FastCo: How Hendrick’s Gin targets hipsters and succeeds in capturing that audience

And the award for most clinical exposition of marketing to hipsters is…

Fast Co’s article on how Hendrick’s Gin, and Pabst Beer, cater to the hipster psychographic.

Read it if you want to learn how to market to hipsters, in a way that reads like an exotic fantasy mystery piece.

“…developed piercing insights into what makes today’s hipster’s tick. Hipsters have increasingly sophisticated sensibilities, finding ways to express their individuality by discovering beautiful, idiosyncratic clothing, music, and art from the past. Hipsters have always been into vintage, but lately, bartenders in trendy neighborhoods have had a decidedly Victorian sensibility, sporting waxed handlebar mustaches, pinstripe vests, and pocket watches.

…’Our target is driven by curiosity,’ says Hendrick’s senior brand manager Kirsten Walpert

‘Hipsters don’t respect money, they respect art,’ says C.C. Chapman, marketing expert and founder of social good consultancy Never Enough Days. “There’s a certain level of craftsmanship that goes into brands that matters to the hipster market. They buy into brands that have put effort into crafting their own story and identity.’

…hipsters around the country were drawn to the beer’s lowbrow roots: It signaled a total rejection of the yuppie households…

Pabst hires field marketers who are exactly like their target consumer, that is to say: hipsters.

‘It involves building brand activators of true hipster, but never ever calling them that,” says Karen Post, a branding expert and author of Brand Turnaround. “They identify the influencers, but don’t sell them out. ‘…

constantly plays into hipster’s fascination with things that are both vintage and idiosyncratic. The brand has invented an elaborate world full of playful, unusual things that they have never seen before…”


A beautiful cookbook like you haven’t seen before: Unless You’re Really Familiar with Obsessively Organized Ingredients

A smart content marketing move from Ikea.

Come out with a cookbook (also a subtle, indirect way of pushing their products – appliances).

But, like their design-for-the-masses philosophy – make it painfully sparse but beautifully useful.

And this is how they presented their rationale and procedure.

5 Things I Liked Today: Minimalist survival kit, iconic hair posters, “ad improvement” device and a generation gap infographic

1. Roozt‘s generation gap infographic via Trendhunter

I don’t know where they based their word clouds.  But this does seem interesting.

2.  Menos Uno Cero Uno‘s Just In Case compact survival kit via Trendhunter

Obviously it has to come with chocolate.

3.  Copyrighted Famous Hair by Patricia Povoa via Design Taxi and Bloody Loud

4. Subpixel, by F.A.T. via This Wolf

This smart set of “artist/hacker/activists” put together this “subway advertisement upgrade kit”, out of laser-cut acrylic and razor blades.

Maker-culture subversion at it’s finest.

By the way, great Co. Design feature on this batch of maker-culture movies cropping up.

My eyes figuratively bleed sometimes, at how just..good-looking the Co. Design site is.

5.  Creative Roots.  I love the idea of a global design site, showcasing cultural nuances.

Like this Global Street Food  installation and this Japanese branding feature. via Go Media

Global Street Food by Mike Meire
Micchan restaurant identity by IC4Design
London East Street restaurant by “i-am” Associates

Technology + Art = Brain Explosion

The Internet holds so much beauty.

It just rocks like that.

More links and images that have been taking up my browser because they’re so nice I don’t want to close them.

1.  “Soak, Dye in Light” by everyware.  As featured in

Visually stunning.  Aside from plain brilliant.

Color amazes me.  Color in motion is a plus.  Moving, fluid color appearing on a blank canvas, responding to your touch blows my mind.  And, it’s a tactile, tangible thing-in-the-world.

This whole post is probably about my amazement at the things the world is capable of these days.


Represents branding that I particularly love.  I love the type used on the labels, the aesthetic of the website.  The straightforwardness of the objects and photography.  The warm way they used black and white in the pictures.  Ugh. Great.

It’s brusque, handsome.  Deceptively (and partly sincerely) handmade.

3.  Navid Baraty‘s Intersection, featured in Mashkulture

4.  Graphic Exchange

Another site that’s a visual stimulation swimming pool.

There are a lot out there, I know, and this one I even saw via Designspiration via Ffffound!

Both already popular image curation sites.

I like Graphic-Exchange because it’s actually a personal blog/site.  It features grahic designer Fabien’s personal work, alongside work that he likes from across the web.

I just really enjoy the visual impression of the site.  It successfully feels like a cohesively designed “place”.  The delicate fonts used in the headings and navigation bar.  The muted spectrum of “buttons” for the categories, echoed by catalog numbers.  The subtle highlight for the Personal Work page, and the efficiency of saying “What I do in 1 link”.

Sufficiently soft, while the content itself remains masculinely smart.

5. Denis Smith‘s “ball of light” work

Saw this on brainpickings (grand portal of awesome things).

What humans can do with time, patience and creativity.


Math and programming coming together to make really beautiful things.  People should just go to the site to see.

7.  CargoCollective! Which I came across through Jonas Eriksson’s personal site.


Though having to scroll down to see content at each section is a really tiny bit annoying. Maybe, I’m getting old.

8.  This is a far cry, visually.  But I’m including this because of the consistency of its branding.


I’m sorry, Adidas. What were you trying to say exactly?

Before I could post my musings on brand Adidas, Adidas just had to do me one better and launch their new ad campaign.
Their new tag line is ‘It’s all in.” I’m sorry – Adidas, even if I don’t personally like you a lot, as a lover of branding, I want you to succeed.
What target did you think you were trying to get with “It’s all in”?  What do you think it was supposed to mean? In my opinion, you can only use vague copy if it’s accompanied with strong emotive imagery or a whole emotive non-traditional advertising campaign.

Just thinking of common threads in branding for sneaker/athletic shoe brands, the primary thing the brand should communicate is potency, a sense of power. And “it’s all in” with just a montage of celebrity endorsers… doesn’t that communicate just popularity and diversity rather than power? Unless that’s really Adidas’ new move — to create an athletic shoe brand that is more about being embracive than strong. We’ll see how it works – it may be too soon to say since the campaign may have succeeding communication stages.

Nike: Chosen

Ah, Nike.  I see you are starting to be more aggressive about pandering to the microtrend of individual sport.

In 2007, Mark Penn published the book Microtrends.

Apparently, he’s the man who coined the term “soccer moms”.

In the book, Penn discusses other emerging trends that were sparked by at least 1% of the American population, which, he proposes, could become significant in the next years.

In the field of sports, Penn noted the growing interest in niche and individualized sports, and the decreased involvement in the mainstream and more established team sports (e.g. football, basketball).

In this stunning video by Instrument, Nike shows its ready to beat, okay maybe match Vans, Converse, DC and Roxy at their games.

Nike “Chosen” by Instrument

Even if the niche sport “microtrend” may seem a bit dated (“discovered” 4 years ago), the Nike “Chosen” campaign still makes me proud of how Nike seems to have a good nose for youth culture.

Even the copy for the campaign tries to talk to a new audience — no longer the same market that their physical potency- and determination-centered communication used to target.

Instead, the campaign’s copy recognizes the present youth’s inclination towards uniqueness, flair and self-promotion.

“Take the stage and own the spot light. We’re looking for crews pushing the boundaries of style and creativity. Because the further you go, the further we all go.”

via fubiz

I have to correct myself now, though.  It apparently isn’t the first time that a Nike campaign featured skateboarding.  In my search for more old school testosterone-y Nike ads from the 1990’s (to feature in this post), I came across a blog entry which was a collection of Nike ad graphic design that the blogger was impressed with.

This particular ad was released in 2007 – the “This Is How I Fight” campaign.

I love you slightly more today because of this, Nike.  I have to find the agency or communications group that came up with this campaign.  I’m sorry, “Chosen”, but “This Is How I Fight” edged you out in my heart.

And, while I’m at it, I might as well post the very first Nike ads (from 1989) that sparked my liking for the Nike brand, and for copywriting and branding.

Continue reading “Nike: Chosen”

Sneaker Counterculture: Sleek vs. Rugged (Part 1)

I love athletic shoe branding.

I am presently thinking of what sneakers to buy, and it reminds me of how much branding plays into my decision-making.

Out of the last…let’s see…10 pairs of sneakers or rubber shoes I’ve obtained (most I bought over the last 5 years, but 2 were gifts): 2 must have been Puma, 3 were Nike, 2 were adidas, 1 pair of Vans, 1 pair of New Balance rubber shoes, and 1 (which weren’t supposed to be for me), were from Urban Outfitters.  My favorite ones would be: a Nike Total 90 pair from 2005, black velcro Nike Air Jordans and a purple-and-yellow pair of Vans which I bought at a secondhand shop.

I don’t know how other people decide on sneakers/ rubber shoes, but, for me, it’s quite a complex process — the first step being what overall “look” or “feel” you’re trying to go for.  This is closely linked to what occassions you would wear it too and manufacturer style and branding.  And then, there would, of course be, factoring in the fit of the shoe into your present wardrobe, shoe price and its make or durability.

Right now, I am about to buy a new pair because the Urban Outfitter ones, sadly, did not last so long.  And, as much as people might not want to admit it, branding, or what exactly the product says about you and how it would make you feel, probably makes up 75% of that decision.

Take Puma, for example.  Whenever I walk into a Puma store, I acknowledge that it’s a sport lifestyle brand.  They make high-performance shoes (the trainers I bought in 2006 were sturdy and practical), but mostly they’re for, well, looking sleek about town.

What grabs me the most about Puma are two things — the way they name their shoes (I bought Ferrari “Speedcats” largely because I thought it would sound really cool saying to myself that my shoes were called “Speedcat”.  And were associated with Ferrari and had soles that were like tough tire treads), and the tongue-in-cheek tags they put on all of their merchandise tags and packaging.  The humor isn’t even really reflected in the store styling, nor inherent in their products — To get to the fun branding, you really have to purchase.

I’ll continue with the other brands some other time.  For now, I’ll just post images of Puma’s packaging copy.