Louise Marsland (@Louise_Marsland)’s weekly pick of recent product, packaging and design launches:

  • Imagine… Zille & Malema embracing
  • Provantage relaunches media group
  • Brandcraft refreshes Fuseware
  • Pernod brews new  comms strat

Challenging political posing

Billboard artwork

Election time comes with a little silliness as brands get in on the action – and quite right too – or we’d all be totally depressed at the state of South Africa after all the slagging off and finger-pointing the political parties do in the name of winning votes.

Ricoh SA, a global tech company specialising in office imaging equipment,  document management systems and IT, decided to remind South Africans of the positive of potential change, with a billboard and print ads asking people to “imagine change” accompanied by a rather good caricature of DA leader Helen Zille and EFF commissar Julius Malema, embracing.

Ricoh SA head of marketing Esti Kilian, explains: “This campaign invites people to imagine a world of possibility and opportunity in a lighter spirit that takes the edge off the political manoeuvrings. Let’s face it – at times even the most hardened politically aware citizen can find the deluge to be a bit much.”

The campaign consists of radio, outdoor billboards and print national press.

Louise selfie

And, despite the media drop of red berets to publicise the campaign (let me take a selfie… nope, I don’t think red is my colour!), and an effort not to be seen as too political, it still managed to send out the cartoon with Malema’s beret emblazoned with his EFF party acronym (it was removed from the billboard).

Zilema Cartoon

The PR company sent out a retraction to the media: “We are extremely sorry to discover that we erroneously sent an image of a caricature of two high profile political figures, one wearing a red beret with the letters EFF emblazoned on it, accompanying a press release about our new advertising campaign. Ricoh does not wish to be associated with any political party over individuals. People, public characters, are at the heart of the campaign as opposed to any organisation.”


But well done to Ricoh SA for trying to inject some levity into the current political debate and at least this new cartoon image might help Zille erase her ill-timed smooch with Ramphele Mamphela!

Provantage’s new identity

Provantage new logo

Provantage has a new corporate structure and name, leading to a new brand identity unveiled this week. It will now be known as Provantage Media Group (PMG).

The rebrand was driven by a new vision and expansion strategy aimed at delivering “focus, innovation and specialisation in selected sectors within the southern African media landscape”.

Under the newly launched Provantage Media Group brand, three strong identities – ProActive; Provantage Out of Home Media; and Airport Ads – will ensure a “more focused, yet integrated, methodology”, the group states. Africa, research and digital platforms are key growth areas in the imminent future.

Fuseware refreshes brand


Engage Brandcraft recently undertook a complete brand refresh for Fuseware, a company specialising in social media measurement across Africa.

Its brief was to ensure brand consistency across all mediums and to provide a more accurate perception of Fuseware in the marketplace. Fuseware aims to provide clients with a precise understanding of their digital footprint, online market and competitive climate in social media.

Mike Wronski, Fuseware’s MD, said they required a complete rejuvenation and refresh of their brand and corporate identity: “While this was needed for greater professionalism across all communications moving forward, it was essential to enable a more accurate perception of Fuseware in the marketplace.”

Brandcraft focused on the origination and renovation of the brand across logo creation, digital, packaging design and print.

New web showcase for Pernod

Pernod new website

Pernod Ricard South Africa has launched a new website to increase brand awareness and as a tool to communicate company and brand messages.

The new site will provide browsers with a lot more information about the company as a whole, encompassing their tagline: ‘Authentic Brands. Authentic People’, outlining its global reach and showcasing all premium brands.

“This is very important to us as transparency is one of our key brand attributes, we believe in an open and honest dialogue with our various stakeholders,” explained Maria Sehlstrom, communications manager.

The website was designed by Native and can be viewed at:

Another reason for the upgrade was to create a space where potential talent could get a feel for the Pernod Ricard brand and its organisational structure.

Louise MarslandShelf Life by Louise Marsland is a weekly column on MarkLives. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland or email her at louise.marsland at Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Louise has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for 19 of her more-than-25-year career as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites and FMCGFiles. She currently edits the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper and is the publishing editor of industry trendwatching portal, TRENDAFRiCA, for consumer insight, research and trends in Africa.

— MarkLives’ round-up of top ad and media industry news and opinion in your mailbox every three work days. Sign up here!


Published by Herman Manson is edited by Herman Manson. Follow us on Twitter -

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist