Responses by Rowena Curlewis, CEO, Denomination
Background: We worked with Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) to create packaging that appeals to the repertoire of drinkers who usually enjoy white wine, rosé wine, cocktails or sparkling wine, enticing them to choose Strongbow Blossom Rosé Sparkling Apple Cider as an alternative “starter” drink. The aesthetics of the design solution were paramount to the success of the product and establishing its position as a premium drink.
Reasoning: As Strongbow Blossom Rosé Sparkling Apple Cider was introduced to disrupt the cider category, it was important for the color palette and design to mirror the taste. We approached the design by homing in on the product’s central ingredient, apples, to establish cider cues as the main feature. Pale pink hues delve into the semiotics of rosé wine, bringing cider out from the mainstream into a more exciting, upmarket and party-starting realm.
Challenges: The production, especially when combined with the tight time constraints. As the product was being fast tracked through the NPD process, we had to make color decisions right before the labels, clusters and cartons were on press at three different printing plants. To add further complexity, the apple branch illustration had to be recreated as both three colors and four colors due to the cluster and carton printing constraints, yet needed to appear the same across the different packs.
Visual influences: We looked for trends in social media, particularly Instagram, recognizing that pastels were popular amongst younger millennial females, particularly in terms of fashion, photographic backgrounds and cosmetics—a good direction to pursue for a drink that was squarely aimed at twenty-year-old women.
Time constraints: The turnaround time on this project was very fast: two months between presentation of design concepts and completion of finished artwork—including weeks of pack testing in research. Because the timelines were tight, decision-making was equally tight by both the CUB Brand team and our design team. In the case of Strongbow Blossom Rosé, a tight timeline meant that the integrity of the initial idea was maintained.
Specific demands: Although disrupting the cider market was central, we needed to maintain a clear connection with the current Strongbow brand. We used a classic Strongbow glass shape to ensure the product aligned to the rest of the Strongbow range. The typeface chosen for the Blossom Rosé logo complements the Strongbow logotype, but has a modern aesthetic appropriate to this sub-brand.