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

  • Uber South Africa ads launch with laughter
  • Ella instant cappuccino on shelf
  • Firestone’s summer karaoke in a kombi

Grey humour

The first locally production ATL campaign for global ride-hailing service, Uber, focuses on freedom, bringing to life the occasions when we just don’t want to be troubled by the hassle of driving ourselves.

Conceptualised by Grey Advertising South Africa, the TVCs and radio spot ads capture the comedically irrational relationship between South Africans and their cars. Says Fran Luckin, chief creative officer of Grey Advertising, “This campaign is not a global one that was localised; it was uniquely conceptualised and executed here in South Africa by Grey Africa.”

The ads portray the various anxieties that come with being a car owner, ranging from traffic and a lack of parking to wanting to responsibly enjoy a couple of drinks with your friends. “For these moments, Uber offers you freedom at a tap. The adverts depict the moment where people break the news to their cars: that this time, they unfortunately cannot not come with them, followed by buckets of reassurance of a reunion.”



Quick caffeine

An off-the-shelf ‘shake, pour and drink’ cappuccino mix, called Ella, launches in Thrupps stores in Jozi this month after first being available in Spar in Hout Bay, Western Cape. It allows consumers to carry barista-quality coffee in their back pockets.

According to Neil Hellmann, entrepreneur and inventor of Ella, his team has formulated and patented a unique foaming ring which generates the perfect foam from liquid coffee and milk encapsulated in the container; this is a significant leap from the traditional powdered alternatives.

The pack design, conceptualised and designed by marketing and brand strategy consultancy Yellowwood, represents the deep aroma associated with full roast barista coffee in rich, dark colours. The logo is an ambigram taking centre stage on the pack, whether displayed on shelf or turned over to shake and pour; art was the inspiration for pack differentiation, with different moods meant to be conveyed through the tones and palette revealed through the logo.

The product itself is a combination of pure espresso and low-fat milk, is preservative free and may be kept on shelf for up to six months, thanks to a unique oxygen barrier.



Setting the summer scene

Firestone has launched its global Firestone Kombi Karaoke campaign (#FirestoneKK) in South Africa, which is hitting the road visiting several music, food and experiential festivals across the country during the busy summer season.

#FirestoneKK consists of two kombis: one old-school, fully restored, 1972 Volkswagen Brasília Kombi, loaded with speakers, microphones, a TV prompter and thousands of ‘old school’ songs; the other, a brand-new 2017 VW Kombi, hosting a large catalogue of new school songs.

Patrick Leslie, brand and channel manager at Bridgestone South Africa (which also manufactures and markets Firestone), says: “Music has been an integral part of the brand’s marketing DNA ever since Firestone founder, Harvey Firestone, hosted new acts on his radio show, Voice of Firestone in the 1920s. We decided to channel a bit of that legacy by creating ‘Karaoke Kombis’ to give visitors a platform of their own. At our stand, they can sing their hearts out, win great prizes and share their moment in the limelight with other festival-goers and their friends.”

After each act, participants receive an SMS with a link to their performance, channeled through the website.



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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