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Crafting an Elevated New Hard Seltzer Brand

August 30, 2019

Spinning Can - Guava Hibiscus Clairvoyance
Spinning Can - Watermelon Kiwi WalkaboutSpinning Can - Tangerine Passionfruit SafariSpinning Can - Blackberry Cucumber Enchant-MintGuava Hibiscus Clairvoyance - Animation
Watermelon Kiwi Walkabout - AnimationTangerine Passionfruit Safari - AnimationBlackberry Cucumber Enchant-Mint - Animation

To stray forth is to peregrinate, to travel, to wander—with purpose. For us, building a new brand from the ground up is an incredibly rewarding act of exploration. So when our longtime friends and co-conspirators at Ale Asylum brewery invited us to partner on a new craft hard seltzer launch, we were immediately on board to wander—with purpose—down an intriguing new path.

Like all of Ale Asylum’s products, Stray Forth craft hard seltzer is unique, vibrant, and top-notch. While the industry leaders have paved the way for hard seltzer’s status as the new official drink of summer, we knew there was plenty of room for a more sophisticated craft product aimed at mindful drinkers who think a little differently, who appreciate an elevated beverage that lets them savor the moment, and who are always looking forward.

With that opportunity in mind, the name and brand identity of Stray Forth emerged. An exceptional product deserves a departure from the often-formulaic seltzer packaging. For each flavor, we used collage to craft a surrealist world to stray within—to evoke a sense of mystery, playfulness, sophistication and the unexpected. Cans are peppered with visual cues for each flavor in a way that underscores the care and attention to detail that goes into the seltzer itself.

Beyond naming the brand, designing the packaging, and consulting on the launch flavors, Planet provided audience targeting, carton design, marketing strategy, and promotional social media assets. And we continue to design and create promotional and point-of-sale materials, while offering ongoing marketing support as the brand enters its post-launch phase. 

Stray Forth found immediate success in the Madison market, landing a prominent spot on shelves at shops like Woodman’s, Steve’s Liquor, and a bunch more, and restaurants and bars like the Breakwater and Madison Sourdough. The local success fuels high expectations for continued growth in Wisconsin, and national attention from Communication Arts and AdAge raises the prospect of even bigger expansion beyond state borders. 

We’re glad we’ll be with Ale Asylum every step of the way as they look to stray beyond the launch flavors and explore new ground. We expect that we, and you, will be reaching for a cold pack of Strays on occasions of merriment for many years to come.

Posted in Design, Digital, Madison, Motion, Culture, Strategy, Social Media