Winning Hearts, Minds and
Shelf Space

Our Beer & Spirits Brand Experience

Watch Case Study
HT Logo Stacked
Hotel Tango wasn’t getting enough credit for its craft.

Consumers knew about the brand’s backstory—it’s the first combat-disabled, veteran-owned distillery in the country—but saw it as a novelty, rather than an indication of quality. You might buy a bottle for a relative who served, but you wouldn’t buy one for yourself.

Placeholder Image? Distilled with Discipline - All Bottles - Packaging
Placeholder Image? Distilled With Discipline - Billboard, ready to view Gin - out of home
So we gave “Marine-made” real meaning.

With a complete rebrand that reflects the meticulous approach Travis Barnes, HT’s founder, learned in his time as a decorated soldier. It’s that mindset that he brings to all nine spirits Hotel Tango crafts—and why we say they’re “Distilled with discipline.”

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Placeholder Image? Distilled With Discipline - Hotel Tango Print Bourbon- Print
Placeholder Image? Distilled With Discipline - Propaganda, ready to propagate Reserve Bourbon - print

Talking Tango: The CD and The Client

Listen to Armin Vit (of the influential design blog Brand New) interview Bryan Judkins, Y&L Group Creative Director, and Travis Barnes, HT founder, on how the project came together.

“Y&L just seemed to be the right group, the right fit for us. I think because they listened the best.”
— Travis Barnes, Hotel Tango founder

“The Follow-Up: Hotel Tango”
Champagne Velvet color logo cropped
A classic was due for a comeback.

Champagne Velvet was once ubiquitous throughout the Midwest. But then Prohibition hit, and the beloved American Pilsner disappeared. Lucky for those with good taste, the original, handwritten recipe recently resurfaced and went back in production.

Placeholder Image? Born 1902 Reborn 2016 Print Best Girl
Placeholder Image? Born 1902 Reborn 2016 Print Grand Time
So we brought its heritage into the modern day.

You can’t simply plop a 100-year-old beer on shelves and expect consumers to recognize it. To drive demand for this old-but-new pilsner, we created packaging and a campaign that celebrated CV’s storied past—and kicked off a bright future with a 112% YoY sales increase.

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Placeholder Image? Champagne velvet born 1902 reborn 2016 12 pack
Upland color logo cropped
Upland Brewing’s brand didn’t reflect its roots.

Reputation is everything in craft beer, but Upland’s branding didn’t reflect its status as one of Indiana’s oldest, most recognizable craft breweries.

Placeholder Image? Upland The Other Midwest Upland Brewing Co Packaging Packaging
So we introduced “The Other Midwest.”

Our new packaging, brand identity and campaign captured the progressive, yet laidback ethos of Upland’s hometown. Judging by the 40% increase of in-store sales, it resonated with craft beer drinkers.

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Placeholder Image? The Other Midwest Print Settlers
Placeholder Image? The Other Midwest Print Official
Upland sours color logo trimmed
Upland was about to make a big investment.

Upland was on the cusp of investing several million dollars into their sours program, but the packaging didn’t live up to the sophistication of the product itself (or its price point).

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So we completely overhauled the brand.

Our new identity, packaging and campaign gave these finely crafted sour ales the fanfare they deserved—creating a high-end feel that matched the price point. The result? A 165% increase in volume and a 100% increase in sales year YoY.

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Placeholder Image? Upland sours family poster 1920x2569
Placeholder Image? Upland sours cherry poster 1920x2569

Talking Spirits: Sophie Kelly of Diageo North America

Listen to Carolyn Hadlock, our Executive Creative Director, chat with Sophie Kelly, SVP of Whiskies for Diageo North America.

For more Beautiful Thinkers, visit Carolyn’s site Eunoia.

“We’re living in a time where people aren’t leaning on government or traditional thought leaders. They expect business to lead and create change.”

“Beautiful Thinkers: Sophie Kelly”