts, all proud to be part of his following. One fan even shaved a Deadmau5 design onto his head, very original.

The indoor venue was huge and allowed for a lot of space to move and breathe. The wait for Deadmau5 went faster than I thought, I guess the Olmeca Chocolate Tequila shots was to thank for that. The lines for the toilets were ridiculously long though, that was probably my only complaint for the evening.

When the curtains dropped and Deadmau5 appreared there was a huge uproar from the crowd everyone stampeded to the front. Even people without VIP arm bands had a shot of being in the front row. My friend Darryn and I wriggled our way to the center of the stage, we had about five rows in front of us but we couldn't move any further ahead as it was jamm packed. Goosebumps continued to fill my flesh until the end of the first song. I had many sweaty giraffes in front of me so I literally had to dance on my tippy-toes to even try catch a glimpse of him. Darryn decided to lift me on his shoulders so that I could see him clearly, it was amazing, I had a view of the overly large crowd and direct eye contact with Deadmau5 himself. 

Apparently I was on the big screen for long lengths of time, but I was so consumed with his perfectly executed music that I didn't even take note. His music cut out due to technical issues, to be honest I was happy this happened as it allowed him to connect with the crowd for a bit. After that the show went on without a hitch. The start of his set was a bit slow but after he played Raise Your Weapon it truly picked up! I moved to the back half way through as breathing is a difficulty in such large crowds, however as soon as Strobe came on I sprinted to the front, alone might I add, but there was no way I was going to dance at the back for that one. It was the perfect song to end off the evening. His light show was phenomenal and I couldn't keep my eyes off the stage, this really helped to give his performance that extra lift. 

I got some amazing shots on my camera but unfortunately my memory card stop functioning and I lost everything! I had to rely on my friend Bianca for some photos. Deadmau5 blew my brain away, and the next day I had his beats continuously zinging in my head, apparently the Joburg and Durban concerts were just as epic. I think he had a great time performing in our country as he had this to say: "THANK YOU SA! now THATS what I call a tour! CPT, DUR and JHB totally melted my face! you couldn't have convinced me anymore. 100% coming back again next year! I'll be taking the SA pride home with me to share with the rest of the world. <3"

Always great to see international artists who appreciate our fine country! Deadmau5 is genius no matter what the critics say. I appreciate the effort he puts into making his music original and originality after all is one of the greatest traits to have.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Synergy Live

Synergy has come and gone once again. There was great anticipation for this years festival, blogs, radio stations, street lamps and social networks were flooded with the news of Synergy Live. Synergy is one of the biggest outdoor music festivals of the year, electrolites and rock heads come together to experience a weekend of epic madness and this years festival was bigger and better than ever before.

I went to Synergy last year, but this years' festival was definitely one for the books. We arrive at the site Friday evening the camping site was pretty packed already so we managed too squeeze our tent into a small section. Once we all settled in and our drinks were poured we headed to the dance area. The layout was a bit different from last year but I felt it was better to have the stages and the food separate. One of the biggest dilemmas I had for the day was trying to decide weather to watch Zebra and Giraffe or Shadow Club because I enjoy both of their music. At the end I decided to do 30min at both stages. I really do wish Shadow Club got a spot on the main stage rather than at the LMG stage, I think it would have been better. They were both amazing but I think Shadow Club won the battle in the end.

After Shadow Club we headed back to the main stage for some Good Luck, it was the first time I saw them live and they were exceptional. We spent most of the rest of the night owning the electro tent, jumping, stomping and throw the occasional yet unexpected fist pump. I discovered a new DJ which I really enjoyed called George Daniel. We danced until the end of the final set, I was determined to max out this weekend, who needs sleep anyways?

Just over two hours of sleep later, the sun rose and turned our tent into a sweat-lodge. We thought we would start our day off with some slushie so we waited in queue and as soon as we got to the front the guy told us we had to wait 20 min for the mixture to ice up. My cousin, Nikita, was persistent on getting that slush-puppie not knowing that our 20min wait would turn into a 45min wait. It was worth it though.

The day proceeded with much effort. Heat and sleep deprivation is not a good combination. I was lucky enough to catch some of the comedic performances as well. One of the funniest jokes I heard was when the guy said "What is up with those porty-potties, I went in there and it's like playing dance dance revolution when you want to flush the toilet and wash your hands" hahaha that's a classic one.

After a nice shower and change of clothes we were ready for round two, vodka in hand we headed to the dance floor. I was quite upset because I missed many of the bands I wanted to see like Tumi & The Volume, aKING, Hog Hoggidy Hog and Crash Car Burn as my friends prefer electro to rock so most of the festival was spent by the Red Bull stage. I did however catch Desmond and the Tutus who I really wanted to see live, and they were pretty entertaining especially with the lead singers spastic hand movements.

Jax Panik was by far the best act of the festival, he is like the David Guetta of South Africa. I jumped, and screamed for their entire set. It was truly incredible.We were between stages most of the night, from main to electro and back again. I got to see two of the headlining acts, BRMC (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) weren't as great as I expected them to be but Dirty Loud definitely made up for that. We jammed at the electro tent until the very end again. 

Although I didn't get to see all the acts I would have liked to see, I did have an incredible weekend over all. The best music, the best venue, the best spur burgers and the friendliest people can only be found at one place and that's Synergy Live. I also love their logo and website design. Check it out .

Now I am left with no voice, zinging ears, and a body that feels like its been hit by a truck but it is all worth it as the memories I acquired over the weekend can never be replaced! See you next year Synergy!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Grape Vine

Wine is a huge part of the South African culture and I have really became consumed in it, from the reds to the whites and even the sparkling. Wine tasting has become a hobbie rather than a pass time. I have always had a secrect love for wine, but now I truely understand the logistics behind it. I went on my first wine tasting experience in Stellenbosch at the start of the year. The Devon Valley Detour is a tasting experience offered by the company I work for. It consists of tastings at J.C. Le Roux, MiddleVlei, Clos Malverne and the Devon Valley Hotel. The tastings were lovely and the wines were exceptional, especially the sparklings wines at the house of J.C. Le Roux. If you have never been there before I highly recommend it, they offer numerous tastings including a nougat, sorbet, marshmallow and meringue pairing.

J.C. Le Roux

 Clos Malverne


The Stellenbosch Wine Festival was also one of the highlights of my year. We arrived late on the day so it was a race to try the best wines, some were stunning and easy to drink and others just tasted like cat pee. My love for white wine was evidant on this day, especially the Sauvignon Blanc wines.

I recently went to the launch of the new Ghost Tree Sauvignon Blanc wine at The Devon Valley Hotel, we also had the pleasure of trying their other award wining wines. Each wine was paired with a canapĂ© which complimented the wine. The SylvanVale Cabernet Sauvignon is also one of my favourites. After the launch we headed to Fairview Wine Estate for a cheese and wine pairing, they have some amazing wines and the estate itself is quite beautiful.

The Devon Valley Hotel

Fairview Wine Estate: 

The company I am currently working for owns a wine farm so I do many of the fact sheets, brochures and wine label designs for them. I have learnt amazing things like how the wine is made, the difference between wooded and unwooded wines and the importance of knowing what pairing best accompanies the wine.

The first wine label I did was for an in-house wine called Butchers Block Red. It is a blend and is served at the Skelligs Restaurant at Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa in Somerset West. The brief indicted that I should design something bold with an antique feel to it. The design was printed on regular paper and a spot varnish was put on the black areas on the front of the label:

The Ghost Tree Sauvignon wine was cultivated and bottle for sales purposes. It will be sold on a small scale, it is a lovely wine and one of my favorites from SylvanVale. The brief indicated that I design something simplistic and elegant to match the stature of white wine. This is the final design, I am very happy with how this label turned out. The design was printed on a textured white paper with a high build varnish finish.

Wine is has been around since the start of time, it is perfect for any day of the week. It helps relieve the stress of a long day at work and it allows for the perfect start to the weekend.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Flash Mobs

For the past couple of months I have had a burning desire to be part of a huge Flash Mob, and no I don’t mean streaking in public, I originally thought that’s what Flash Mobs did. I mean learning a dance that hundreds of people learn, all coming together in a public area and performing it to people who wouldn’t expect it.  After seeing numerous YouTube clips of the world’s biggest Flash Mobs, I just feel that one can get very creative with it, it’s beautiful and not to mention where Flash Mobs go so do the media. They have also recently included Flash Mob showcases in movies like Friends with Benefits and series like Modern Family.

Flash Mobs are huge overseas, people take it very seriously, the dances are timed to perfection, and many people are willing to participate in it. The T-Mobile Flash Mob that was done in England is probably one of the most well-known Flash Mobs in the world. This is a great example of how to get creative using other forms to promote your brand. Plus YouTube allows you to advertise to the world for free, you just have to make sure your idea is original and your number of hits will spin out of control.  

The Flash Mob Craze has unfortunately not caught on in South Africa; there are some failed attempts at it though like the Flash Mob that was done in Port Elizabeth but at least we tried:

And here is a similar version that was done in America:

I believe a Flash Mob is a brilliant way to unite people, and South Africa has the ability to create something quite unique with it especially when it comes to tourism. South Africa should have taken advantage of this unique form of entertainment to promote our big events, like the Soccer World Cup or the Seventh Wonder Campaign. The Waka Waka dance could have been learnt by all the South Africans and on the opening day the Soccer World Cup everyone across South Africa could have gather in the streets and did the dance, we would have got some major publicity and it would have encourage more people from across the world to come and visit our special country.

People might find that taking part in a Flash Mob could be quite difficult or take up a lot of time but with the power of social media and video chats, something like this can go viral in a second. People can learn dances, plan performance dates and organise music over the internet.

I think the best places to do a Flash Mob would be: 
  • At a concert; everyone could learn a dance to a specific song of the artist, maybe some cool hand movements, and then the crowd can do it together at the concert. I think the artist would feel very welcome and it would create an awesome atmosphere.
  • At a popular tourist destination like the Waterfront or in a crowded area like Canal Walk or Cape Town City Centre. Companies can make use of flash mobs to promote their brands, Vodacom could have encouraged thousands of people to learn a dance and at the end of the dance everyone could have taken off their shirts to reveal a red T-shirt with the Vodacom logo on to promote that they are changing their colour to red.
  • Flash Mobs can even be used to encourage people to raise funds for a specific cause, singing and learning a song which is associated with the specific charity organisation.

Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves, and this is a great way to make that possible.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Music Festivals

With Synergy on our doorstep I thought it would only be fitting to do a post on my love for music festivals. Cape Town has the best music festivals in South Africa. When summer arrives so does the music. Some of you might have never experienced a music festival, which is a pity, but it mainly consists of a weekend away at a farm, in the middle of nowhere, where thousands of people come together to listen to South Africa's best local acts. Thanks to festivals like these, local artists are given the opportunity to perform to a mass audience and it allows their popularity to grow at an alarming rate. I saw most of my favorite local acts perform for the first time at music festivals. I fell in love with Jam Jarr at Earth Dance, The Dirty Skirts, Goldfish, Prime Circle and Jax Panik at Synergy, PH Fat at Rezonance and Haezer, El Gordo, Civil Twilight and Just Jinjer at Rocking the Daisies. These festivals accommodate a variety of performances from the likes of Rock bands to Electro DJ's and even comedic performances. All these genres of music are sectioned off into different stage areas. So you can travel from stage to stage depending on your mood.

Photo taken by Tara-Lee

You can choose to set up a tent and stay the entire weekend or you can come through on the Saturday and party through until the next day. I always enjoy going the full weekend as most of the best acts are usually on the Friday. There are numerous food outlets, bars and clothing stores to keep you occupied whilst you wait for your favorite acts to come on stage. Popular brands like Hunters, Ray Bands and Red Bull flock to music festivals like these. They often get promotional people to hand out flyers and freebies. I feel this is one of the best ways to promote your brand as you are interacting directly with your target audience. 

Most music festivals are held close to a dam or river so on overbearingly hot days you can take a trip down to the waterhole to cool yourself off. I usually spend the Saturday down by the river. The best thing about these music festival is that you get to meet some very interesting people, each with their own unique personality and by the end of the night you find yourselves all jamming to the same music. Music unites people in a way that nothing else can.

I have been to various types of music festivals from trance festivals like Rezonance, Earth Dance and Boomerang to Rock festivals like Synergy and Rocking the Daisies. These tickets don't come cheap but I love it so much, I would rather spend money on a festival than on anything else as there is nothing better than going crazy to your favorite bands and artists and compiling an overly large stack of memories.

I made a poster a while back for a competition that was running to win tickets to Rocking the Daisies, my luck fell short though. My concept for the poster was the "Rocking the Daisies Walk of Fame" I set the poster on grass and gave it a hippy like feel, because you know Cape Town has the most Hipsters in South Africa.


Earth Dance

 Photo taken by Bianca


 Photo taken by Adriana

I unfortunately didn't take my camera to Synergy last year but this year I will be taking it along so that I can share my journey through the weekend with you. I am currently entering a competition on the My City By Night Blog I even made a poster because I want to win a ticket so bad this time. I always spend tons of money on festivals so I feel it is only fair that I receive one free ticket for all my support of local music. Synergy also has an amazing line-up this year, many of the artists I have never seen live, like Zebra and Giraffe and Goodluck. This year promises to be better than the rest so I am looking forward to it!