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

  • Protea rebrands with Marriott
  • OLX riding on dreams
  • Kaleidoscope launches Blindiana Blend

Creating aspirations

Marriott International’s rebrand this month of South African-based brand, Protea Hotels, is part of a long-term strategy to evolve Protea from a strong regional player to a globally recognised player with international appeal.

The rebranding includes an updated and modernised logo and a “by Marriott” endorsement, creating “Protea Hotels by Marriott”.

Protea is one of the most-widely recognised brands in Africa, with a footprint that includes more than 100 hotels throughout SA, Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana and Uganda, among others. Marriott, which has more than 4 500 properties in 87 countries, acquired the group in 2014.

Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, says: “The rebrand will capitalize on the travel aspirations of Africa’s growing middle class and the increased presence of international hotel brands in Africa. Additionally, the endorsement will strengthen Marriott’s awareness in southern Africa by leveraging Protea Hotels’ strength in the region.”

Travel to and within sub-Saharan Africa continues to grow, with consumer research conducted in SA in 2015 confirming that the endorsement of Protea Hotels by a large, international brand company, such as Marriott, would elevate brand perception and preference.

“Marriott International’s rebranding of Protea Hotels demonstrates Marriott’s sustained focus on developing the unique strengths of regional brands and integrating and amplifying those strengths within the broader context of Marriott’s global brand family.”


OLX connects

OLX’s new marketing campaign aims to reposition the brand and create an emotional connection with South Africans by recognising that everyone want to improve their lot in life.

Entitled #MoveUp, the campaign was conceptualised and created by Publicis Machine; it showcases the human progress behind each transaction through stories of real people on their journey to #MoveUp by buying and selling on OLX.

Says OLX South Africa brand manager, Ntsikakazi Mxenge: “It positions OLX as an enabler of dreams and the means by which anyone from any walk of life can facilitate forward-progress, despite what the so-called ‘system’ might prescribe. We believe that this campaign will resonate particularly well with our resourceful population. Increasingly, South Africans have come to understand that, if they want to get ahead, they need to create their own opportunities and mould their own destiny.”

The narrative of the TVC depicts how OLX makes it possible for people to be who they want to be by beating the system: A young man stares into a shop window, dreaming of owning a guitar, but the display lights go out. The only light in the night — his mobile phone — lights up in his hand to show a similar guitar available on the OLX site — he can #MoveUp.

“By positioning the brand as more than a retail environment, the #MoveUp campaign aims to encourage South Africans to use OLX as an alternative trading space to that which the system currently provides — not only for occasional buying and selling, but also as a valuable trading option.”

The campaign is spearheaded by the TVC, supported with radio and online.


SA’s first blind barista

Blindiana Blend is a new Kaleidoscope & Beans for Africa initiative: a coffee that is blended, tasted, packed and distributed by the blind; now served by SA’s first blind barista, Joseph Matheatau.

Kaleidoscope, (previously known as the Institute for the Blind), is a non-profit organisation that caters for the needs of visually impaired persons of all ages through the provision of education, training, care, employment, development and accommodation. Matheatau works at Kaleidoscope’s museum in the Blindiana Barista Coffee Shop, where he has become a major attraction, mastering espressos, macchiatos, Americanos, and lattes.

“Visitors cannot believe that their coffee was made by a blind person. It was not an easy process, though. In the very beginning I had a few incidents where I burned myself. It was a nightmare learning to froth the milk. But today I can successfully prepare a cup of coffee and I get the smell of success,” he says.

Matheatau joined Kaleidoscope training centre in Worcester in January 2014 to study marketing and entrepreneurship, and then trained as a barista.

The Blindiana custom roast blend was created from Central and South American coffees blended with African beans: “The qualities add a wonderful depth and the African coffee gives it that bittersweet, earthy taste that makes it exceptional. This blend of Arabica coffee beans is roasted to a medium-dark finish, which creates a medium-body coffee with splendid aroma.”

Blindiana custom roast blend may be ordered online here or here from R59 (250g) to R195 (1kg)



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.

Sign up now for the MarkLives email newsletter every Monday and Thursday, now including headlines from the company newsroom service!

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