On Shelf
On Shelf

#OnShelf: A great brand collab vs a brand refresh fail

by Louise Burgers. An interesting Castle Lite and Bathu sneakers collab; Barrows’ innovative new POS; but Halls fails with its painful brand refresh.

by Louise Burgers. A very interesting brand collab between Castle Lite and Bathu sneakers makes us want to see more of this kind of innovative brand crossover collaboration; Barrows produces an upcycled, innovative new POS; and Halls SA’s painful brand refresh.

Unbox yourself as a limited edition

Here’s a very interesting collaboration from beer brand Castle Lite and sneaker streetwear brand, Bathu. It’s a limited edition collaboration to get people out and about again and looking good after months of lockdown sloth. The limited-edition sneaker aims to “help Mzansi unbox themselves” in style as they leave the safety of their couch and venture out into the world again. Only 2,000 pairs of this limited edition sneaker will be produced – and only 100 will be sold via Bathu.co.za. The rest will be up for grabs as competition prizes. To enter, consumers have to purchase a case of Castle Lite (of course) at Checkers, Shoprite, TOPS at SPAR, Makro or Pick n Pay. Bathu founder, Theo Baloyi, said the Castle Lite x Bathu sneaker allowed their free-thinking target consumer to “unbox themselves”: “This collaboration is a result of likeminded brands walking the same journey with the same audience who put the enjoyment in self-expression. And so, we want everyone who wears the sneakers to feel that they are on top of their game.” Added Castle Lite brand director, Silke Bucker, “There is nothing better than stepping out in something that gives you confidence, something representative of your personality. Castle Lite has always been the beer brand that pushes boundaries and together with Theo Baloyi, we have managed to design something that did just that.”

Upcycled display POS reduces waste

Retail designer and manufacturer Barrows Global has launched the world’s first circular retail display, the PolyAl unit, which apparently gives brands a 20% saving on point of sale displays plus a 37% carbon saving. Barrows calls this the “first promotional display fit for a circular economy” and designed the temporary display to use resources efficiently, while eliminating waste. The Barrows’ PolyAl unit addresses wastage by using a permanent upcycled core structure that is regularly recladded with a new brand campaign. As a reusable unit, it uses 90% less corrugated board than traditional temporary displays. And here’s another interesting fact: the PolyAl is made from the plastic polyethylene and aluminium layers of post-consumer long-life liquid cartons that Tetra Pak and Gayatri Paper Mills are diverting from landfill. After a year of R&D, in partnership with Perspex SA, Barrows was able to manufacture a PolyAl core upcycled from 3,500 long-life cartons, hence the name the PolyAl display. This reusable core is customisable with adjustable shelving, allowing for varied product heights and sizes. It is shipped flat-packed to retailers and is designed to be easily assembled and disassembled for end-of-life recycling. Barrows design, manufacture and install the PolyAl displays at zero-cost to the retailer. The core units are asset tracked and Barrows takes responsibility for the maintenance of the units, which are uplifted and recycled into new displays at the end of 24 months. Dis-Chem is the first retailer to use the new POS and the first 505 PolyAl displays have just been installed in Dis-Chem stores nationwide. These units have diverted 1.8 million long-life cartons from landfill and by the end of the year, this number is expected to reach 3.5 million as the programme grows. The first brands supporting the programme include the Dis-Chem house brand Greener Living, Unilever’s multibrand Spring Clean, Red Bull and Celltone Skin Care. Jenna Bleloch, head of sustainability at Barrows Global, said the Barrows’ vision is to divert 35 million long-life cartons from landfill in PolyAl units and create 10 000 reusable displays which would save about 360 thousand kilograms of carbon. We need to see more such sustainabile multi-brand initiatives. So innovative.

Brand refresh do over

I’ve received so many press releases about the Halls brand refresh, it seems a little desperate to get the news out. Maybe it’s the mad copywriting holding things up. With gems such as, “a dynamic marketing campaign that repositions Halls from a lozenge to a lifestyle candy with purpose”; “In today’s techno-world, mental congestion is the more relevant challenge”; and “Halls, with its unique long-lasting cooling effect, can authentically own the mental benefits that flow from breathing better”. Really? It’s a f*cking throat lozenge, not a cure for Covid. We just need better tasting products that soothe sore throats and don’t turn into sticky lumps in our handbags or cars after time. And we’re busy, just give us the news, not the fluff. The new packaging actually looks great, I think, and there is an advocacy message in there somewhere; so if the brand had used its words correctly and unpacked the CI and creative thinking, instead of trying to convince us it is something it is not, it may actually have got more media traction.


Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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