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.