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

  • Oreo launches a delectable pop-up store
  • Design Partnership deconstructs Doppio Zero, and
  • some of the best recent global brand activity.

Playtime with Oreo

Play with Oreo Cafe store frontPlay with Oreo playful seating areaPlay with Oreo cafe design
Stop the presses: Oreo has launched a pop-up store! The #PlaywithOreo Café, available to brand fans from 2 April to 3 May 2015 at The Zone @ Rosebank, is part of a global rollout with a new international TVC and microsite. The brand concept is built around ‘play’ and Oreo wants fans to have an imaginative play place and see outside of what is ordinary.

“Oreo is on a mission to inspire imagination and play around the globe, not only with the cookie itself, but in consumers’ everyday lives,” says Grant van Niekerk, category leader: biscuits and beverages at Mondelēz SA.

Obviously the focus is on Oreo in every sweet treat permutation imaginable: the Oreo ‘Cookie Conveyer’ is a moving dessert bar with Oreo-inspired treats designed by the patissiere Danielle Postma from Moemas.

Play with Oreo dessertsPlay with Oreo Dreamy Oreo Chocolate TrufflePlay with Oreo Sprinkle Pop
Dessert prices vary from R10 to R40, and the various treats include: Oreo popcorn snacks and sprinkle pops; milk and Oreos; white chocolate Oreo fudge; chocolate slabs and truffles; crushed Oreo milkshakes; cookie monster cupcakes; cheesecake; shortbread; and the Oreo ice cream Sundae. I have a sugar high just typing that!

Oreo has also designed an imaginative space for people to play and be creative in, with props, swings and a seesaw. There are also limited-edition brand memorabilia available for purchase, as well as mini-photo studios to style your own memories or just take a selfie.

If this were a permanent feature, I would have to seriously consider moving back to Joburg from Cape Town. Branding at its best!

Doppio Design Partnership

Doppio Zero Hazeldean PretoriaDesign Partnership has designed the new Doppio Zero store in Hazeldean, Pretoria East, in a space that needed structural changes as well as a design. Central to Doppio Zero’s brand strategy is to create two distinct spaces within its restaurants — a casual café around the bakery and retail area and a more formal restaurant space for later in the day.

With these different zones, even the penetration of sunlight at different times of the day in the different zones has had to be taken into account.

According to Callie van der Merwe, Design Partnership’s CEO, the attention to detail and close collaboration with furniture manufacturers allows the design to truly reflect the character of the brand in every detail. “In an installation like this one, brand intrinsics must be carried through wherever possible… effective design controls every element of the space and clearly influences a greater conversion to sale through effective store design.”

The original site needed a major overhaul, says designer Emma Spengler. “While the location is excellent, the site was not conducive to the inviting restaurant vibe Doppio Zero prides itself in and the building envelope had to undergo major structural changes to create a more appealing and engaging space.

“The site was very dark with very little natural light so the natural decision was to open up the shop front to allow more natural light to enter the space, which served the dual purpose of creating a much more inviting visual from the street, effectively advertising the restaurant’s atmosphere to all passers-by.”

Around the world…

Cancer. Pic: Brand Republic.
Pic: Brand Republic.

We’ve all known for a few years now that there is a momentous shift in marketing communication taking place, with brands becoming content producers, more value-driven and connecting with consumers as never before. You can see it in the campaigns, in the products launched, in how brands are becoming multi-channel too. Here are some great examples from the last week or so.

McDonald’s is taking a leaf out of Coke’s brand book, having launched ‘Moments of Joy’ events in 24 cities in 24 countries on 24 March 2015, with the campaign slogan ‘I’m lovin’ it 24’. According to Ad Age, it is it is the biggest campaign since the ‘I’m lovin’ it’ launch. It is part of McDonald’s brand evolution into a “content producer” to connect with young consumers.

There were many activations that took place, notably a toll booth in the Philippine’s turned into a McDonald’s drive-thru offering free breakfasts; a coffee-cup shaped ball pit in Sydney, Australia; customised coke cans in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam; concerts in the US and England featuring artists Ne-Yo and Jessie J respectively; and many more across the time zones.

Then, the global fast-food giant has also decided to extend its menu with a Big Mac clothing line. Fortunately, only available in Sweden. Although to celebrate the “I’m Lovin It 24” campaign, McDonald’s Sweden has made its Big Mac thermals available on the Big Mac Shop website.

In this connected wearable world, products are getting smart, too, and Johnnie Walker has introduced a smart bottle that can help consumers find out more about the whisky brand. Parent Diageo introduced the electronically tagged bottle for Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky to enable consumers to interact with the bottle, push exclusive content and allow for supply chain tracking.

An awareness campaign that is also getting a lot of airplay right now is the Cancer Research UK TV ad which created a tangible, growing ‘pavement abscess’ which was largely ignored by the scurrying passersby, even it grew larger over time.


Shelf Life is a weekly column by Louise Marsland. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland Louise Marslandor 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 over 20 years as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites and FMCGFiles. She also edited the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper. She is currently the publishing editor of industry trendwatching portal, TRENDAFRiCA, for consumer insight, research and trends in Africa; a regular industry columnist and speaker; a consultant on content strategy; and contributing editor to Fast Company South Africa magazine, which has just launched in South Africa.

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