New Belgium Branding
In the summer of 2016 New Belgium approached us to partner with their internal marketing team to launch the new Voodoo Ranger line of beers. This was uncharted territory for the brewery as our partnership marked their first formal campaign push.
The first step in the character design was to develop the creative vision for what type of persona the spokesperson would embody. Since this character had to be symbolic of the brewery’s existing ethos and also serve as a nod to the evolution of their products, we strived to embrace the company’s roots but also appeal to the forward-thinking future of the brand. For that reason we took our time getting to know New Belgium and touring their facility to immerse ourselves in their world.
We started with the selected name, Voodoo Ranger. Initial sketches and brainstorming sessions had a focused intention, yet we kept everything open-ended visually as we began to look at a range of options. One crucial milestone came when it was decided that our character would be a skeleton. This was a call that would allow us to portray him in larger then life situations. He could now exist with the ability to operate outside of the realities of this world. This would allow us flexibility in the animation and production stages.
It is difficult to pinpoint all of the influences that inspired us throughout the development process, however it is worth noting that we embraced the 1960’s-70’s rock culture. We were also inspired by unassuming leaders (or witty anti-heroes) that emerged as inspirational icons, almost in-spite of themselves. This was a dynamic we would continue to explore in the written content.
Once the sketches began to take form we worked on tightening up the overall design so his image could be easily translated. We also developed two additional “looks” for the other flavors of beer in the Voodoo line.
With the character image defined our team began modeling him in 3D so we could transition easily into large volumes of video content and produce social media content rapidly. As the final pieces came together visually we launched a nationwide voice over search. The voice talent would bring the personality of our character to life, so the audition process and recording was screened with a lot of oversight and prudence.
The launch started with a handful of social media content. The creation of a 3D asset that appeared illustrated was paramount to our efficiency and variety. What started as a series of sketches came to life as a fully created character who could be quickly manipulated in different scenarios.
We want to thank New Belgium and specifically their in-house marketing team for trusting us, and guiding us, every step of the way. The creative leadership from our client was always inspired, and it is because of this that we have enjoyed being a part of a successful campaign. Below are statistics measuring the success of the launch over the first months. Our efforts continue as we look forward to the future and the campaign evolution. We are excited for everyone to see where the Voodoo Ranger will show up next.
-Voodoo Ranger sales are up 45%.
-If Voodoo Ranger were truly a new brand it would be the #1 launch in the U.S.
-Voodoo Ranger is rapidly climbing the IPA charts with faster velocity growth than any other Top 10 IPA.
-Imperial sales are up 47.5% and it is currently the #1 Imperial IPA in the country.
-8-Hop is the #4 new craft beer brand.