Disruptive Marketing Campaign – Thinking Differently
What was The Objective?
Lions heads, Rubber Ducks, Lab Coats, Spray Paint, Test Tubes, Mini Telescopes, Brains and Light Bulbs – no we have not gone mad… we think! The objective? A disruptive marketing campaign that made the recipients sit up and take notice.
We could see that there were a sizable number of startups emerging in Ireland every single day and we knew that one of the key elements needed in starting a business is always graphic design. Whether it’s a logo, brand identity, website or social media assets, graphic design is always a key step in the process. With some research, our theory was confirmed. According to The Irish Times, an average of 71 companies were set up every day in Ireland during the first three months of 2019, which was the best quarter in 13 years for startups. Upon further investigation we realised that Dublin is home to a staggering majority of these. We have clients from all over the country and the world, however, when it comes to clients from Dublin it’s somewhere we definitely wanted to explore more.
We knew that we needed to break through this barrier to access the pool of startups emerging from the country’s capital. However, we knew that traditional methods such as flyers, and business cards just wouldn’t garner enough attention. This is when we put our thinking caps on, a full 360 campaign was needed, delivered with massive impact. Our campaign had one mission – make ourselves known by whatever creative means possible.
Each team member conceptualised what they envisioned would be the best approach to this campaign. As you can see below we had everything from neon, optical illusions, abstract lettering, branded characters to name a few. We propped them up around the office to allow us to take it all in and allow the concepts to grow legs.
…. Some More Brainstorming
We (eventually) narrowed down some of the concepts. Then we began to curate a selection of icons. At first glance they may seem to be a selection of random, meaningless icons. However, the icons that created the consistency of our campaign were actually a selection of hidden symbols that represent the heart and soul of our design agency. We sat together and openly stated what we each think represents AKG as a brand. The result was a descriptive list of words, that represented who we are and what we do. We wanted to make sure that our culture and ethos were embedded into this campaign. We will let you in on just some of the secret code below;
- Tablet (a solution for every problem)
- Magnifying Glass (we look at everything with great attention to detail)
- Location (represents our location in Carlow)
- Key & hole (we can unlock your potential)
- Stats/ Infographics (result driven designs)
Bringing the Concept to Life…
We developed our campaign concept and signature font which was created from a grid-based system. We then crafted characters to help us bring our concept to life in a relatable way. We also customised all campaign elements by hand with spray paint… that was fun! Aside from this, there was a lot more that happened behind the scenes – but what did all of this carefully curated chaos result in? Check it out below.
How Did we Achieve This?
We achieved this element of curiosity and mystery with a two-part direct mail campaign. Our target audience was a selection of innovative businesses in a shared office space. We wanted our first mailer to address the recipient directly and ‘Create Curiosity’ without revealing our identity. The purpose was to capture attention and leave them guessing and intrigued. This ensured that they wouldn’t receive ‘just another brochure’ and forget five minutes later – it encouraged them to think, to try figure out why they received it and who it came from. Two days later, we then followed up with a second delivery to ‘Clear the Confusion’ that unveiled who we were and prompted them to visit our website to learn more about us.
We handcrafted each element of the campaign and every detail was embedded with hidden elements of our identity. This included a custom font made from scratch based on a grid system. We created two responsive landing pages and an Instagram account. The first landing page included clues to our identity and the second landing page unveiled our identity with a link to our own website. Creating the landing pages and the Instagram account were important to the campaign to enable us to showcase two of our new services- web design and social media marketing.
Delivery 1 – Creating Curiosity
The purpose of this delivery was to capture attention and urge recipients to experience our print, website and social media design abilities. The recipients connected with each of these touchpoints through our physical delivery, Instagram page and custom landing pages. By targeting a shared office space, we encouraged recipients to interact with each other as they all received the same type of boxes but with different descriptive words and items.
In this delivery, recipients received a brochure that linked to a landing page for the campaign and a brochure with a link to our Instagram. Both of these pages left hints to our identity, in order to create curiosity.
We had 12 descriptive words and correlating brochures to match that word. Each recipient received a word and brochure that was unique to them, this ensured that each recipient received something different. For each word, we also sent a unique physical item that represented the word. This was to create intrigue and to ensure our delivery took up physical space, making it difficult to ignore. For example, a new Start Up business received a branded box and brochure that said ‘You Are Brave’ along with a Lions head mask to represent bravery.
Each recipient received;
- A custom campaign branded box
- An item that represented their business
- A brochure which explained a little bit about us with some cryptic clues that encouraged them to visit the campaign website and Instagram page
Delivery 2 – Clearing The Confusion
All recipients received a follow up delivery two days later. We wanted to continue the element of surprise so we created a ‘pop up’ box that popped open and formed a cube once opened. These cubes then revealed our name with a link to the website, social media channels and contact details. All elements were branded in the same campaign stamps and design as the first delivery to ensure easy recognition.
Each recipient received;
- A custom campaign branded box
- A ‘pop up’ cube that unveiled our website, contact number and social media handles
- A brochure with information the services we provide.
The campaign generated engagement, built brand awareness, increased our following, expanded our network and allowed our designers to have a creative output. We received a number of new clients and also networked with many more. All elements of the campaign were designed intentionally for reuse to target another audience if desired. Choosing the alternative route for this marketing campaign definitely paid off and we had a lot of fun in the process!