Designer Q&A: Jaco Haasbroek

Did you know? Cape Town-based illustrator Jaco Haasbroek drew 170 new icons to represent the facts on the inside of the Chappies bubblegum wrapper.

From the Series

Iconic South African brand Chappies has become the proprietary eponym for fruity bubblegum since it first appeared on the local market in 1948. Right from the start one of its distinguishing features was the fun "Did you know" facts on the inside of the wrapper. To give the fun factoids an update Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town ran an online campaign that invited fans of the brand to contribute new facts. The best facts were selected and vetted. The agency then asked illustrator Jaco Haasbroek to bring the facts to life with his quirky drawing style. We caught up with Haasbroek to chat about the project, as the wrappers go into circulation.  

How did the Chappies project come about?

The Chappies facts needed a refresh. So the brand briefed Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town to come up with a fun campaign to introduce a new bunch of interesting “Did You Know” facts to the iconic Chappies wrappers. The brief asked for them to source new facts as well as generate unique illustrations alongside each fact.

How did the process work? 

Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town created a campaign to crowd-source new facts from the people who love Chappies the most – the SA public. Fans were able to submit their facts through the Chappies social media pages and in total, over 50 000 facts were submitted. The tens of thousands of submissions were then whittled down to a select few. Once the facts had been rigorously fact-checked and approved, Ogilvy & Mather briefed me to illustrate each fact.

How many individual illustrations did you do?


How would you describe the style of your illustrations?

I like keeping it simple. I prefer using fewer lines to get the info across. For the Chappies project I had to keep in mind that the print size is quite small, so the illustrations had to read well on that scale. I tried to treat each illustration as an icon to represent the fact. I enjoyed the challenge of translating the fact into a basic illustration using only one colour. 

What was it like working on such an iconic South African brand?

I grew up buying Chappies and always enjoyed reading the fun facts. If someone had told me as a kid that I would one day get to illustrate those facts, I would have thought it to be impossible. It was an amazing opportunity and I am honoured to be associated with a brand that has been so thoroughly woven into South African culture. I hope that my illustrations will add some value to an experience that so many people are familiar with, and have come to love.

What was the most interesting factoid that you picked up during the process?

Caterpillars have more muscles than humans.

What was the funniest factoid that you picked up during the process?

Millions of trees in the world are accidentally planted by squirrels that bury nuts and do not dig them up.