G&T and Chill

High res logoSimon Von Witt, the founder of The Woodstock Gin Co.,and his team will be at the agency tomorrow, 20 May, to host their very first How To Friday session.

Their story first began in 2012 when Simon realised he had a knack and passion for producing fine liqueurs. Being adventurous by nature, Simon began experimenting with a variety of different botanicals to produce a high quality South African gin. Simon’s passion for the environment, knowledge of local fynbos and indigenous plant species, along with assistance from a well informed source enabled him to gauge the correct ratios of botanicals and create Woodstock Gin Company’s Inception

2nd packaging wine

We had a chat with Simon who had the following to say: “I absolutely love Limoncello, and after teaching English in Italy for a year, I really wanted to bring it back to SA and make it here. After playing around with liqueurs for a few years, we decided to make a gin and never gave up until we got it right.”

What were some of the highs you have experienced?

  • Making that first sale at a market
  • Getting repeat orders from private clients
  • Receiving praise from chefs and distillers
  • Our first export order
  • Selling 1700 bottles in a month

“But I must say that winning an independent tasting competition against three top gins was definitely one of the biggest highlights to date.”

And the lows?

  • Waiting 8 months for a licence,
  • 5 months for a warehouse number,
  • Monthly cash flow,
  • Running out of juniper berries,
  • Power outages

And of course we had to ask… What is your favourite gin combo?

“Inception beer distilled with orange rind and cinnamon bark, however, The Gin Bar’s Ambition a close second.”





UCOOK’s recipe to success

This coming Friday we have the team from UCOOK at the agency hosting their very first How To Friday session. The idea behind the brand is for you to select your preferred meal of choice, the team then handpicks the ingredients from local farmers and suppliers, perfectly portions and packages them in a box, and delivers it straight to your door with all the necessary step-by-step instructions and recipe cards. Sounds good, right? But before we get carried away, let’s get to know them and what the road to success has been like. This is what co-founder Chris Verster Cohen had to say:

The idea for UCOOK came about when “a bunch of aimless youths, with dreams of independence and tech grandeur stumbled upon, ‘one of the most convoluted and multi-faceted business models to date’. The model had done exceptionally well overseas, harnessed by an amalgamation of Ivy league graduates, with real expertise and serious IQs”

“Our team, with the courage only found in ignorance, thought they could replicate the success of the dinner-kit giants abroad. To date, we have made more mistakes than excel could compute, learnt more than we ever thought and, for the first time, look to be making a success of things”

Well, nobody said starting your own business would be easy. What have been some of the high’s and low’s?


  1. Moving out of one of the founding member’s parents’ garage
  2. Hitting 1000 meals delivered monthly
  3. Securing our first successful investment round

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  1. Delivering our first batch of boxes without any recipe cards…the customer confusion was rampant
  2. Our website was deleted whilst trying to upload new functionality…. it was a long two days of sleepless activity before it went live again
  3. An early investment presentation was going brilliantly until one of the prospective investors who seemed ready, check book in hand, asked how many customers we had…. the answer at the time being 25.This setback made for a short presentation.

What does the future look like for UCOOK, let’s say, in the next five years?

“UCOOK would like to be up into Africa, disrupting the traditional grocery environment and pushing the farm to fork philosophy, with the help of rural farmers and local communities.”

And lastly, how would you rate the teams cooking skills?

“The teams cooking skills are varied, but the cooking environment in the office is one of heated competition. We all take turns to test the dishes curated by the chefs to make sure that they do not require serious kitchen aptitude.”

To find out more about the UCOOK brand, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Making the world a better place – One test drive at a time

What if you took an ordinary test drive and turned it into something extraordinary? Well, Volkswagen South Africa did just that with the Amarok Social Test Drive concept.

The ground-breaking concept takes an existing activity – the daily Dealership test drive of an Amarok – and re-purposes it into a highly beneficial programme of community interventions around South Africa which, in the process, provides a perfect demonstration of the virtues of the vehicle.IMG_6179

See the video below.

This is a brilliant idea which connects two important worlds in a seamless way that makes sense.

Nicholas Wittenberg, Ogilvy South Africa’s ECD of the Digital Portfolio believes the power of the idea lies in its scalability; “there’s no reason why every Amarok Dealer around the globe can’t do this quickly and easily which means there is a huge upside for ‘delivering’ social goods”.

See more videos here:




Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town creds:

  • Chief Creative Officer: Chris Gotz, Pete Case
  • Executive Creative Director: Tseliso Rangaka
  • Executive Creative Director. Digital Portfolio: Nicholas Wittenberg
  • Creative Director: Jacques Massardo, Prabashan Gopalakrishnan Panther
  • Creative Group Head: Justin Enderstein, Dean Paradise
  • Art Director: Matthew Pullen, Emma Butlin, Justin Enderstein
  • Copywriter: Kate Desmarais, Dean Paradise, Jacques Massardo
  • Senior Designer: Nick Mills, Jedd McNeilage
  • User Experience Specialist: Britta Graewe
  • Project Manager: Robyn De Beer
  • Frontend Developer: Michael Hanslo, Fanus du Toit
  • Managing Partner: Vicki HeyGroup
  • Account Director: Stuart Randall, Robin Hook
  • Agency Producer: Anthea Beylis
  • Head of Strategy: Awie Erasmus
  • Strategy: Mike Wills
  • Creative Director: Daniel Nash
  • Account Director: Jess Webb
  • Account Manager: Nazneen Ahmed
  • Account Executive: Janine Fortuin
  • Production Company: Motion City Films


Design Indaba FilmFest

Words from Martin Magner

I could spend the duration of this post breaking down each film like a proper film critic but that would be a waste of time seeing as I’m just a boy from Cape Town with a Macbook pro.

So, here is my opinion of the 3 stand outs in no particular order.

[B-MOVIE: Lust & Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989]


After watching this film I’ve realised the West Berlin electronic music scene feels a lot like many a late Friday night I’ve experienced in Hope Street. ‘Decadent & Chaotic’ were used to describe the entirety of it all – undoubtably mirrors the scene, sound and energy of the youth of Cape Town today. The rawness of the documentary was comforting. A nice break from the glitz and glamour I find myself trolling through on a daily basis on Twitter. The hunger to live for the moment rather than plan for the future very yolo and I appreciate that.

See more here.



5 stars for the 6 siblings who spent 17 years in 1 Manhattan flat. The confinement of these kids forced them to explore their creativity to the nth degree. Create masterpieces including an entire Batman costume out of cereal boxes and yoga mats, recite films back to front and walk out as a group with an image that could pretty much trump Yeezy season 3. I’ve already seen a few of them making appearances in music videos, obviously by Grimes, soon to be seen in global fashion campaigns and hopefully some Wolfpack work to hit our screens soon. Watch this one!

See more here.




Move over Natalie Portman, I’ve found the original Black Swan. Dance does something to me. People getting thrown across room to a SIA song, leopard crawling to the some Genuwine, or a stunning whip nae nae in the bar on a Friday. I’M HOOKED. Misty Copeland however, takes dance to the next level. Technically flawless, physically ridiculous. This woman triumphed & rose to the hight as the first black woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history. Cue Beyoncé’s Formation track. Watch this and regret all the dance classes you failed to go to a child.

See more here.

Thanks to the Design Indaba for the incredible variety of films this year.

Hopefully we’ll start seeing some more local motion pictures getting featured too.




Cape Town’s Emerging Creatives: Part 4

If you haven’t yet made your way to see the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives Expo at the V&A Watershed, we suggest you get down there, like…now. This week we’ve been catching up with a few rad Cape Town based designers showcasing their work.

Meet Nondwe Nyathi from Indwe Designs:


Q: You’re a self-taught designer, what motivated you to do this?

A: My late Brother played a big role my journey of creativity. Assisting him in his recycling business  and him exposing me to the world of Art and Creativity, led me to witness off cuts of leather being thrown away and a new spark of creativity went off and fired up the origins of Indwe Designs.

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?

A: I’m inspired by our rich and diverse cultures we have in Africa. How people(Women) in the olden days used to adorn themselves with what they had and made themselves look beautiful. So my brand is mainly taking what other people would ignore because they think it can’t be used and create high end Authentic and modern pieces that reflect sentiments when worn, for the intrepid and adventurous.

Q: What are some of your favourite piece?

Multi Col Choc Solid NP_TopBlack_White Pyramid Layer NP_Top-1

Find out more here:

Facebook: Indwe Desings
Instagram: indwe_ewdni
Email: ms24.nyathi@gmail.com

Cape Town’s Emerging Creatives: Part 3

Meet another incredible talent at the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives Expo!


“WAIF is a jewellery label with a distinct affinity for utter simplicity.”

Q: Why jewellery? How did it all begin for you?

A: I wound up making jewellery and accessories in a roundabout way. I studied English and Film at UCT, worked in advertising as a copywriter for 5 years which was great, but found that the visual side of me wasn’t being satisfied. I also wanted to run around sourcing materials, find creative solutions to things, be challenged, and call all the shots. My mother is a jewellery designer so I’ve always known my way around the tools of the trade, but last year I decided to build a brand and start a company that I could build up and call my own. Jewellery isn’t the end goal for me – I aim to expand.

Q: Your designs are beautifully simplistic, where do you draw inspiration from?

A: The barrette hair piece was a starting point, I was inspired by something I’d been given at a very young age. I noticed that hair pieces weren’t being made locally, and I wanted to create something that nobody else was making. I’ve always been fond of the elegance with which french women dress, and the hair pin and clip are both classically French. The shapes are organic and are inspired by nature, pebbles, succulents, seed pods, the shapes of ears, body parts, but also Matisse, Picasso, Ellsworth Kelly. I like playing with negative space, texture and in the future, I’d like to master enameling so that I can introduce some colour.


Q: You were part of the SAMW16, tell us a bit about the experience and what you took away from it.

A: I’ve always had this awful preconceived notion that the fashion industry was superficial and sleezy, but I’ve found it to be the opposite. The people who create fashion, who design in, shoot it, style it, model it, these people are some of the best people I’ve ever met. There’s an amazing culture of supporting each other, sharing information, buying local only. Models are intelligent, stylists have an important role to play, photographers aren’t sleeve bags, designers celebrate other designers’ success. My experience of SAMW was amazing. I produced a small collection of earrings for the AKJP show and a collection of conceptual face plates for BLANC, both were well received, I’ve had some great press from it, so I’m glad I did it.

Alexa Glenday at SAMW for AKJP

Find out more about Gisele and her work on Instagram: @waif_things.


Cape Town’s Emerging Creatives: Part 2

The Design Indaba Conference is in full swing, and along with it the Emerging Creatives programme at the V&A Watershed. Keep up to date with news, interviews and what we’re up to by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat: ogilvyct.

We caught up with a few of the Cape Town based designers. Yesterday we featured, Lynne Avis – see the article here.

Next up, Megan Smith…

cloth and print.Megan Smith profile


“Cloth and Print is a small textile studio based in Cape Town. Original designs are hand screen printed onto natural fabrics and made into beautiful accessories and home wear. Small runs keep things special and individual. Where CLOTH meets PRINT…one repeat at a time.”

Q: How did you get into textile design?

A: I adore the texture of fabrics. I remember visiting fabric stores when I was young and running my hands across the rolls and rolls of different cloth and relishing the sensation of the various textures. I have always drawn and invariably the drawings become patterns. Textile Design was a natural choice for a girl who loves cloth with a bit of print!

Q: Which things in your environment are you inspired by?

A: I feel inspired by the natural beauty we find around us. Flowers in particular are a beautiful source of inspiration for my work. I also find that travel opens up my eyes to new cultures and I get a real sense of joy when I learn about people across the globe and the creativity process they follow.

Q: What has been the most exciting piece you have created? .

A: The story behind the design, is for me, the most exciting part of a print. It gives a real sense of depth to a pattern and tells a tale beyond the surface of a textile print. My design called Granny’s Beads is one of those patterns that began from a memory of when I was a little girl…my granny would let me rummage through her dressing-table drawers, that packed with her sparkly brooches & colourful beaded necklaces. I loved the feel of the smooth, cool beads sliding through my fingers. This print is a nostalgic memory of my Granny and her beads, captured on cloth in a simple and graphic way.beads

Find out more about Megan and her work here: http://clothandprint.com/Instagram @cloth_and_print; Facebook https://www.facebook.com/clothandprint/; email hello@clothandprint.com