Case spotlight: Gavrilović

Gavrilović is the oldest Croatian meat and sausage manufacturer. Founded in 1690 and based in Petrinja, a town 50 kms south-east from Zagreb, the company is being the country market leader for more than 150 years.

Looking for a more modern approach to the market, but without giving up the historical tradition, the firm asked us to develop a new  identity, including a broader brand strategy and a complete restyling of their products ranges.

The logo, a girl dressed in traditional clothes, became then more recognizable, less rigid and a stronger personality. She’s now more lively and attractive, but still keeping the historical heritage with her national costume.

Old logo vs. new logo

We defined also the brand architecture, for standard and premium product lines. On the other hand, the packaging restyling focused into creating an emotional bond between the brand and both old and new consumers.

Salami range of products

Gavrilović is a brand that speaks towards all generations and, in particular, engages the younger audience by keeping a solid presence in the most popular social medias.

Billboard Mortadella ad


The Internet is a serious business #2

Here we go again.

While the most of us are happily relaxing during Summer vacations, big brands are always trying to get the best out of the World Wide Web by continuously engaging their consumers and fandom base. This time is taking the shift PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew, which, in the middle of August, started the marketing campaign “Dub the Dew” for naming its new apple-flavoured soda.

After all, letting the Internet choose the new name for a brand new soft drink is a great marketing move, and it also helps to build brand loyalty. However, if the management behind the initiative was aware that the Internet can be a dangerous place, the company’s new green apple flavoured soda wouldn’t get names suggestions like “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong“, “Diabeetus” or “Fapple” as some of the most voted entries.

Credits: Huffington Post

The website ultimately got even hacked, with an offensive sentence and a misleading banner leading to a RickRolling placed in the voting page.

It was a matter of time before someone in PepsiCo noticed: some names were so politically uncorrect that the campaign was needed to be shut down completely, and now the website no longer exists.

News of the action bounced from website to website, forum, boards and magazines, as well as the popular Reddit. In only 1 day it was already a worldwide-known event. On August 14th, Mountain Dew responded to a tweet by Reuters columnist Anthony De Rosa, admitting that they “lost to The Internet”, and clarifying that the contest was only a local customer program:

As a Reddit’s user cleverly pointed out, “The campaign itself wasn’t a bad idea. They just forgot that the internet is run by children […] They could have controlled the outcome by having the public choose between 5 predetermined names. Much like they did a couple years back when they had the public choose which flavor (of three special edition ones) would stick around for mass production.

That’s not the first time where internet trolling takes place. Among the most recent, Pitbull’s trip to Kodiak, Alaska, or the campaing which apparently is going to send American singer Taylor Swift to play in the campus of the Horace Mann School For The Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Some people may be wondering why a company should then start engagement campaigns on the internet if the risk of being boycotted is high. The point is that marketing campaigns on the web are incredibly cost effective and allow to reach the target customers more quickly and directly, especially if the customer base is relatively young. However, a good pianification should always be in order, and with some more tricks to keep the damages at the minimum (as the above-mentioned Reddit’s user suggested), it’s still possible to come out with a good result. Something that the Mountain Dew management forgot, and that has been hilariously imagined in this funny ragecomic:



The local brand is dead. Long live the local brand.

by Criney Insalata

During my business travels abroad particularly in Eastern Europe, I always look out for local brands.

Their charm and chintzy qualities allow me a moment to escape the realities of business travel – to experience a little bit of the localness that is otherwise missing from the samey hotels I stay at.

The charm of these local brands cannot be easily replicated. They have forged intimate relationships over the years with local consumers that global brands can only envy.

We all have stories about brands from our childhood. I still remember the poems I read on the back pack of my local favorite crisp brand, Willards, about Zuggy the Monster. I would make-up songs about Zuggy and incessantly pester my mother to buy me this brand of crisps until l could buy it with my own pocket money.

Willards Thingz

Unfortunately, years later, this crisp brand died a slow and agonising death. A death brought on by the shinier and exciting complete-with-frills Pepsi brand.

Like many of my generation, I was utterly seduced by the new brand, such that my once favorite, was no longer good enough.

I watched the brand wilt and collect dust on supermarkets shelves until I stopped noticing altogether. I had moved on. My brand hadn’t. The brutal truth about it is, it wasn’t missed.

But, however the strength, more precisely, the money behind global brands, going local and trying to achieve the same level of intimacy as local brands smacks of disingenuouity. Lets look at Starbucks latest initiative of personalizing the brand experience by calling customers by their first names. My local Starbucks in Brixton has christened me Karen, Creane, Crying, Cringey… when all I want is my regular decaf latte.

Courtesy of Starbucks®

Quite frankly, more than having a fuzzy feeling towards Starbucks, I now actively avoid going there. Yet, for all the endearing qualities of local brands, the reality is they are struggling to defend their home turfs from these sleeker international brands.

Of course, one cannot discount their deep pockets and years of careful brand management. It has to be said that there are also a whole variety of other factors that contribute to the weakness of local brands. For example, the rising Chinese middle classes, the Russian nouveau riche prefer Western/Global brands to local ones, as an indication of their social status. This is due in part, to the Communism legacy that excluded quality or design, as a meaningful measuring criterion for products.

Shaking off this perception of ‘poor quality’ image is particularly hurtful in non-food categories and adds to the woes of local brands.

In addition, consumers have changed, they are now more demanding, super-connected, well-travelled and spoilt for choice.

But some local brands have relied so much on the tried and tested approaches, such that the original brand identity that may have been inspired by the Founder’s wife, has remained exactly the same since inception. Ordinarily, this is the stuff that makes up brand heritage, but in this instance, it signifies staticness, the past and a brand is that is out of touch.

So what can be done to stop what looks like an inevitable journey towards the dreaded confines of childhood memories, for local brands?

Obviously doing nothing in the surge of international brands is not an option. And, simply doing more of the same is not an effective strategy.

But there are a few things local brand owners could do to reverse their fortunes:

  1. Rebrand and re-energise the brand identity, bringing the brand identity to the same standard as international brands.
  2. Innovate – Introduce value-added offer on an existing brand or create new sub-brands with international tonality.
  3. Proactively engage consumers. Local brands can use all the tools available to them to fuel conversations with consumers through social media or other traditional means.
  4. Consider penetrating foreign markets – Use the Diaspora as potential brand ambassadors, this worked for Efes a Turkish brand now slowly penetrating the UK market.
  5. Create ‘iconess‘ that celebrates local culture.
  6. Emphasise quality and assert authenticity.
  7. Never stagnate and keep evolving the brand story and the offer.

A combination of the above, plus utilizing local knowledge, will put local brands in a strong position against the international brands.


The Edison’s Cradle?

Many of us have seen or even own what is called the Newton’s Cradle. Known also as the “Executive Ball Clicker”, and named after Sir Isaac Newton, the device was originally built by actor Simon Prebble to demonstrate the conservation of momentum and energy via a series of swinging spheres. When one on the end is lifted and released, the resulting force travels through the line and pushes the last one upward.

Newton's Cradle


In creating his senior thesis exhibition, japanese art student Yasutoki Kariya got inspired by this mechanism, and realized “Asobi“. Meaning “play”, the installation is made by 11 computer-programmed incandescent light bulbs hung from wires.

However, the bulbs would immediately crash when trying to replicate the movement of the Newton’s spheres, that’s why this concept is actually a play on the Newton’s Cradle and doesn’t not actually function like one: the bulbs on both ends don’t actually hit the middle bulbs to transfer energy like the Newton’s Cradle does. In fact, the moving bulbs don’t touch at all, but they are hitting two black box with a button that engages a micro-controller (most likely an arduino) which eventually triggers the light show.

The Asobi project is participating at the 2012 Mitsubishi Junior Designer Award. Other nominees can be found here.

Lumen’s design runs to Space

Here in Lumen, we all agree that the restyling of Velkopopovicky Kozel is one of our best projects. Kozel is the most successful Czech beer sold abroad, and you could easily find it in bars of Eastern Europe, or even in some pubs in the UK.

According to the Euromonitor International research agency, in 2011 Kozel has been the N° 1 beer in the world in term of market growth and sales. But conquering the world wasn’t enough, they also wanted to conquer the space.

Kozel then instructed Aleksandr ‘russos’ Popov and Den ‘netwind’ Efremov, two amateur russian explorers with the hobby of launching weather ballons in the upper atmosphere, to accomplish the mission: send the Kozel beer into space – or more likely, to the stratosphere. To make this unusual experiment more interesting, it has been arranged a competition between the light and the dark versions of the beer: which one would reach the highest altitude?

Of course the mission didn’t have only an experimental purpose, but also a promotional one: the launch has been supported by a campaign for the Russian market both on a dedicated website and the social media. With the promise of a year-long beer supply, users were asked to vote which type of beer would reach the highest height – however, voting wasn’t enough: to get eligible to win the prize, every user had to “bet themselves”: in case their beer bet is winning, they have to perform something; the more this performance is considered interesting/ridiculous, the more votes by other users/friends it can get; the more votes it gets, the higher the chances of winning the final prize are. A simple ‘social mechanism’, but very effective for the viral spread of the news.

Eventually, the winner of the race has been the dark beer, which reached the respectable height of 21,750 m., while the light beer stopped at 20,180 m.

Honestly speaking, when we designed Kozel bottles and cans, we expected to see them on the pub’s desks, or houses’ tables, but we would have never imagined to see our favourite goat reach even the stratosphere.

You can also watch the spectacular full video of the mission here on YouTube, or -if you know Russian- you can read Popov’s post on his Livejournal with pictures of the making-of.

So long, guys!

The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts

Long time we haven’t been writing on our blog. Time’s passing, we’ve been busy with our latest works (which we cannot reveal due to undisclosure agreements signed with our clients), and summer came almost all of a sudden.

Since together with summer came also some calm and relief, we use this occasion to give more space on this blog to our designers and some traits of their personal life. This time we want to talk about Alberto, senior designer for the Corporate division, and his long time passion for Guzzi motorbikes and endurance races.

For those who don’t know, Moto Guzzi is a small motorcycle manufacturer from Mandello del Lario, Italy, with a long and successful history, and a very heterogeneous group of fans all over the world. For some more informations, its article on Wikipedia shows a detailed history of the company and its most famous models.

Alberto’s passion didn’t go unnoticed here in the agency: for the latest race in the Vallelunga Circuit, near Rome, Lumen decided to sponsor ‘Orfeo’ and ‘Brigida’, the bikes that Alberto and his team use for racing. Not a big thing, right – but it’s a start, and a way to thank Alberto for how good he’s doing in the company, a token of our appreciation.

Brigida & Alberto

Left: Orfeo waiting for set up – Right: Alberto racing with Brigida

Alberto’s team is part of a bigger community, called Anima Guzzista, composed by ~400 of Moto Guzzi aficionados. They’re not a bikers’ club, nor an élite group, but just people who want to have fun and share a mutual passion. They have a website and a forum where they can share their experiences, their advices and can introduce new fans to the fascinating Guzzi world. Nonetheless, they also gifted to the city of Mandello del Lario the only existing monument of Carlo Guzzi, founder and inspirer of Moto Guzzi. Not bad for a motorclub!

What’s remarkable is that Alberto and his team don’t really mind of winning or losing: “it’s something else, it’s challenging yourself, reaching and passing your own limits, your fears. It’s also about bonding with the teammates and friends while facing an endurance race which can last up to hours and hundreds of miles. It’s fun and friendship. And at the end, you realize that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts”.

Way to go, guys!

Ecodesign & Sustainability @ Milan Design Week 2012

The Milan Design Week just ended, and -as usual- registered high numbers:

  • 2,700 exhibitors
  • 330,000+ registered visitors
  • 64.5% of the total attendees were from outside Italy
  • 5,725 accredited journalists

However, this data only refer to the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, in Rho Fiera Milano, and were not considered all the initiatives which took place in the meantime all over Milan during the past week (the Fuorisalone). Confirming the ever-increasing trend of the last couple of years, the green design has been one of the leit-motiv of the exhibition. Due to the ongoing economical crysis and the constant needings to obtain more functionality in smaller spaces, a minimalistic design, together with the use of poor materials (as wood), characterized some of the most innovative projects: Scavolini presented the Social Kitchen designed by fashion brand Diesel, Domitalia showed it’s Eco-L chair made of ash wood instead of the usual plastic, IKEA presented it’s PS 2012 collection with new models of fornitures focused on sustainability, while Panasonic unveiled its stunning solar panel arrays Photosynthesis Solar Ecosystem designed by architect Akihisa Hirata, and Raúl Laurí’s decafé, a completely biodegradable table lamp made of coffee grounds, became the symbol of this year’s Design Week.

decafé lamp by Raúl Laurí

The decafé table lamp by Raúl Laurí

Sustainability has definitely been one of the trends of 2012 Design Week and, seems like a coincidence, during this very week we eventually received the assessment report by AzzeroCO2 (a society which helps its clients compensating their CO2 emissions by optimisating their resources and funding reforestation initiatives) stating that our agency successfully compensated its 2011 nocive emissions (about 48 tons of CO2eq), by acquiring credits for a reforestation project near the city of Pavia. I take this occasion to confirm that we’re still taking this committment very seriously and we planned to progressively reduce our CO2eq emissions in the following years, helping -and being helped by- our trusted clients to work in this direction.

AzzeroCO2 assessment

Certificate of CO2eq compensation (in Italian)

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