Post Office Productions: stirring up change in South African music.

Post Office Productions is an indie production company with a whole lot of bells and whistles. P.O.P is run by a trio of top notch producers and designers who are constantly challenging the generally accepted mediocrity that governs the quality of music produced in South Africa. With many pieces of equipment which are firsts in the country and a head producer/CEO (Francis Müller) who has been trained by the best in the business from the world-renowned Berklee Music College in Boston, USA, this company is truly a force to be reckoned with.

P.O.P offers a wide range of facilities with two recording/practice studios, a graphic design studio, gym and a JimmiJagga sponsored chill area/gazebo. The business offering is pretty simple – this place is a home away from home for artists who are looking for productions of unprecedented quality. Some say that this set up is a reaction to the overly corporate environments of most studios in South Africa – which are not necessarily conducive to the creative process but rather all about the bottom line.

Not only can you write and record your album or practice with your band at this facility, but you can also get your album and promotional artwork custom designed by some of the most creative people in the business. In addition to all of this, the company is beginning to branch out into the events industry – organising massive events and putting their clients on these line-ups at every opportunity.

Overall, I am truly impressed with the nature of this business model – they are constantly releasing exceptional productions and offering a level of comfort that is not really found anywhere else in the country. The drive here is inspiring, as not many indie production companies can say that in just two years they have managed to build a client base of some of South Africa’s most well respected artists. I mean, these guys have worked with Camagwini; Da L.E.S; The Teargas/Cashtime Fam; L-Tido; The Soil; Spaza$hop!; MXO; Lira; Crash Car Burn; Pro Kid; and world renowned legend Tsepo Tshola. This is all seriously impressive given the company’s recent entry into the market. Visit the Post Office Productions website here, and follow them on Twitter (click here) and Facebook (click here).

Skermunkil Designs

I recently visited a store in Melville called Superella. This was a great experience because the store had a totally unique vibe which was a mash-up of retro and modern, traditional and funky, organic and original. The one brand they stock which particularly caught my attention is Skermunkil.

As soon as I got home I did my research and this is what I found on the Skermunkil page. “Skermunkil Design Studio is a small jewellery design and manufacturing company based in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Our studio and shop is located in Muizenberg and is open to the public from 9 til 4 every week day. Everybody is welcome to come and see where we work, how we work and what we make. You are also most welcome to buy some lovely things… or just come for tea. Done deal.”

The notion of being open in this way really impressed me, as obviously these guys realise that their work is awesome and that people should get to see them in action. Next time I am down in the mother city I will be sure to visit the studio. I have never seen anything like this before, so I thought it important for me to share this beautiful brand. I sourced some pics from the Skermunkil blog, so check them out below and click through to visit the Skermunkil page.



SA Tweets for Sweets

SOUTH AFRICAN MARKETERS DIVE INTO SOCIAL MEDIA REWARDS CAMPAIGNS

Guerilla marketing has been on the up and up in South Africa in 2012, especially when it comes to reward-based social media strategies. We have seen this with campaigns like the Bos Ice TeaTweet for Tea’ product sample vending machine installation (by Cow Africa, Thingking and RAAK) at the Cape Town Design Indaba, or the Exclusive Books social media driven discount rewards campaign. ‘Tweet for Tea’ involves the tweeter receiving a product sample from the machine as soon as they tweet using the hash-tag for the product. Exclusives ‘Stickers’ are handed out as discount rewards for rating their products and sharing on Twitter and Facebook.

Most recently, Toyota has launched it’s new model, the Etios, with the pay-off line “Here to make you smile”. To stick true to this brand promise, advertising agency DraftFCB and Thingking created a tweet-triggered gum-ball machine pop-up installation which truly makes people smile. The tweeter tweets using the product hash-tag and a unique pin and the machine is sprung into action – and by action, I mean serious action. The gumball is released and taken through a series of wacky obstacles for about a minute before reaching the smiling tweeter. As a result, the consumer is completely captivated by the brand for a bit more than a fleeting moment – experiencing something totally novel and memorable.

These campaigns are brilliant, in my opinion. The integration of digital and mechanical, the guerilla tactics, the customer engagement, the sheer creative genius and the pure fun of it all makes these campaigns mouth-watering ideas in the eyes of a strategist – and definitely brings a smile to customers. The only question now is what will competitors and other brands do to trump these ideas? Will we be seeing cheap imitations or sparks of unique creativity?

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