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

  • Adult ‘Lego’ comes to SA
  • Respublica refreshes for growth
  • TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris births Loyiso Madinga’s BabyBot for Student Flights

Building blocks

EverBlock Systems, the adult ‘Lego’ building blocks that have ignited imaginations around the globe, are finally available in South Africa, although ordering online is tricky because of huge volumes of traffic that have resulted in a large backlog.

EverBlocksa offers a modular building system of oversized polypropylene blocks that may be used to construct durable, fun furniture and structures — just about anything your imagination may create modularly. It’s quick and easy to build by stacking and organising the universal blocks in nearly any shape, pattern, colour or size. Each EverBlock module is designed to connect easily with the parts above and below, using a pressure fit, which creates a strong link between blocks, exactly like Lego.

And there’s the appeal: aside from the ease of building, everyone remembers playing with Lego and the idea of life-size Lego houses or furniture calls to the child in everyone.

The range includes different-sized blocks and finishing caps in 12 standard colours for creating objects for all types of use from leisure lounge and kids’ play areas to corporate workspaces. EverBlock furniture may be taken apart and reassembled again, and the pieces reused to build other objects, making it an affordable furniture solution with increased longevity, as well as being an exceptional green building method.

The South African agents offer rentals and sales of EverBlock, along with design advice and installation services with customised solutions.


Creating communities

Student accommodation provider, Respublica, has kicked off 2017 with a revitalised brand and related but unique brands for each of the residences in its portfolio.

Respublica logoAccording to CEO, Craig McMurray, the company has been expanding locally and internationally, and it’s the right time to rejuvenate the brand: “Each of Respublica’s residences now has its own unique identity, created in line with the company’s overall branding and acknowledging that each residence has its own unique characteristics and collective personality. These identities are set to strengthen bonds and traditions within each residence, but have been created with the refreshed Respublica branding in mind, linking the individual locations with the company and affirming each student’s identity as a member of the extended Respublica family.”

The brand refresh is part of an internal, long-term strategy and the new logo includes the individual logos of the first seven residences managed by the company — Saratoga Village, The Fields, West City, Eastwood Village, Urban Nest, Hatfield Square and Yale Village. These logos come together to form the letter “R”, honouring the company’s foundations while positioning it well for growth.

As new residences are added to the Respublica portfolio, they too will contribute by creating a logo that will be rotated in all electronic and digital formats of the logo as the Respublica community of residences grows.

“As we welcome more residences into our portfolio, we are reinforcing the depth of our sporting leagues, inter-res cultural and social activities, and residence life activities that pit the students’ diverse talents against one another, providing students a lifestyle with a strong sense of spirit and community.”


The BabyBot

Would you take a baby to a music festival? Not unless you’re South African comedian, Loyiso Madinga, and Student Flights has convinced you to as part of a campaign to encourage student travel.

The challenge was for Madinga to successfully care for the baby (a baby bot, that is) at the festival and, in return, Student Flights would reward him with an overseas trip.

According to TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris creative director, Jenny Glover, the #BabyBot campaign was all about showing its target audience that it’s better to travel before it’s not fun anymore: “By sending Loyiso to the last place on earth anyone would ever want to take a baby — robot or otherwise — Student Flights successfully conveyed the message that it’s better to travel when you’re young and unencumbered.”

The 15kg BabyBot was designed and built by the agency’s innovation department to be loud, demanding and show complete disregard for personal time, sleeping patterns and social life.  #BabyBotTwitter #BabyBot #Tjalenj


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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