Creating impact: A tale of two & three things
By Managing Creative Director, David Guy
You start up an agency, set up your ‘cool’ new stall. Initially there is a flurry of interest and then reality kicks in. You need to be distinct to make it and if you aren’t, then the ‘same old’ usually dies.
We specialise in the drinks sector and it struck me there is an interesting parallel with the ultra-competitive back-bar environment we love working in. When you’re vying for attention when launching a new spirits pack there are similarities with an agency proposition and the 25K+ UK creative agencies all competing for client attention.
It’s tougher than ever out there to stand for something that matters to people, combined with being genuinely new and different, to grab attention. We’ve worked with some great drinks brands and learned a lot from our clients who really understand their market, so thought it might be interesting to distil the things you need to nail to really stand out in drinks packaging.
Creatives and creative agencies love rules of three (and being born on the 3rd of March I am one of the biggest fanboys of the digit). So, here are our top three.
1. The 5 ft test
Do you understand the overarching pack proposition and identity from the other side of the bar? Unless you deliver a high-level message which codifies the proposition in the potential drinker’s mind, then you’re working with a lovely name, typography, bottle and label design without real standout. A brand that does this so well include IMHO is Johnnie Walker – the male ambition shouts out, with its masculine square-shouldered bottle and premium foiled offset label set.
Guy & Co – imagine the possibilities of crossing a creative agency with a research agency. Simple and memorable articulation of our (hopefully) distinct proposition.
2. Pick-up appeal
Creating a pack you literally want to pick up and touch causes a powerful urge in the minds of both the potential drinker and bartender gatekeeper. This tactility can increase the chances of a bottle standing out as it’s one you want to pick up; a desire to be touched, whether it’s in a bar or sitting proudly in your drinks cabinet at home. Isle of Harris Gin’s bespoke moulded bottle does this brilliantly with its stunning ridged design – one that demands to be picked up and poured.
Guy & Co – we love promoting commercial greatness we’ve made for our clients. This obsession with commercial gains is our equivalent of being stroked. We enjoy happy client gains through great ideas.
3. Rule of 3
Obviously the third thing on our list, this is about ensuring the brand’s creative assets are placed in a design hierarchy that has primary, secondary and tertiary importance. Allowing consumers to easily connect with the brand proposition through creative assets that both speak to them aesthetically and connect the dots. A brand that follows this rule is one we love working with – Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. An iconic Smokehead skull dominates the pack; bold and confident typography communicates the product and tasting notes; all set against a distressed smoky background that signals Smokehead as the wild one of Single Malt – and not for everyone.
Guy & Co – we lead with our creative & research proposition. Underpinning it is our proprietary and trademarked Guy & Co-creation® system – the engine that drives agility in our work. Third up and the most important part of the mix is the great team who deliver the system’s thinking, insight and ideas to our awesome clients.