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Pacific Western Brewing

Red Rocket took our Pacific Pilsner brand and embodied the essence of our design needs. We’re confident that summer 2012 will bring the sales results we are looking for as well!
—Paul Mulgrew, Pacific Western Brewing Co., Product Development Manager

The Client

Established in 1957, Pacific Western Brewery (PWB) is Canada’s longest running, British Columbian-owned brewery. Starting life over 50 years ago on a fresh water spring in Prince George, BC it has since grown into an award-winning brewer, exporting products around the world.

The Challenge

Having worked with us several times previously PWB came back to Red Rocket Creative Strategies (RRCS) looking to refresh the branding for their flagship beer, Pacific Pilsner.

With competition increasing in the market for beers that appeal to the younger market PWB needed a fresh new look to help their signature product break into this age group, and gain real product following.

The challenge set to RRCS was to keep the overall Pacific Pilsner brand familiar to existing customers but at the same time attract and excite a new generation of sophisticated beer drinkers.

We needed to update the iconic can and packaging design and develop supporting promotional materials to launch the new look in stores across the province.

In addition PWB asked us to find a way to unify the entire Pacific product line. The updated brand would need to be recognizable across the entire line, from their original Pilsner to the new Schwarzbock and Weissbeir products.

The Solution

RRCS developed the project in three stages to ensure the new look for the Pacific brand was flexible enough to work across all products.

Stage 1 – Brand Update

The Pacific name is strongly recognized and needed to remain in the forefront of each product. We worked to find a way that kept this strength but at the same time ensured we could incorporate each of the individual beer identities alongside it.

By strengthening the weight of the font used for the Pacific name and ensuring the flow of the letters was unified we set a solid foundation on which we could build.

To keep consistency and allow each beer name to stand out we created an area beneath the Pacific name where we could contain the different beer names and ensure their font didn’t fight with the Pacific word mark.

The Pacific brand is most recognizable by its iconic sailboat logo. We worked to modernize and simplify the overall shape of the boat and gave it more energy and movement. Crisp clean lines in both the boat and the background ensure it supports every element of the new brand look and feel.

This also gave the opportunity to correct a flaw in the original illustration. PWB has been hearing from sailors for many years that the two sails on the boat logo were blowing in the opposite directions!

Stage 2 – Pacific Pilsner Packaging Design Development

Once the overall look for the entire Pacific brand was approved we moved on to creating the can and box packaging for the Pilsner line.

We wanted to ensure that the new boat illustration really worked hard for the line but that the buyer’s attention remained on the name. Utilizing the silver of the can we printed a soft white with the shape of the boat knocked out; this allowed us to blow the size of the boat up without impacting the attention we wanted on the name.

Full colour illustrations of the boat support a product story on the back of the can. We then held this all together with custom nautical icons including a compass and an anchor worked up to provide a crest-like icon with the product launch year weaved in.

The same design theme was then developed across the Schwarzbock and Weissbier tallboy can designs.

Stage 3 – Marketing Materials

Targeting a new audience without losing the old is always a challenge we enjoy. Developing marketing materials that really spoke to the new product style and built the foundation for a summer launch, we set out to create a slightly surreal beach theme.

‘Party in the Pacific, Open a Can of Summer’ uses the curved lines of the product name and the boat to create a collage effect that draws together product photography, iconic images of summer and energetic illustrations. The simple colour pallet of blue, white and gold reflects the can design and ensures instant brand recognition in store.

Posters, in-store POS materials (fridge cling, shelf talkers, wobblers, etc.), product info sheets and online promotions used the same styling and built up a strong, memorable brand re-launch and marketing campaign.