Saturday, June 12, 2010

Case Study: Green Air Supply

The client approached New Tacoma Design with an interesting problem: To market an innovative beer sales device. The context took a few minutes to fully understand. Beer is propelled from the keg to the tap using compressed gas. The gas is a mixture of CO2 and nitrogen. This gas is stored in two separate tanks and mixed using a gas blender in the back room of the bar or pre-mixed in a single tank, (eliminating the need for a blender).

The bar owner or manager orders gas from industrial vendors. The gas arrives on a truck and the empty tanks are taken away to be reused.

The client's device extracts ambient, airborne nitrogen from the air and compresses it into a bleeder tank. The device also blends that nitrogen with CO2 to whatever mixture is desired. (Ales and lagers use one standard blend and Guinness uses a high-nitrogen blend.) The device can deliver different mixes to different lines so it's incredibly efficient.

The technology behind the device is geeky but it too important to remove from the communication. The solution was to lead with two essential messages:

1. This device saves you money with perfect, consistent servings that eliminates waste.
2. This device allows you to harness technology and frees your staff to focus on other priorities.

After the marketing language was hammered out, two key illustrations were created to express the essential messages. The first was intended to express the value of a "perfect pint."

The image shows three pints. The first cannot be served without pouring out the foam and replacing with liquid. All the foam that goes into the tray is wasted beer. The second shows a perfect pour with the right amount of head. The last shows a flat beer that contains too much beer.

The second image was to showcase the device. Unfortunately the device isn't visually interesting.

The subject was drawn from a low point-of-view to reveal the dials and hose attachments. A second drawing was made with a reveal to show off some of the cool stuff inside. While these details may not mean much to the average viewer, the detail attracts attention and draws people in.

The two illustrations feature the two sizes of the device. (The top size has an external chrome column while the bottom size has the chrome column inside the container.)

These illustrations were used in several pieces of communication, including the sell sheets below.