Carter Wong rebrands Unilever Cornetto to support radical change in European market position.
June 5, 2013
by Canadian Packaging Staff
London, U.K.-based Carter Wong Design Ltd. has rebranded an iconic ice cream product—the Unilever-brand Cornetto, for the European market.
Formed 29-years ago by Philip Carter and Philip Wong, though still considered a small boutique agency, Carter Wong boasts many big brands and iconic identities in its creative gallery, including: the FIA Formula 1 logo, the Heartmarque for Unilever’s global ice cream business, and Lowe Worldwide’s corporate identity.
In fact, its relationship with Unilever played a hand in its ability to rebrand the globally-recognized Cornetto brand that was created some 50-years ago. For Carter Wong, the plan was to shake off the brand’s staid roots as a seasonal, out-of-home treat and rebrand it as a product that can be enjoyed at home and at any time of the year.
The rebrand gives the product a more youthful appeal, aimed at a 14-25 year old market. The visual changes signal and support a range of innovations in the product and product range that will reposition the brand worldwide.
The new brand design addresses key issues related to the global reach of the brand. It takes into account language differences, the variable printing capabilities of countries, and most importantly brand recognition. While not rigidly uniform, the new look signals that wherever you are in the world, the Cornetto range is part of a single family.
The message across the globe is that the new-style Cornetto provides a full on journey of tastes and textures from crown to tip, with six deeper flutes on the crown and the all-important chocolate tip at the end.
A slightly suggestive strap-line, ‘Enjoy the ride, love the ending’ aimed at a more youthful audience supports much of the design.
New color coding of the Classic single cone and multi-cone packaging give a visual indication of the flavors, drawing on familiar universal conventions: blue for Classic Vanilla, red for Strawberry, brown for Chocolate, green for Mint, etc.
The colors are linked to precise pantone references to achieve consistency in every market despite local production.
Classic multi-packs have also been given a make-over. Again, these are color-coded, with appetizing images of the cones, ingredients offset against a swirl background.
The cones within the multi-packs are given a completely different graphic design based on lively, modern typography intended to discourage the sale of the cones as individual units.
Some regional differences have been introduced, without undermining the ‘family’ look, to reflect local market tastes.
The re-design is carried across the premium Enigma range of ice creams, which signals their different recipes with the aid of clear perspex coned lids that reveal an enticing peak of ice cream at the top and chocolate swirl patterns interwoven with their flavor color coding.
As part of the range review, innovative Mix-Mini packs have been introduced to encourage the concept of sharing, in response to the tendency for the 14-25 age group to snack while they are involved in largely technology-based group activities.
To appeal to the younger target audience, Carter Wong has created a library of quirky illustrations that add a sense of fun and bring to life important messaging.
These mood icons include playful characters, thought bubbles, love hearts and arrows, as well as references to universal youth culture: surfer vans, a play on the classic “I ♥ NY logo” creating the hopefully soon to be iconic ‘ I ♥ ▼’, and a couple on an Italian Vespa scooter, for instance. Similarly, a bespoke hand-drawn font in all languages has also been designed as part of the new design collateral.
To support the new branding and packaging, Carter Wong has created guidelines for point-of-sale collateral to inspire local design and sales teams the world over. These are encouraged to take their own initiatives in their markets and convey the spirit rather than the letter of the branding through their marketing collateral. They can also choose or draw inspiration from a menu of ready designed elements, which include fun cone-shaped A-boards (see image below), youthful wind-surf style banners, eye-catching waste-paper bins and freezer décor, and more.
Global vice-president Ice Cream Cornetto & Kids, Alberto Di Leo says: “Carter Wong always employ a great deal of craftsmanship and art in what they do which is at the very heart of Unilever’s marketing strategy, ‘Crafting Brands for Life.’ With the new Cornetto logo they have created something truly magical and unique.”
Founder and creative director Phil Carter sums up: “Second only to the Unilever Heartmarque, the Cornetto is probably the most recognizable ice-cream brand across the world. The commission to redesign and reposition it has been a privilege. Our intimate knowledge of Unilever’s ice cream business and its global/local position gave us invaluable insights into how best to progress the Cornetto re-brand and create something memorable.”