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

  • Inhouse redesigns Saatchi & Saatchi Brandsrock
  • Prosper Café pops-up at Absa
  • Hennessy launches fifth limited edition

Saatchi goes inhouse

Design agency Inhouse Brand Architects has remodelled the Cape Town offices of ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi Brandsrock, using its experience in changing traditional structures to improve the professional environment and create a dynamic space for the growing agency.

Saatchi & Saatchi BrandsRock new interior by Inhouse Brand Architects 02The Saatchi & Saatchi SA group acquired the BrandsRock agency a year ago, resulting in the group’s Cape Town offices — located at The Foundry in Green Point — needing to expand. Inhouse was briefed to give the space a complete overhaul.

According to Annelise Botes, Inhouse team leader, it was Saatchi & Saatchi’s “Nothing is Impossible” ethos that infused her design concept from the start: “The brief was to create a space that allows for and promotes creativity. We felt it was apt to employ Saatchi & Saatchi’s ampersand, using conjunction, connection and interaction as guides throughout the design.

“The collaborative spirit that underlines the Saatchi & Saatchi brand is consistently referenced through the use of large-scale signage featuring ampersand symbols — an eye-catching feature that reinforces the spirit of collaboration and possibility.”

Saatchi & Saatchi BrandsRock new interior by Inhouse Brand Architects 04Saatchi & Saatchi BrandsRock new interior by Inhouse Brand Architects 01Chief inspiration officer, Mike Joubert, says the design succeeds in creating an inclusive feel to all the spaces so that it truly feels like an integrated office:

We were looking for a simple, open design with a distinct global feel and an underlying rock& roll DNA. The reception and auditorium areas in particular create an instant feeling of familiar hospitality; a place where everyone matters.”

The newly designed office space pays homage to the origins of the foundry building and is a showcase for creativity and integration: “By creating open-plan environments, communal pause areas and core meeting points, collaboration between departments and teams is made easy and accessible.”


Prospering with Absa coffee

In a move designed to improve the way South African financial services companies engage with their customers, Absa, a member of Barclays, has launched pop-up coffee shop “Prosper Café”, created as an extension of Absa’s Prosper advertising campaign. The Prosper Café will be used at Absa’s sponsored events, including the Absa Cape Epic, KKNK and L’Atelier.

Absa Prosper Café pop-upAccording to Lauren Daniel, brand manager, marketing and corporate relations at Absa, Prosper is Absa’s philosophy of facilitating the hopes and dreams of all South Africans, born out of its brand purpose of ‘helping people achieve their ambitions in the right way’.

Daniel says Prosper Café takes this promise to a new level by providing a space to experience this philosophy first-hand while enjoying a complimentary cup of premium coffee or proudly homegrown rooibos: “Absa is ensuring that consumers are well- and truly immersed in the Prosper experience by providing a range of interactive, value-added facilities that make their lives that little bit easier, such as free wifi, charging stations for mobile devices, and a stimulating children’s play area with chalk board and magnets.”

The pop-up coffee shop will only serve Prosper coffee and Prosper rooibos espressos, cappuccinos and macchiatos exclusively blended for Absa customers. Resident coffee expert, Alessandro Morrico, one of only four SA World Barista Championship certified judges, is the expert in charge; Prosper coffee comprises medium roasted 100% Arabica beans sustainably sourced from Honduras, Colombia (decaf), and Burundi and Uganda (African blend).

Absa Prosper Cafe coffee blendsExplains Daniel: “All these blends have gone through an extensive selection process to ensure the countries they’re sourced from protect their natural resources and the farms they’re sourced from play an integral role in the sustainability of their communities. These factors speak to the very heart of Prosper Café, because finding great coffee isn’t a problem, but finding great coffee with a conscience is.”

The Prosper philosophy is reflected in the organisations it has partnered with — Coffee Kids and The Long Mile Coffee Project. Both of these work to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour, ‘helping everybody involved to prosper’.

“Absa is a brand that prides itself on being innovative, and is driven by the belief that everything we do should serve a purpose. It’s this philosophy that guides every decision we make, and our mobile Prosper Café offers an exceptional opportunity to showcase these beliefs.”


Colourful cognac for Hennessy

Hennessy cognac has announced the fifth edition of its Very Special Limited Edition series by unveiling a new design created by American contemporary artist, Ryan McGinness.

Hennessy Very Special by Ryan McGinness packshotThe design forms part of a continued legacy of artistic collaborations at Hennessy, the most recent being the Hennessy 250 Tour, which saw an exhibition of carte blanche creations by contemporary artists of international acclaim, as part of Hennessy’s 250th anniversary.

At the heart of this project are the formations of elements in McGinness’ on-going body of work “Black Holes”, a pattern in bright fluorescent colours that will extend beyond the label and packaging to be incorporated into site-specific installations: I wanted the colour palette and overall design to be very bright and colourful, and for these colours to radiate from the centre.

Very Special Limited Edition by Ryan McGinness

The artist was allowed to explore and reinterpret elements within the visual branding of Hennessy Very Special including its iconic coat of arms. For his bottle design, he subverted the bottle’s metadata — the ‘fine print’ on the lable — and showcased it in a prominent way through his own visual language.

McGinness has embarked on a global tour with Hennessy as part of the Cognac’s 250th anniversary tour, with four iconic cities in the world on the route: Guangzhou, Moscow, New York and Joburg.

The 750ml bottle retails at R379.95 and is available at all major liquor outlets. • TwitterFacebook


Cheryl Hunter

Shelf 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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