Township taverns are sociable but often, rudimentary places. Historically, advertising collateral in this context has responded by being cheap and basic. And competition between beer brands is tough: rivals rips down, cover or paint over competitor branding. The resulting environment is not a pretty one. Cutting through this clutter to reach consumers is a real challenge for brand managers.
To make matters worse, for decades, tavern owners have been legally required to serve drinks from behind ugly security ‘cages’ generally resembling prison bars.
The difficulty for Windhoek Lager and its company, Brandhouse, lay in creating a point of difference in this challenging advertising environment. Windhoek’s advertising agency, The Jupiter Drawing Room, turned to Inhouse Brand Architects for a solution.
In response to the need for permanent branding that could not be defaced, as well as an aesthetic solution that treated tavern patrons with respect, the Inhouse team came up with a concept for an innovative Point of Sale bar grille. Creative director Aidan Hart and principal designers Cara Siegers and Michael Kiek worked with Jupiter to incorporate the Windhoek logo into the metalwork of the grille. Inhouse cleverly included built-in bottle openers and a lockable security hatch, for added functionality.
The end result constitutes a South African first! Not only is the Windhoek brand messaging impossible to deface or remove but support from communities for being the first beer brand to treat tavern culture with a level of sophistication has translated into a sales uplift. Inhouse’s grille concept has improved venues by being decorative, offers built-in functionality, obeys the law and places permanent branding where it works best.
This innovative and humanising design solution was awarded a Silver Lion for Point of Sale at this year’s Cannes Lions Awards held from 16 to 22 June 2013. Arguably the globe’s most prestigious accolade, the Cannes Lions Awards have set the benchmark for excellence in creative communications since 1954. The Silver award affirms the relevance of the campaign, and alerts to the greater need to review the way that tavern culture is conventionally treated by brands.
A further confirmation for this design innovation came in the form of one Gold and two Silver Loeries at the recent Loerie awards. The Windhoek project was awarded Gold and Silver in the category of 3Dimensional & Environmental Design – Interior Design and Temporary Structures, and Silver in the Design Mixed Media category.
Inhouse combined the talents of both a traditional interior design firm and a branding agency in order to translate the Windhoek identity and messaging into a three-dimensional, physical experience. Inhouse’s team spans both these disciplines and brings a weight of experience from other areas of design.
“We are thrilled to have been recognized at Cannes and the Loeries for such a meaningful piece of design, that forms part of a larger umbrella campaign for Windhoek, which sees existing venues re-launched into Windhoek’s Pure Beer Society venues. It was exciting to come up with a unique branding solution in South African taverns. We’re pleased to have been appointed as the custodians, or project managers if you like, of the roll-out into taverns in South Africa’s major city-centres,” says Inhouse’s creative director, Aidan Hart.
In addition to the award-winning grille, Inhouse also designed and commissioned other elements suited to tavern environments, such as branded seating and tables that double-up as gaming surfaces. The design firm was also appointed to create a range of Windhoek branded elements for upmarket venues, other than taverns, and worked with a range of local designers to create bespoke pieces that incorporated the Windhoek brand language.
To date, the campaign has transformed four pilot venues: two taverns in Mamelodi and two so-called “boys’ bars”, one in Centurion and the other in Pretoria. Interior designs for further venues will now be rolled out into 2014. The success of this project has paved the way for other brands to invest more heavily in tavern environments. Cheers!
Check out our Pinterest board that show all the design elements of the Windhoek point of sale project.