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

  • M&C Saatchi’s brutal simplicity for instantly iconic museum
  • Yuppiechef goes bricks and mortar
  • Table Mountain Cableway’s Mastercard facelift

M&C Saatchi Abel supports the arts

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) has opened its doors in the transformed heritage-listed Grain Silo building in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Advertising agency, M&C Saatchi Abel, has cemented its close affiliation by endowing the museum with a permanent photography gallery, the M&C Saatchi Abel Gallery, as well as having created its brand identity pro bono.

The museum will officially open this coming Heritage Weekend (22–25 September 2017), with free entrance for all visitors. However, to control numbers of people within the building, tickets will still be needed for entrance and are available on Webtickets and at the door. The media and VIP opening took place this past weekend.

This public not-for-profit cultural institution is the largest museum of contemporary art in Africa in more than 100 years. Originally a complex storing 40 000 tons of grain and dating back to 1924, its silos and elevator building have been gutted, stripped and repurposed by architect Thomas Heatherwick to showcase thousands of works by artists from Africa and its diaspora.

Globally, the M&C Saatchi brand is synonymous with a love of art. Says Mike Abel, founding partner and chief executive of the M&C Saatchi Abel Group of companies, “We are delighted to be partnering with Zeitz MOCAA, which is the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art. When the opportunity arose to sponsor a gallery at Zeitz MOCAA, we recognised it as a natural extension for our commitment to South African and African art.”

“We believe that the museum’s branding should acknowledge and reflect the unique heritage of the original building, but should also be true to the powerful originality and diversity of the art that the museum houses,” says Ashraf Majiet, creative director at M&C Saatchi Abel. The resulting solution is ‘brutally simple’: a graphic rendition of the 42 silos represents the original building but is adaptable enough to be interpreted through different colourways, patterns and textures. The concept allows the logo to mirror the dynamic environment of the physical building, as well as the ever-shifting universe of contemporary African art itself. From there, the building’s 42 silos formed the foundation grid for the unique font called Forty Two, which was painstakingly developed for the museum — first by hand and then digitised. This font is used to signpost everything, from toilets to the restaurant.

“The fundamental mission of Zeitz MOCAA, which is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit cutting-edge contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora, is perfectly aligned with our own mission as an agency — which is to develop and support art, creativity and culture in South Africa and beyond its borders.”

Works by the likes of Mohau Modisakeng, Cyrus Kabiru, Cameron Platter, Zander Blom, Sam Nhlengethwa, Kudzanai Chiurai, Christiaan Conradie, Jody Paulsen and Julia Rosa Clark reveal the agency’s support and passion for South African art and upcoming artists such as Pierre Vermeulen and Ruby Swinney.

M&C Saatchi Africa by Giant LeapLocally, M&C Saatchi Abel’s newly redecorated Johannesburg office also takes its cue from African art and culture: “The agency’s core belief in the role of art as integral to inspiring, challenging and building creative and original thought is reflected in the gallery-like reception areas and then filtered through the remaining three storeys. The Cape Town agency similarly has a wonderful collection of prized contemporary art.” The redesign was done by interior designer agency, Giant Leap.



Yuppiechef lands in Cape Town

Just 11 years after ecommerce allowed Yuppiechef to launch its retail business with no stock, staff or expensive rentals, the online store has announced it is investing in brick and mortar — its first store opens at Willowbridge Centre in Cape Town.

Yuppiechef will continue selling online, where it can provide the largest range, delivery across SA, 24/7 convenience and world-class service, but it is no longer convinced that ecommerce is the only channel for retail. It believes that the future of retail is omnichannel, which means a combination of physical stores and ecommerce. South Africans love shopping: spending a Saturday at a mall, meeting friends and eating out. Many also simply prefer the physical shopping experience for certain products — browsing, getting advice and the immediacy of the purchase — which means shops and malls are not going to disappear any time soon.

So, from 1 October, you shouldn’t have to see Yuppiechef as either an online retailer or a physical store; it is now a single retail brand, offering consumers the freedom to interact on their terms, whenever and wherever they are.

The Willowbridge store, designed by interior design company ARRCC, is intended to offer a superb shopping experience, top-quality staff, and the expected world-class products. Beyond that, customers will be able to look at a product online and then come into the store to make a final decision and walk away with a purchase or browse in-store and have orders delivered.

Yuppiechef plans a rollout of stores across South Africa as it plans for the next evolution of retail.



Cableway rebranding

Tractor Outdoor, in partnership with Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, has recently undertaken a complete rebranding of Cape Town’s iconic cable cars, with Mastercard South Africa as a sponsor on cableway branding elements.

Mastercard sponsorship of Table Mountain cable carVoted as one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the world in 2011, Table Mountain is also one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Africa. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company has, to date, transported over 26m visitors to the summit of Table Mountain. Each of the two cable cars is able to carry 65 visitors every 4-5 minutes, enabling almost 800 visitors to enjoy the trip every hour.

Says Simon Wall, managing director of Tractor Outdoor, “Table Mountain Cableway is one of the most-iconic tourist attractions in the world, and we are extremely pleased and proud to be involved in a project of this size and stature. This brand is synonymously thought of as one of the most attractive and majestic destinations in South Africa, and we look forward to providing a fresh perspective with spectacular, high-impact branding experiences for visitors to enjoy”.



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.

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