Shelf Life: From designer coffee cups to porn stars
Louise Marsland (@Louise_Marsland)’s weekly pick of recent product, packaging and design launches:
- A designer paper activation from Shift Joe Public;
- A stunning pop-up promotion from Machine;
- Lego gets down on a porn star that plays with its brand name; and
- Media brand GQ launches another brand engagement site.
A coffee Shift
It’s appropriate during Design Indaba week that we showcase an activation Shift Joe Public recently did for client, Antalis, for the design community.
Instead of sending a boring brochure or the usual mailer with paper samples, it came up with a novel way to connect with designers in order to showcase Antalis’ range of paper product.
“Designers are usually inundated with direct mailers — high-effort communication with low impact as designers tend to treat paper as an afterthought in the design process. We needed to break through the clutter, creating high-impact results with low effort,” says Maciek Michalski, executive creative director of Shift Joe Public.
Adds Simone Rossum, creative director at Shift Joe Public: “Antalis tasked us to do something all designers both dream of and fear — to create a piece of communication for other graphic designers. They wanted to get designers to stop treating paper as afterthought, to start their day with paper.”
The solution? A simple paper coffee cup, not just one but a series of cups made from 25 “bespoke” Arjowiggins papers, “each with their own personality to match the paper’s unique characteristics,” details Rossum.
Feedback from Antalis is that clients loved the execution, from the “beautiful techniques” to what an “amazing” way it was to showcase paper. Designers said they were “inspired” to design on beautiful paper, according to Mandi Monnery, Antalis sales consultant.
Machine pops up with ideas
I absolutely love this creative execution by Machine to launch the new website for Prima Toys — in an authentic, fun, experiential way, proving that a brilliant idea and brilliant execution are still winners.
In order to launch the new site to both retail and the public, an old-fashioned pop-up book was used.
Explains Machine’s executive creative director, Jake Bester: “It’s a new take on the old-fashioned catalogue and, through the story, it informs the audience about a completely new way to find the perfect toy.”
The book, ‘Aunty Planty and the Search for the Perfect Toy’ is aimed at highlighting the ‘one-click’ toy search on Prima’s redesigned site.
Aunty Planty is written in a style reminiscent of storytellers such as Dr Seuss and Roald Dahl, bringing to life a slightly batty old aunt and her pet fruit bat, Little Ghost, who search oceans, jungles, African savannahs and even space for the perfect gift for her nephew Ted, only to end up using her computer and the trusty Prima Toys toy search.
The book was sent to existing and new retail customers, as well as a wide variety of mommy bloggers, who are widely regarded as one of the best sales tools money can buy.
Lego lawyers blow off porn star
And here’s proof that you can’t take the name of a famous brand in vain — under any circumstances. Lego lawyers climbed into an American porn star who offered a blow job as a prize for the Lego fan boy who built her the best Lego creation for her home.
Christy Mack made the offer in a tweet in January 2014: “Whoever builds me the best Lego creation to put in my house gets a blow job.” Needless to say, it went viral. As she explains: “I’m just a whore that likes Legos”. Quite.
According to Herman Blignaut, a partner at Spoor & Fisher, the competition came to a speedy end when lawyers acting on behalf of the Lego Group objected to her usage of the Lego name and she complied, tweeting on 28 January 2014: “The BJ competition is off due to lawyers not liking my Twitter content. I think it’s because they didn’t win the competition.”
Blignaut explains: “This incident illustrates one of the unusual challenges which brand owners these days may face in protecting their trademarks. This was by no means a traditional type of trademark infringement. Lego was set on protecting the integrity of its mark and guarding it against conduct which could be detrimental to the reputation of their famous name.
“Lego has become a well-known trademark for construction toys consisting of interlocking plastic building blocks for the best part aimed at children. Perhaps with the innocence that goes with youth, it was difficult for Lego to reconcile the use and possible association of its mark with a type of competition that goes against the grain and values of the brand. Be that as it may, the situation was resolved without the need to revert to formal litigation.”
Unusual as this situation was, Blignaut says it illustrates one of the many interesting scenarios which a brand owner could face and the extent to which trademark rights can be enforced in order to “ensure its exclusivity and the type of control a rights holder may have over the use thereof”.
GQ Bar launched in Dubai
GQ Bar, an extension of GQ, was launched in the UAE by Fludium, a Dubai-based branding consultancy, which has worked with Condé Nast International Restaurants over the last year as it develops the GQ Bar brand in the UAE.
The project required Fludium to assist on the development of the brand strategy, comprehensive brand guidelines and related collateral for GQ Bar Dubai, which will become a reference point for future GQ Bar openings globally.
GQ Bar enables GQ to connect with its audience and Fludium was responsible for the logo and visual style for the brand, including the advertising, floor plan, staff uniforms and signage
Fludium previously helped Condé Nast International launch the Vogue Café at The Dubai Mall in 2013. The GQ Bar will be the third international outlet for the brand.
Shelf Life by Louise Marsland is a weekly column on MarkLives. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland or email her at louise.marsland at gmail.com. Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.
Louise has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for 19 of her more-than-25-year career as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites Bizcommunity.com and FMCGFiles. She currently edits the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper and is the publishing editor of industry trendwatching portal, TRENDAFRiCA, for consumer insight, research and trends in Africa.
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