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W+K London Creates—Gulp—A New Milkshake Brand

The London agency has demonstrated a way with food advertising. Recently it was charged with creating a whole brand identity for a frothy new product.

Childlike but not childish was the challenge Wieden + Kennedy London set itself when presented with a brief from Arla Foods to create a brand, packaging, and tone of voice for Gulp—a new milkshake launched in the U.K. last week.

The agency has previously created standout ad campaigns for the food company’s Cravendale and Lurpak brands. It was given the chance to create the Gulp brand from scratch after developing packaging as part of its "Be Wonderful and Wise" campaign for the launch of Lurpak Lightest in January 2012.

"It was a dream job for us really," says W+K London Creative Director Ray Shaughnessy of the Gulp assignment. "While we’ve worked previously to put campaign assets onto existing packaging, this was a chance to create something from scratch in a totally holistic way."

Though it has no dedicated packaging design department, W+K London does have an in-house design function overseen by Guy Featherstone, the agency’s head of craft which, in recent months, has attracted a growing number of design assignments.

The Gulp brand was developed through close collaboration between W+K London designer Michael Bow and copywriter Caroline Riis. "All we had to work on was the name, the style of bottle, and the target market," Riis says.

The design, the words, and the overall brand tone were developed simultaneously with each informing the other. Inspiration came from the comical language and poetic meter of Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss, she adds.

"The key was to create an attitude rather than just a piece of packaging which would power the brand," Bow explains. "Because of the name, we wanted a fun style and tone that would play on the product being something people would gulp down."

Shaughnessy adds: "Gulp is a milkshake launching into a category over-exhausted with products featuring big gloopy bubble writing on the pack. To disrupt this, what we needed was an ownable idea. With the style and tone of what we’ve ended up with, we hope Gulp can do just that."

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