Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at’s weekly pick of all things new — product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!

  • Blacksmith Collective offers creative talent pool
  • Woolworths launches De Villiers chocolate pod
  • Radisson Blu gets social with Skript

Creative collaboration

Brands and businesses in the market for production services may now access a curated network of creative experts at the newly launched Blacksmith Collective, a production house with a network of over 200 creative partners across South Africa.

Blacksmith CollectiveBlacksmith Collective, founded by creative entrepreneurs Diogo Mendonça and Marcus von Geyso, is a production collective specialising in content creation and creative problem-solving. Explains Von Geyso, “We partner with the very best creative minds and experts, from film and photography specialists to brand strategists and even engineers, allowing us to adapt to specific project requirements. “Having a pool of creative talent to collaborate with allows us to work smarter, ensure a high standard of service and deliver expert executions.”

According to Mendonça, this also offers creatives a platform to work with some of the biggest brands across industries, with teams ranging from five to 50 creatives: “Having access to a vast network of creative professionals, when trying to solve a creative problem, definitely adds a lot of dimension to our work, ensuring our ideas are always current,. We spend a lot of time researching our creative teams to find the best fit for the job at hand and grow our vast creative network with a variety of fresh talent.”

The collective has worked with international brands including Castle Lite, Castle Lager, Opel, Budweiser, Shell, Corona and Visa, and has collaborated with Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, King James II, Joe Public, Isobar and TBWA.

Mendonça and von Geyso met while working at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, and realised their shared entrepreneurial spirit and vision for a creative platform. The pair decided to start their own collaborative platform that is capable of dynamically scaling up or down, depending on the nature and demand of a client’s brief.



Chocolate from Africa

Woolworths and De Villiers Chocolate have this month launched the retailer’s first in-store chocolate ‘pod’ at its flagship store in Somerset West, in the Western Cape.

Woolworths De Villiers Chocolate PodDe Villiers Chocolate is one of Africa’s first bean-to-bar chocolate brands, made from cocoa beans sourced from cocoa bean farmers on the African continent. One of only a handful of Africa-based chocolate brands, De Villiers Chocolate is committed to providing consumers with absolute transparency throughout its supply chain and abides by global ‘clean label’ practices. The clean label trend sees consumers actively limiting processed foods, and replacing these with products made from naturally derived, minimally processed, organic and non-GMO ingredients. Industry circles see this trend as one of the most-influential consumer-driven developments in packaged goods, in recent years. In fact, so prevalent is this trend that 2017 is named the Year of the Clean Label.

Inspired by research indicating that consumers have an increasing interest in the origin of the brands they purchase, Woolworths’ chocolate pod will allow consumers to engage with De Villiers Chocolate through tastings, new product trials and information about the heritage of the brand and its products.

Says Glenda Philp, Woolworths brand head of foods, “Woolworths uses suppliers who meet our high-quality standards, and De Villiers Chocolate offers delicious products that our customers love.”

According to Pieter de Villiers, owner and founder of De Villiers Chocolate, De Villiers Chocolate’s success is due to direct feedback from customers: “We relied on consumers’ responses when we started out selling at a stall at a farmer’s market, and, even though the brand has grown, we still value our relationship with our customers above everything else.”

Seasonal products will be launched on a quarterly basis at the De Villiers Chocolate Pod, with flavour and packaging combinations to complement various seasonal themes.


Breakfast Blu’s

Hotel brand, Radisson Blu, has launched a multichannel social-media video campaign with agency Skript to showcase its new breakfast offerings.

Inspired by the magic moments that take place around the breakfast table, the #SuperBreakfastMoments campaign comprises three videos celebrating Radisson’s new breakfast concept and the restaurant location.

Says Marie-Laure Blaise, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group senior marketing manager, Africa & Indian Ocean, “The key message of the campaign is that the best travel moments begin at a superb hotel but they all start with a Super Breakfast; which takes this to a new level. Ingredients are sourced from domestic suppliers as part of our localisation strategy, keeping us culturally relevant, with a sustainable operation.”

Radisson Blu Super BreakfastThe campaign recently launched on social media, with a call-to-action for the public to take a picture of their favourite breakfast item and share it. Entrants stand a weekly chance of winning a Radisson Blu Super Breakfast for themselves and five friends at a Radisson Blu hotel of their choice during September 2017.



Cheryl HunterShelf Life is’s weekly column covering all things new. Notify us of yours at shelflife at marklives dot com. Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.

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