Shelf Life: Hendrick’s Gin ad by Tulips and Chimneys • Freshstop food lines
Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at marklives.com)’s weekly pick of all things new — ads, product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!
The surreal escape
Hendrick’s Gin’s tagline of “Undeniably peculiar, utterly delicious” could also be said to describe creative studio Tulips and Chimney’s animations — resulting in a surrealist new ad for the gin brand.
Director Ree Treweek says: “We have long been admirers of the Hendrick’s Gin aesthetic; its Victoriana surrealism is so aligned with our style that you can imagine our delight when we were approached by the [American] creative agency, Quaker City Mercantile, to create an animated spot for the Scottish brand.”
The resultant “Escape” is an invitation to escape the conventional and embrace the delectable: “No one likes commuting. It is a mundane necessity for so many, and that’s why we love this script so much. Taking something painfully ordinary and giving it that extraordinary Hendrick’s sense of wonder was an absolute joy.”
The heroes journey home from the daily office grind to delicious cocktails in a truly weird and wonderful mix of impossible juxtapositions and hybrid creatures dressed in Victorian fashion. There are crowds of narwhals, a dapper gentleman in a tuxedo with the head of a cucumber, a sophisticated lady juggling knives between palm trees, and painted ceramic whales.
Hendrick’s vintage papercut aesthetic ties together the varied environments: “We loved the idea that the architecture itself reflects the theme of the spot, and is alive and changing. Our commuters’ office block works like an old-fashioned clock hand, while the homes of our lead characters resemble an alligator and a swordfish. We played with scale within the environments and built on the idea that things are constantly changing, from the lighting to the sky tones.”
For the spot’s distinct look, Tulips and Chimneys created layered illustrated artwork in Photoshop, which was then animated and composited in After Effects. When compositing, it added a subtle grain to the film and made use of vignettes, dust, scratches, film burn, light leaks and other imperfections common in old film stock.
“We’ve stayed fairly close to the look of the brand, but added depth, atmospherics and some subtle moments of surprise.”
Freshstop’s growth strategy
FreshStop, described as the largest and fastest growing convenience retail brand in South Africa, has introduced two new branded food lines to its branded food stable — Hot Dog Bar and Africaz — joining existing food lines Crispy Chicken, Grill to Go, Hooked On Fish, Doughnut Delite and Biltong Bars.
Says Michael Joubert, FreshStop APC brand manager, “Convenience retail brands must have a solid food strategy to be successful and our selection of fast-food concepts, with low costs of entry and shared operational expenses, form part of the future view of our business.”
FreshStop launched its first in-house fast food brand, Crispy Chicken, in 2014 and it quickly gained brand traction and customer support: “Chicken is still the biggest food driver in SA and our Crispy Chicken brand has proved what a difference it can make to a business’s bottom line. We currently have 41 Crispy Chicken outlets nationally and we plan to roll out an additional 8 to 10 outlets this year.
The two new food lines aim to add interest and themes to the food offering, as well as appeal to new customers.
Africaz has been launched in three FreshStop stores in KwaZulu-Natal, offering flame-grilled chicken with Africaz sauce; it has shown great value with sales in excess of 60% of store turnover, and has added phenomenal value to FreshStop’s overall business.
“Over the years, we have learned that where there is a focused food strategy, the brand will do well. Convenience food is growing across all retail sectors and it is currently contributing to about 25–30% of our business where we have foods service offers, and we know that our core food service lines will be the growth point for our Re-Fresh and new store conversion strategy.”
Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.
— One subscription form, three newsletters: sign up now for the MarkLives newsletter, including Ramify headlines; The Interlocker, our new monthly comms-focused mailer; and Brands & Branding, launching soon!