Creativity Awards Case Studies

3 great products that wowed at The Drum Awards for Design

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By Ellen Ormesher | Reporter

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The Drum Design Awards article

May 26, 2022 | 6 min read

The Drum Awards for Design celebrate the absolute best in art direction, strategic thinking and the execution of ideas that make a difference. Truly great design effortlessly balances aesthetics and effectiveness, art and commerce – and this year’s winners absolutely rose to the occasion.

From Ikea to The Guardian, Harley-Davidson to Diageo, some of the world’s top brands, publishers and organizations have landed the coveted prize for product design in their respective categories at our annual awards ceremony.

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SingleCut Beersmiths’ Notes IPA stood out in The Drum Design Awards

Here are three product designs we loved.

SingleCut Beersmiths: Notes IPA by Zulu Alpha Kilo

Notes IPA

SingleCut Beersmiths is a craft brewery inspired by the history of rock music. Even the name ‘SingleCut’ refers to a single-cutaway guitar design, and since day one every beer produced by this brewery has paid homage to rock music.

The agency Zulu Alpha Kilo was challenged to develop a launch idea for a new limited-edition beer that could bring the brewery’s love of craft beer and guitars together in an experiential way.

Four distinct labels for the cans were designed to display a foundational guitar chord: C, D, G or E minor. By gripping the can like you would a guitar, customers can learn the finger positions for these chords and get a feel for guitar strings through the label’s tactile finish.

Scanning the Snapchat code on the labels activates a shareable augmented reality (AR) guitar lesson right on the can and turns it into a playable instrument. This mobile experience allows you to hear how the chords should sound, create your own unique chord progressions and share your music via Snapchat.

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Every pull tab is fitted with a custom-made guitar pick – designed to pop open the beer and then practice guitar. The picks are made via injection molding and have the authentic weight and feel of a standard pick.

As a result of the campaign, Notes IPA sold out twice as fast as an average SingleCut release and was the brand’s most successful social initiative to date.

It won in the Packaging Design and Experiential Design categories.

Pfaff Harley-Davidson: Tough Turban by Zulu Alpha Kilo

Harley-Davidson is a brand built on a love for the open road, and its riders are passionate for the freedom that it offers. Yet for some riders, that freedom has come at the expense of their safety and their very identity. Pfaff Harley-Davidson, the brand’s largest Canadian dealership, wanted to do something about this.

For Sikh men, the turban is a deeply important part of their identity. In 2018, the Ontario government passed legislation that exempts Sikh men from motorcycle helmet laws. This was a hard-won step forward for religious freedom, but it also introduced a critical question: how could Sikh riders engage in their passion and still ensure their safety while riding without a traditional helmet? The solution combined current-day manufacturing capabilities with historic practices, resulting in an innovation that shows how design can be used to enable diversity and inclusion.

Industrial design experts used composite fabrics and bulletproof materials to develop several prototypes. The final design made turbans tougher using Dyneema (3D-printed carbon-fibre chain mail) and non-Newtonian foam (pliable but hardens instantly on impact).

This campaign won in the Design for Good and Physical Product Design categories.

Diageo: Message in a Bottle by Dare Digital Limited

message in a bottle

With the pandemic curtailing key celebration moments for friends and families in real life, the accompanying gift exchanges of bottles of spirits had moved online too. Diageo wanted to bring the emotion back to this digital gifting experience – and generate a competitive e-commerce advantage through an inspiring use of technology.

Launching in time for the UK’s Father’s Day 2021, the aim was to give a human touch to a culturally and commercially important whisky-gifting occasion.

Dare Digital Limited conducted extensive research into personalization, generative art, dynamic videos and customization – and boiled everything down to the fact that there’s nothing more personal than a spoken message.

To accompany the audio, visuals were created that would amplify the emotion of the gift. The team then developed a host of dynamic assets to create a video synced with the audio. These employed the ultimate aid to personalization, Amazon’s AWS API, which detects meaningful keywords within the user’s audio message.

The campaign won for best Point of Sale Design.

You can now register your interest for The Drum Design Awards 2023 here.

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