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Branding the world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle

To design the logo and accompanying campaign for Plastic Free Aisle, a new initiative from Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza.

Made Thought has created the logo and campaign for Plastic Free Aisle, an initiative launched in collaboration with environmental charity A Plastic Planet and Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza.

London-based studio Made Thought has collaborated with environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet to create the identity for the “world’s first plastic-free aisle”.

 

The studio has been commissioned to design the logo and accompanying campaign for Plastic Free Aisle, a new initiative from Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza.

Launching at the supermarket’s Amsterdam store, more than 700 food items and other goods with recyclable packaging are included in the aisle – all of which bear the “plastic free” mark.

 

Made Thought’s identity for the initiative aims to bring “much needed clarity and focus” to the growing issue of plastic pollution, says the studio.

The black and white, three-dimensional logotype is inspired by the aesthetic of propaganda, and will be used to help shoppers quickly identify plastic-free products as more items start to be packaged in compostable bio-materials that replicate the look of traditional plastic packaging.

 

The studio also created the mark with the idea that it is simple enough to be replicated in supermarkets all over the world.

Made Thought founding partner Ben Parker, says: “In taking on this challenging brief, we wanted to look beyond the overused lines about environmentalism and altruism. The brief was all about fashioning a new way of looking at plastic and its place in modern life.”

 

The second Plastic Free Aisle will open at Ekoplaza’s The Hague branch in June 2018, before rolling out across its 74 branches in the Netherlands by the end of this year.

This article is an extract of Aimée McLaughlin’s article published on Design Week.

7 great examples of branded content

What it is and how leading brands are using it well.

This article is an extract of Tom May’s article published on Creativebloq.com, on June 2018. Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers.

 

 

We live in fast-changing times for branding, marketing and advertising. As more and more of us use recording devices that let you skip TV commercials, along with ad-blocking software online, how does a brand get its message across?

One increasingly popular strategy is to use branded content. From sponsored magazine articles to online webisodes, music videos to short films, this kind of content is so entertaining, informative and engaging that consumers are happy to view and share it of their own volition.

The marketing message may be upfront or almost invisible, but that’s not what’s important. It’s all about making people want to see it, rather than being forced or tricked into seeing it.

Here we look at some of the best examples of branded content in the 2010s so far.

01. Newspaper article: Netflix

 

With the number of people willing to pay for newspapers and magazines falling, old media needs to find new sources of revenue – online as well as in print. One way to boost income is to run sponsored articles, but matching the right marketing message with engaging and informing content can be a tricky business.

 

This New York Times article, Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work, hits exactly the right note. Sponsored by Netflix’s hit prison drama Orange is the New Black, the longform read is fascinating, relevant and elegantly presented. Interactive images, a captivating video and strong journalistic content all add up to a great article that ticks all the boxes for both brand and reader.

02. Music video: Honda

 

OK Go is an alternative rock band from Chicago known for its funny and creative music videos. And its video for 2014’s I Won’t Let You Down, which debuted on NBC’s Today Show, put a whole new spin on product placement: https://youtu.be/u1ZB_rGFyeU

 

In it, the band members cavort around on Honda’s UNI-CUB self-balancing unicycles, which represented a massive PR coup for the company. Although there’s no actual mention of Honda, the video on YouTube – which has so far had over 38 million views – linked to an interactive website (now offline), allowing people to see behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and information about the Honda UNI-CUB itself.

03. Print magazine: Net-a-Porter

 

As one door closes, another opens. And with traditional publishers reluctant to launch new magazines, companies are fast stepping in to fill the vacuum. One of the most critically and commercially successful to date has been fashion retailer Net-a-Porter’s magazine, Porter.

 

By combining access to the website’s audience data with global magazine market intelligence, the company has been able to target the magazine’s content with laser accuracy, and achieve a circulation of around 180,000, outselling many traditional fashion magazines and even coming within spitting distance of Vogue.

 

As well as making money from the cover price, Net-a-Porter has put a lot of effort into making sure the bi-monthly title also drives retail sales. For example, readers are able to scan a print issue with the Net-a-Porter app, and immediately arrive at the relevant purchase page, making for a seamless shopping experience.

 

Porter’s sister title The Edit is even more transparent about its brochure-like ambitions, with buttons in the free digital magazine taking readers to ‘shop the issue’.

04. Viral video: Dove

 

https://youtu.be/XpaOjMXyJGk

Dove’s Real Beauty campaign stems from research suggesting that only four per cent of women would describe themselves as beautiful. This short video highlights this gap between perception and reality in brilliant fashion.

 

A sketch artist creates two drawings of a series of women. One is based on their own description of how they look; the other based on a stranger’s description. The discrepancy between the two highlights powerfully how inaccurate women’s own views of their beauty are.

 

With over 114 million views in just one month, this ad became the most viral video ad of all time. While it says nothing about the qualities of the product itself, the campaign got the world talking, and Dove has been part of that conversation – boosting sales massively in the process.

05. Radio station: Pedigree

 

https://youtu.be/jEzkNQdCsl8

Content marketing isn’t just about print, TV and online: broadcast radio remains a powerful and popular medium, and fertile ground for branded content. But perhaps the most unlikely example comes in the form of a New Zealand radio station for dogs.

 

K9FM was based on advice from pet experts that people should leave the radio on when they leave the house, to keep their dog company. But rather than a normal radio station, Colenso BBDO Auckland thought, why not one tailored to dogs themselves?

 

The agency created hours of original content to play all day, every day on the channel, including discussions on topics like The Frisbee: Voodoo, Magic, Science?; a sports section called Fetch in the Park, and a thought for the day entitled Chew on This.

 

K9FM received more than 1,000 phone calls from dog owners during the first two weeks of broadcasting, and within the three months of the campaign, Pedigree dog food enjoyed a three-year sales high.

06. Short film: Procter & Gamble

 

https://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs

The maker of Always, Procter & Gamble, wanted to place puberty’s profound impact on girls’ confidence into the media spotlight. So it commissioned this short documentary by filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, which approaches the topic via the phrase ‘like a girl’.

 

A series of interviews show that for young children, ‘like a girl’, means to do something well, whereas for teenagers and young women it means to do it ineffectively.

 

The fourth most viewed ad in 2014 on YouTube, the video was followed up by several positive #LikeAGirl videos featuring sporting and cultural role models offering proactive solutions. For example, a 2015 video featuring Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, Unstoppable, encourages girls to smash limitations set on them by society, which are visually interpreted as boxes stamped with prescribed roles for girls.

07. Feature film: Lego

 

https://youtu.be/fZ_JOBCLF-I

You know you’ve succeeded at branded content when people are having so much fun, they don’t even notice they’re being marketed to.

 

The hilarious and surprisingly clever Lego Movie earned a worldwide total of over $469 million, all the while promoting Lego to a new global generation of kids.

 

It has been followed up so far by the Lego Batman Movie and Lego Ninjago Movie, with more in the pipeline – proving that when you get branded content right, everything really is awesome.

Luminous Portraits of Sliced Fruit

Each oil on canvas painting focuses exclusively on the edible subject.

Dennis Wojtkiewicz is Professor of Art at Bowling Green State University where he has taught painting and drawing since 1988. He received his M.F.A. degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1981 and also studied at the Atelier Neo-Medici in France under the direction of Patrick Betaudier in 1978 and 1983.

 

Best known for his distinctive large-scale paintings of fruit and flowersin which the subject matter is encapsulated and transfixed by a heightened approach to realism.

 

His work has been shown in international art fairs in Bridgehampton, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach, Santa Fe, Taipei and Toronto as well as in numerous galleries and exhibitions throughout the U.S. He is a past recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Individual Fellowships with paintings and drawings represented in major public, private and corporate collections.

 

He paints enormous portraits of sliced fruit, often scaling four feet across or more.

 

Each oil on canvas painting focuses exclusively on the edible subject, with dramatic backlit lighting seeming to light up the melons, citrus, apples, and kiwis. While Wojtkiewicz focuses on tiny details like individual segments of juice, striations, and the fuzzy skins, the realism is tempered by a slightly hazy, impressionistic finish.

 

You can see more of his paintings on his website.

 

Part of this content is based on an article by Laura Staugaitis, Editor & Contributing Writer at Colossal.

Artist captures winter olympic scenes in south korean marble

In a personal project exploring the games, the artist evolves her fondness of working on natural materials and objects.

This article is an extract of an article published on Designboom, on 2018.

Ahead of the winter olympics, set to commence in Korea on January 2018, visual artist Pionara sees a unique opportunity of her own to provide an entry route into understanding the country. In a personal project exploring the games the artist evolves her fondness of working on natural materials and objects, sourcing marble unique to the hosting region in an attempt to better understanding the place that will be televised worldwide.

 

Intending to find something unique about the county, Pionarra’s work begins with her canvas – a beautiful stone (called ‘Pyeongchang seok’ – seok means stone in korean). This marble, produced in the Pyeongchang area of the gangwon province makes a backdrop from a series of complimentary grains. Mixing pink, bluish grey, white and black, a sunset-kissed setting of snow and tricky terrain is imagined by the artist whose illustrative additions of figures depict scenes from the games itself.

 

Pionara’s aim is to capture the dramatic moments that will be presented during the 17 days from february 9 to 25. So, in the beautiful patterns and swirls of pyeongchang marble, skiers run steep mountains, figure skaters show off beautiful performances, and bobsleigh slide down fast.

 

The artist inspired by her research into the characteristics of the region which led to her discovery of the gangwon province being a valuable part of Korea with regards to its resources. Understanding that the rare mineral resources of the gangwon province account for %70 of Korea this eventually led to the artist’s choice of canvas, symbolising the contribution of the region and its individuality.

The best 10 cursive logos of all time

These brands all harness handwriting fonts to create iconic logos.

This article is an extract of Tom May’ article published on creativebloq.com, on November 2017. Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers.

01. Harrods

 

Since 1834, Harrods has been the premier department store of London, England. Occupying the high end of the market, the store occupies five acres of land and contains 330 departments. But for many years, that caused a problem, because these all had different visual identities and there was a lack of a consistent brand message.

 

In 1967, Marcello Minale and Brian Tattersfield – aka Minale Tattersfield  – were tasked with devising an overarching identity for the store. The understated design they created, based on the store owner Charles Harrods’ signature, hits the perfect sweet spot between austere tradition and friendly inclusiveness.

 

Relatively unchanged since, it now adorns not just the storefront but numerous products, from bags to apparel, so has a high monetary value in its own right.

High-end London department store Harrods strikes a balance between formality and friendliness.

02. Virgin

 

In the early days of Virgin Records, its original logo was about as different from its current one as you could imagine. Designed by the great English artist and illustrator Roger Dean, this psychedelic extravagance featured a naked set of Siamese Twins and a suggestive-looking dragon.

 

But when owner Richard Branson signed the Sex Pistols to his label in 1977, whose generation-defining slogan was ‘Never Trust a Hippy’, it was clear that a new design was needed. A stark red, graffiti style design was the result, and was much more in keeping with the times.

 

It’s a sign of how quickly punk style was adopted by the mainstream that it’s survived pretty much intact ever since, and now promotes such mundane fare as fizzy drinks, air travel and insurance services. You can read more about the development of the Virgin logo on the company’s website.

The Virgin logo was a child of the punk era.

03. Paul Smith

 

Signature-style logos work well when the brand and its owner are inseparable, and that’s certainly the case with the famous logo for British fashion designer Paul Smith.

 

Known for his idiosyncratic take on traditional English tailoring, Smith has grown an empire of more than 300 shops worldwide with an annual turnover of £200 million (around $263 million). And this quirky but elegant logo fits in well with his ethos of ‘classic with a twist’.

 

As elegant as his shirts and suits, this cursive logos speaks to the style and panache of the genius behind the brand. So it’s surprising that it’s not actually based on his signature at all: it was designed by a friend of his called Zena.

Paul Smith’s autograph-style logo has helped propel his fashion empire to greatness.

04. Kleenex

 

Since Kleenex tissues came on the market in 1924, it has been the number one brand of facial tissue in the world. So, it’s not surprising that its logo is so recognisable.

 

But what you may not know is that one of the best-known iterations of Kleenex’s logo was designed by iconic designer Saul Bass in the 1980s.

 

His upbeat and friendly design (above) used a style of joined up lettering that’s subliminally full of ‘smiles’, striking the right emotional note for a product otherwise connected with weeping and illness.

Saul Bass’s classic logo for Kleenex.

05. Barbie

 

First created in 1959 by Ruth Handler and inspired by a German doll named Bild Lilli, Mattel’s Barbie has been the best-selling toy brand in the world for more than five decades.

 

That’s partly down to a ruthlessly consistent approach to branding. This has resulted in Barbie virtually ‘owning’ the colour pink, while her handwritten logo has become one of the most instantly recognised in the world.

 

First introduced in 1959 at the New York Toy Show, this cartoony cursive logo has gone through many iterations, but the current version is almost identical to the original, highlighting just what a clever creation that was. There’s a real verve, playfulness and confidence to this design that speaks to the subtle sophistication at the heart of the Barbie brand.

Barbie’s current logo is little different from the 1959 original.

06. Kellogg’s

 

Many cursive logos come with company-approved backstories, and the Kellogg’s logo is no exception. Legend has it that in the early 20th century, founder William Keith Kellogg would sign each packet of his corn flakes personally, as a guarantee of their quality.

 

This signature style logo began to become standardised in the 1910s and 1920s, and quickly became one of the globe’s most recognised logos. The latest version was created by the Kellogg’s marketing team in collaboration with Interbrand in 2012.

 

The changes over the years have been so incremental, though, that few people outside the design world (or the very advanced in age) are likely to have noticed any difference. And that’s a good thing. Brand consistency is hugely important with a product like breakfast cereal, where the goal is to sustain people’s love for their favourite brand (often hard-wired during their formative years) throughout their lives.

The Kellogg’s logo has remained broadly consistent over the last century.

07. Ford

 

We like to think multi-tasking is something new, but people had it covered in times past too. Take the classic stylised Ford script, which was developed by the company’s first chief engineer, Childe Harold Wills, in 1909.

 

Wills, the chief contributor to the design of the Model T Ford, was also known for designing and printing business cards, so used the calligraphy from his own cards to crate the letters of the Ford logo. The oval was added in 1912, and not a huge amount has changed since, the most recent update being carried out by The Partners.

 

The Ford logo is now inseparable from the brand, and even though the company has never claimed it to be the signature of its founding father, Henry Ford, the cursive style still helps to evokes a warm, friendly and familiar connection to the brand.

Many assume Ford’s logo is based on Henry Ford’s handwriting, but it was actually his chief engineer’s.

08. Wendy’s

 

Founded in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio, Wendy’s has since become the world’s third largest hamburger fast food chain, behind Burger King and McDonald’s. Its logo has always offered a more family-friendly vibe than those of its rivals, with an emblem based around a stylised portrait of founder Rex David Thomas’s daughter Wendy.

 

Until recently, the wordmark was based on all-caps, classic Western-style lettering. But its most recent redesign in 2013 changed this to a hand-drawn, marker-style cursive logo.

 

This update makes the logo both simpler and more streamlined, and more personal and family-oriented, and was accompanied by a similar clean-up of the girl-in-pigtails emblem.

Wendy’s has switched from all-caps to a cursive style.

09. Disney

 

So what about Disney’s logo? Surely that was based on founder Walt Disney’s signature, right? Well, yes and no.

 

Firstly, this now-classic logo didn’t actually come into existence until almost two decades after Walt’s death. And secondly, photos of the founder’s original signature show little similarity between that and the logo.

 

What it does seem to be based on, though, is his “official” signature, which was signed on his behalf by an employee, Hank Porter, thousands upon thousands of times, to save Walt time and energy that he could better devote to business matters.

 

Either way, that doesn’t stop Disney’s world-conquering logo being a must-include on our list of world-conquering cursive logos.

Is it Walt’s signature or not? Well, yes and no.

10. Coca-Cola

 

Many products that are world-famous now didn’t actually pay much attention to branding in their early days. But for Coca-Cola, it was a key ingredient right from the start. Way back in 1885, just after John Pemberton had come up with a new drink based on kola nuts and coca leaves, his partner and bookkeeper Frank Mason Robinson came up with the name and a logo based on script lettering.

 

Robinson suggested the name Coca-Cola because he felt that two capital C’s would look good together in advertising. He couldn’t have been more right, and that decades-long headstart means that rival brands have struggled vainly ever since to break Coke’s hold as the world’s go-to cola.

Coca Cola’s Spencerian script has become an icon of modern design.

A limited edition, illustrated cans by Guinness

The cans feature the artist’s famous toucan and lobster illustrations, created during his four-decade-long association with the brand.

John Gilroy was a 20th century British artist best known for his comical and colourful advertising campaigns for Guinness that he created over a period of four decades.

 

Gilroy’s work for the brand dates from the 1930s to the 1960s, and includes the famous “My goodness, My Guinness” campaign. Featuring a hapless zoo keeper character that was intended to be a caricature of the artist himself, it went on to become one of the world’s longest running campaigns, according to Guinness.

 

To celebrate what would have been Gilroy’s 120th birthday, the brewery has released a series of cans featuring some of the artist’s most enduring designs. The series includes an illustrated toucan; a symbol that has been associated with the Guinness brand since 1935, and regularly appears in its posters, adverts and other promotional materials.

 

Another design features a lobster illustration by the artist, and nods to the popular practice of pairing Guinness with different foods as seen in its advertising. The relationship between the stout and lobster apparently dates back to the early 1900s, as its slightly bitter taste was said to go well with seafood, according to Guinness.

 

The cans have been designed in-house by Guinness, and see a departure from its classic black packaging. Instead, the illustrations are set against a simple, white background, allowing Gilroy’s classic designs to speak for themselves.

 

The limited edition cans are available at major retailers across the UK.

 

An article by Aimée McLaughlin

 

Urban bird houses

Thomas Dambo and his crew have constructed more than 3,500 birdhouses with recycled wood and paint.

Thomas Dambo is an artist and designer specialized in building family-friendly installations from upcycled materials.

 

One of Dambo’s many interactive projects is “Happy City Birds”, an ongoing series that lies at the intersection of street art and community development.

 

The Danish artist builds bird houses across urban centers, installing the new homes against buildings, grouped on tall poles, or spaced throughout existing trees.

 

Since 2006, Thomas Dambo and his crew have constructed more than 3,500 birdhouses with recycled wood and paint. Although a large percentage of his works are concentrated in Arken, many more of them can be found dotting Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Horsens, Beirut, and Berlin.

 

You can see more of Dambo’s bird houses, including a human-size build, and a collection of camoflauged homes, on Dambo’s website: http://thomasdambo.com/