Winning Hearts, Minds and
Our Beer & Spirits Brand Experience
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.”