Tata’s Portrait Out of 5000 Cups of Jacobs Coffee

Jacobs Coffee celebrates Mandela Day

2011 and 2012

Jacobs Coffee (Mondelez)

Out of a need to shift the positioning of the brand to a “catalyst for connection” and to give it more local appeal (as it is perceived as being a very European brand), we chose Mandela Day 2011 to “connect people” over a cup of Jacobs Coffee while honouring our much loved former-president. Then, in 2012, we doubled the size of the coffee portrait for Madiba’s 94th birthday, this time using over 5000 cups of Jacobs coffee!

The activation took place at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein, the site where Madiba was first imprisoned in Johannesburg and a place with huge significance in his “long walk”. Much preparation and planning went into flawlessly executing the concept. Real Jacobs coffee had to be used, so the creative team spent hours mixing coffee with water and milk to create four different “hues”. In the end, black coffee, strong coffee (with milk), weak coffee (with milk) and milk created the final “colour palette”. We created the blueprint for the installation, scrutinizing every shadow, highlight and line on Madiba’s face to create a true reflection of his warmth and character – and then, it was paint by numbers!

On the day, the freezing cold weather worked in our favour as visitors sipped on hot Jacobs coffee and watched the mosaic unfold. We put together a group of enthusiastic students to assist with the construction. They set to work, using a very stringent “assembly line”, and in just over two hours, Madiba’s face revealed itself to an awe-struck crowd.

The result is a unique tribute to our nation’s hero of heroes and a timeless piece of work that will be remembered far beyond its short lifespan. This work is a true testament to our belief that “nothing is impossible”, especially when you have a potent idea and absolute determination to see it through. Naturally, we dedicate this piece of work to our beloved Tata, whose legacy continues to inspire us to be brave and act with integrity on daily basis.


Jacobs Mandela Day – Coffee Mosaic 2012 from MojaNation Exchange on Vimeo.