Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design

Standing out of the mass

Creating success: product communication and design

When it comes to selling, the type of communication about the product is as important as its design. Therefore, the significance of the communication’s design should not be underestimated. To stick out of the mass is a challenge. Though the product is the most important item, eye-catching communication design may become the crucial factor of differentiation which finally makes the consumer buy the product. This is why design has to be considered as a unity which combines high-quality products and creative ideas for communicating them. Keeping this in mind, communication design is the thin red line that links the company, the brand’s identity and the product.

Advertising with a sense of humour

The primary task of advertising is to sell a product, a service offering or an image successfully. There are numerous examples which are also creative, intelligent, concise and humorous at the same time. This way, they inform and entertain their target group at the same time and stay in mind. In the Red Dot Award 2018, Sixt stood out with the online film “Valentine’s Fairytale”, which tells a love story gone wrong, featuring the provoking humour that the car rental company is known for.

An elderly woman decides to revisit her old lover after finding a box full of old photos. She sets out on a road trip in a rental car and revisits places and moments from her past. When she finally reaches her destination, she meets Tom. He seems to recognise her but proceeds to call her by a wrong name. The commercial ends with the promise that, although the company is no expert in romance, at least they do remember the names of women for Valentine’s Day and offer everyone discounts on rental cars – even Toms. This humorous film was created by thjnk and awarded with the Red Dot: Best of the Best.

Simple but brilliant: the power of the idea

Commercial communication is very complex, often has to function internationally and be tailored precisely to the different media, as well as planned and executed at cross-media level. In order to generate a coherent image of the product and the brand, it is not just the design that counts, but also the punch behind the idea, its emotional component and the type of storytelling. A simple but brilliant idea that is also executed simply but brilliantly can really pack a punch. McDonald’s succeeded in doing so with the communication for the launch of its delivery service McDelivery, which is available in Germany since 2018.

To communicate this to all franchisees, Leo Burnett and thjnk developed a Red Dot award-winning promotional campaign: “The McDelivery Packaging” limited edition for the best-selling favourites on the fast food chain’s menu. Its eye-catching design looks similar to familiar shapes of McDonald’s packages and also shows some well-known, iconic design elements of the delivery industry. Together with the first reference to the upcoming change, the packaging was filled with the products of their daily business to let the franchisees experience the new service in a simple but clever way.

Product and brand experience with all senses

When a new product is presented to the public live, it is important to stage it in the best possible way. A speciality are events where consumers and companies come into direct contact with each other – whether in a showroom, a shop or at a trade fair. There, companies are given the opportunity to structure the contact with customers in a very targeted way and to influence how the product and the brand are perceived. Therefore, the aim should be to create unique and unforgettable experiences. The more that the senses and emotions are targeted, the more intense the experience will be for the visitor.

A perfect example for this is the interactive light installation “Breath of Light”, created by Vasku & Klug for PRECIOSA Lighting, which enthuses with its lightness and poetry. During the Milan Design Week 2018, visitors to Fuorisalone were invited to freely interact from different positions with one another via the installation. It comprises 1,200 handmade crystal spheres of different sizes that have been inspired by soap bubbles. Visitors could literally breathe life into the installation, making it produce a shining light accompanied by sound. By blowing in simultaneously from different positions, the spheres hit each other at different points and burst just like soap bubbles do – an outstanding idea in playfulness and aesthetic appeal, which was awarded with a Red Dot: Best of the Best in 2018.

Proving holistic design competency

Conceptually well-thought-through and well-designed packaging, advertisements or commercials, to name but a few, are geared to the target group’s imagery or language and placed in the right setting to arouse as much interest as possible in the product. In a best-case scenario, all product communication measures are perfectly orchestrated, so that they draw a harmonious and consistent picture across all media – regardless of whether online storytelling, influencer marketing or traditional advertising measures in print media, on TV or in public spaces.

Companies which want to prove their holistic design competency are called upon to enter their brands in 36 industries in the Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design 2019 until 28 June the latest. Designers and agencies register individual communications projects in the 17 categories of the “Communication Design” section.