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We Are a DESIGN Studio, Part IV: BIG IDEAS

One of the design areas that excite us the most here at B&H is BIG IDEAS. Our team absolutely loves to come up with new concepts and innovative brand and service designs that engage and excite the public in new ways. And being creative rebels, we might just help you disrupt an entire industry in your favour.

In this post we look at two BIG IDEAS concepts we created.

1. Our redesign of Vinea: Vinea is a soft drink made with grape juice from the Vineyards of southern Moravia, that for hundreds of years were the centre of economic, social and cultural activity.

Our study of the south Moravian region and its needs revealed several interrelated problems:

  • Many young people have left the region for the cities for higher paying jobs and a wider range of opportunities. Indeed, the population of the region is now far less than it was a century ago.

  • This mainly left only ageing and elderly people to take care of the vineyards, and as a result the vineyards had begun to fall into disrepair as many of the caretakers retired or died off.

  • Both of these cut down on the economic viability of the region, as well as the social ties the vineyards had brought to the towns and villages for centuries. This in turn played a role in even more young people leaving.

  • This in turn was causing the cultural elements that had once given the people of the region pride to fall by the wayside.

The BIG IDEA we developed was that Vinea would organise outings for young people of the “Real Experience” generation to come back to the region, and spend time together with the older people refurbishing the vineyards. They would interact with their local culture, interact socially with each other, bring some social connections back to a dying region.

Another element of the BIG IDEA was to rekindle local cultural pride in the wine growing region. As a further service to people of the region, the design for Vinea Muškat—a particular kind of grape and favourite wine of the region—was based on the traditional needlework patterns from the local culture, currently being kept alive only by elderly women (above). The needlework was real, and reproduced for the labels.

All together it was a platform for change that would not only achieve advertising objectives for Vinea, but reconnect people with their homes, rekindle local pride and help to revitalise a region.

The TV spot we design for our Vinea BIG IDEA concept.

The strategy included a series of regular reconstruction trips to the region, where Vinea PR would arrange for photographs and further videos to be made from the regular reconstruction trips to the vineyards. The idea was that these “reality” videos and news reports would generate a viral type response as people shared the one’s they appeared in, further connecting people, and thus proving “free” advertising, and goodwill marketing.*

*(Unfortunately, the company felt the video alone met their objectives and did not follow through on the actual vineyard refurbishing program. It was still a very successful campaign, though we believe it would have been far more successful, and done some actual good to the region, had the company followed through with the full BIG IDEA plan.)

If you are looking for BIG IDEAS, contact us at Butterflies & Hurricanes, we will be happy to be your partner in the next big thing!

2. Another of the BIG IDEAs we worked on was Medík, another soft drink that was being developed to be sweetened with honey.

The heart of our Medík BIG IDEA, above and beyond selling the drink, was to include care for people in a poorer rural region of the country, and for honey bees, which are in danger in parts of the world.

The heart of the idea was this: The company would provide people with bee hives and instructions for care, and pay them for the honey.

This would provide hobbies and some extra income for the mostly older people of the region, care for the bees, aid pollination for the agriculture the region, and give the company a local supply of honey.

There were many other elements to this idea, that involved schools, education and events. (More on those soon, in a post on designing for good.)

What both of these BIG IDEA concepts have in common is a higher purpose. They are more than just marketing campaigns, the contain a platform for positive change. They actively seek to make the lives of customers, and the environment better. That does not mean that profit is not a consideration, just that profit is not the only, or highest consideration.

Thank you for looking and reading. We would love to hear from you what you think about our blog, what more, or less, would you like to hear from us on these or other topics.? Please let us know so we can better serve you!

Michaela Thomas is the owner and design director of Butterflies & Hurricanes. She is married, has three children and a BIG dog.





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