Responses by Max Ottignon, cofounder, Ragged Edge.
Background: As the go-to-mixer brand for bartenders, Eager wanted to build on its success in the drinks trade by creating a direct-to-consumer brand for juice drinkers everywhere. But getting noticed would be no small feat in a market overwhelmed by big brands with big budgets, false claims and unearned hype. So, we did what no one else dared and told the truth.
Design thinking: The brand breaks every category code. There are no misleading health claims and no images of fruit on the packaging. Instead, the new Eager identity is defiantly honest with a pleasantly crisp design system, a website that eschews an immersive experience in favor of making it easy to buy juice and a tone of voice that’s not scared to have some fun at the category’s expense. These engender an extraordinary brand for a perfectly normal fruit juice.
Challenges: There was tension between creating a brand that delivered real standout and cut-through while doing it humbly and honestly. Executed in the wrong way without real conviction, Eager could have easily ended up feeling middle-of-the-road. For this to work, we needed to exaggerate the idea: a brand so ordinary it’s extraordinary.
Favorite details: The way the design language complements the tone of voice. Visually, the approach is deliberately pared back, letting us be more playful with the copy. The line “perfectly normal juice” captures the approach, while headlines like “In your wildest dreams, it’s still juice” work hard to subvert expectations in a category where wild claims are ludicrously prevalent.
Personally, my favorite touch is the addition of the s to the product names. Naming juices “Oranges,” “Apples” and so on is a wonderfully simple way to emphasize the modest nature of Eager’s ingredients.
Visual influences: Looking at juice packaging as a whole, there are some very obvious category codes. The infamous Tropicana rebrand has meant no one is prepared to deviate from what’s proven to work: pictures of fruit on a white background. This was a massive opportunity to create something with a huge standout.
Specific project demands: Eager founder Ed Rigg’s refusal to subscribe to the marketing nonsense around freshness and health claims made it hard to see where we could create standout. If we couldn’t discuss the product’s benefits, we’d have to do things differently. But as is so common with any creative constraint, the limitations led us to a distinctive solution.