Free the birds

Awards, Studio

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards

It was a real privilege to celebrate with the Free The Birds team and some of our fantastic clients, at the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards – which provide the gold standard of design efficacy.

We were honoured to receive two awards on the night, including just one of the eight Golds awarded, for our work on the Eleni & Chris Signature Salon Collection for IC Scandinavia. It was also amazing to win Silver for the successful relaunch of Oettinger Davidoff’s Winston Churchill Cigar collection.

It means so much to win recognition at the DBA awards because they acknowledge design that delivers commercial success. This is a fundamental part of our approach and through our philosophy of ‘Beautiful Thinking’ demonstrates the commercial impact we can have for the brands we work with.

In terms of the work, we were so excited to win for Eleni & Chris because the design was part of a bold, high risk strategy in a haircare market that’s characterised by lack of innovation. The brand positioning, story, identity and packaging delivered a premium brand – sophisticated and unpretentious, which celebrated the provenance of the unique natural ingredients from the Scandinavian landscape, harnessed the founders’ personalities, and provided a powerful platform for future diversification and growth. As a result, sales rose in a declining market and the launch created a platform for future growth, secure distribution, and to take market share from larger, established rivals.

For the Winston Churchill Cigar collection it was a case of overhauling every aspect of brand design and visual communications, with closer re-alignment to the Davidoff brand. The relaunch was a major success – and all the more so considering strict regulations on above the line communication, meaning that impact and engagement depended on presentation, packaging and product design. We focused on a new positioning, visual identity and packaging design inspired by the complexity and depth of Winston Churchill, with the Davidoff identity sensitively incorporated. As a result, net sales rose 98% between 2017 and 2018, and return on investment was achieved in just nine months.

The awards are fitting recognition of all the hard work and commitment of everyone at Free The Birds and to those exceptional clients who share our creative vision. But, after such a great night, it’s not the time for resting on our laurels – we’re already concentrating on the work that will interest the DBA jury in 2020.