Responses by HeyLet’sGo!
Background: Bent Water Brewing is known for its hypnotically patterned can designs. The brewery has brought this aesthetic to a campaign that extends to point-of-purchase materials for liquor stores (in nine states along the East Coast, in New England and the Midwest), sell sheets, social media and signage to welcome customers to the on-site brewery taproom. From a writing perspective, the tone reflects Bent Water’s populist and unpretentious—yet meticulously crafted—approach to brewing.
Design thinking: Our goal was to extend the brand look and tone to a wide range of sales materials and create messaging that communicates the highest levels of craft—without ignoring the brewery’s everyman heritage. After all, it’s located in the gritty, industrial seaside town of Lynn, Massachusetts. The outcome? More visual connectivity across the board to the brand’s communications. A greater whole, born of many fussily designed parts.
Challenges: There are thousands of craft beers in the market where Bent Water is distributed. So, the challenge is always: How do you set a distinct look and tone? Our answer: have the writing and design feel as crafted as the beer itself. And, of course, with all things related to marketing an up-and-coming regional brand: How can we feel “big” and “aspirational” with limited production dollars?
Favorite details: We loved the challenge of translating all the crafty design details of the physical packaging into marketing materials that communicate in diverse media and environments. It’s also fun to mix the gritty photos taken by the brewery staff with the vibrant colors and over-the-top design.
New lessons: All of the touchpoints involved with marketing craft beer: social, events, distribution partnerships, on-site signage and packaging, among others. It’s so much more than putting cold, delicious liquid in a can. Also, having your employees “model” in the marketing materials makes them feel famous.
Visual influences: Here’s a quote from Mike Shaughnessy, the original architect of the Bent Water brand design and packaging, that dates back to the brand’s beginnings: “Before Bent Water launched, I visited a craft beer convention. The visual competition was staggering. That’s why we decided to go with hypnotic patterns: customers would not only appreciate them visually but feel them viscerally. It was our way of standing out and pushing farther than the competition.”