The credits for Elephant Gin read like a project conceived by the United Nations. Handcrafted by London Dry Gin, the product is distilled in Hamburg, Germany, using 14 botanicals including African ingredients like Devil’s Claw, Baobab and Wormwood. The packaging design by South African designer Simon Frouws was inspired by the pioneering spirit of early explorers in Africa. In keeping with the theme, the packaging design features a finely drawn map of South Africa and an old-fashioned cork label with a seal wrapped around the bottle neck with twine. Produced in small batches of 800 bottles, each batch is named after past great elephants or those that the group is committed to protect. The names are handwritten and numbered at the bottom of each label. Fifteen percent of the sales profits are donated to two African elephant foundations. Great packaging, good cause.
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We are not sure where the nautical theme originated, but the anchor that serves as an ampersand in the John & John logo implies that there is some sailing connection. This may have inspired The Peter Schmidt Group in Hamburg to design packaging that subtly suggests the geometric shapes of maritime flags. The handcooked potato chips are made in the UK and imported to Germany by Hamburg-based Market Grounds. Each chip flavor is identified by a bold black number, so that even if German consumers can’t recall which flavor they like, they can recognize it by number. The prominent numbers also serve to brand the entire John & John potato chip line, giving the brand greater store shelf presence. They also make it easy for customers to see when another flavor has been added – just look for a new number.
Origami (which means “to fold” + “paper” in Japanese) is one of the oldest and humblest art forms around, dating back thousands of years, and stop-motion 3-D animation is one of the newest and most technologically advanced art forms. It’s interesting that the two mediums have found each other and it was love at first sight. As time-consuming and difficult as some origami forms are to fold by hand, paper as a construction material is sturdy but flexible, buildable at a small scale, and relatively cheap. In the case of this video ad for Hamburg’s charitable lottery, Deutsche Fernsehlotterie, a whole village with inhabitants and vehicles were brought to life out of paper. Hamburg-based agency, Zum Goldenen Hirschen spearheaded this ad, with Hans-Christoph Schultheiss directing.
Here’s an effective print ad for VW Phaeton that doesn’t show the product at all — not the exterior, interior, engineering marvels or even a silhouette of the product. In fact, you wouldn’t make the connection to an automobile, much less a specific brand, if you didn’t see the VW logo and read the tagline at the bottom of the page: “Arrive in better shape. The Phaeton with adaptive air suspension.” At first glance, the ad just looks like an intriguing dissection of Cubist art. Look again. The humor (and the marketing message) come through when the ad is taken in as a whole. Very clever.