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Do you know who evolutionised Chappies?

Did you know that a local packaging and iconography specialist recently completed what is perhaps the biggest design job on one of the smallest pieces of real estate?
If you haven't already guessed, we're talking about Chappies, South Africa's best loved bubblegum brand, which Cadbury South Africa relaunched to the media and South Africans at large last week.

The relaunch, the first of this scale in the brand's iconic 50-year history, includes a logo and packaging update, the revitalisation of the Chappies Chipmunk, as well as the introduction of hundreds of new and more contemporary, adventure-themed “Did you Know” questions, which will continue to be printed on the inside of the Chappies wrapper according to brand tradition.

The company behind the brand rejuvenation, from a packaging perspective, is Berge Farrell, a local company that specialises in iconography and its application in the branding environment as a means of establishing cohesive and consistent messaging to drive awareness.

The company was tasked with rejuvenating a pack that officially measures in at one square inch - that's not a lot of space to play in!

“The trick to making the biggest possible impact in the smallest possible space is to choose the one part of the pack design that has the potential to create maximum impact, and really focus on that,” explains Berge Farrell MD Andrew Nel.

In this case, it was the actual word Chappies - or to be more precise, the font - which has been plumped up and given a more 3D effect. According to Nel, this has the immediate effect of giving the pack more depth and making the product within seem more ‘chewy', a characteristic which is understandably quite significant for a bubblegum brand.

“The simple act of adapting the font has effectively given the pack a better subliminal message in terms of product delivery, by giving the gum a better mouth feel - even before consumers have unwrapped the gum!” says Nel.

In order to allow the font to work to its maximum effect, Berge Farrell also decluttered the small pack - widening the traditional school striping system and thereby not only creating a more contemporary look and feel, but also more space.

Last, but certainly not least, the team at Berge Farrell was tasked with giving the 50-year old Chappies Chipmunk a makeover, but nothing too extreme.

Says Berge Farrell director Richard Seegers: “The biggest challenge we were faced with was that of the rejuvenation of Chappie Chipmunk. It was important to make him look substantially younger than his 50 years so that today's kids can identify with him, but equally important to ensure that this change wasn't so revolutionary that we lost sight of the character, and with him years and years of brand equity.”

The end result, a younger Chappie Chipmunk who has discarded his cane and boater in favour of a baseball cap, was the result of a combined effort from Berge Farrell and the Cadbury South Africa internal design team.

“These may seem like small changes, but Chappies is a big brand and big brands are typically very scared of change. It's also on a very small piece of real estate, which immediately makes any change more noticeable.

“Hats off to Cadbury South Africa for having the courage to evolutionise an iconic brand to ensure that it is as well loved by today's kids as it was by their parents and grandparents before them.”

Berge Farrell's press office

Berge Farrell
Berge Farrell is a strategically driven design and branding consultancy. We believe that insightful design can, and should, create competitive advantage.