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2021 IVC First Place: “Jungle Bells” (Holiday Window Displays)

Dynamic display draws in kids and parents alike with indigenous African animals.




LIONS AND TIGERS and bears — oh my!

These unusual holiday windows, dubbed “Jungle Bells,” captured the attention of children and adults alike at Woolworths (Cape Town, South Africa) this past Christmas season. With “near life-sized” indigenous African animals peeking out from between brightly colored, overgrown plants, the display would come to life when approached. An African-inspired version of “Jingle Bells” greeted nearby visitors while giant leaves and plants would sway to reveal the previously hidden animals and their corresponding sounds.

“With kids’ windows, it’s a combination of wanting parents to stop and look at it, and for kids to go ‘wait, wait, wait, I want to stay and look,’ and this window achieved that,” says Christan Boshoff, Creative Director, Visual Merchandising, Woolworths, South Africa.

Staying within budget was important, so the aim was to fashion a 2-D display in such a way that it felt like a 3-D experience. Due to Covid restrictions, another concern was creating a window that seemed interactive without needing to be physically touched. So animated movements within the window were activated using weight triggers and motion sensors.

The display was replicated throughout five other Woolworths locations, with Boshoff noting the challenge in implementing the display across stores, “The Covid restrictions on movement made it especially hard … With great effort, hours of Zoom meetings and some cautious physical interactions, we managed to produce a striking piece of communication for our customers.”

The judges were smitten with this classic execution of VM that captured the attention of passersby, young and old alike.

“Our stores are generally in malls, and every now and then, you’ll get a bit of a traffic jam when kids stop and want to engage with the window … It was heartwarming and a nice moment between parents and children,” says Boshoff, noting the importance of visual merchandising now more than ever before. “Windows, in-store activities, pop-ups – those are what make ‘retailtainment.’ ”


Photography: Roice Nel, Cape Town

Carly Hagedon is the Managing Editor of VMSD magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she studied Journalism—Magazine Writing and American history. She also currently serves as a board member for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).



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