Ananya Pathak

"The idea was to marry the masculinity of Jack Daniel's to the festive season..."

... says Ashutosh Karkhanis, creative head, Open Strategy and Design, about the whiskey brand's recent festive revamp.

To strengthen its connection with India, leading whiskey brand Jack Daniel’s (JD) created a special limited edition celebratory pack for Diwali this year. The festive pack comes in a tin box with Jack Daniel's bottle and two glasses inside.

"The idea was to marry the masculinity of Jack Daniel's to the festive season..."

Revamped by Open Strategy and Design, an independent, multidisciplinary brand consultancy headquartered in Mumbai, the objective behind the new packaging is to emotionally connect with the consumers. It is also to help the brand stand out in retail store, Vinay Joshi, brand manager, Jack Daniel's FOB, Indian subcontinent and Maldives, tells afaqs!.

“Diwali is one of the biggest gifting occasions in general and for the alcobev category in particular. This year's Jack Daniel's festive edition pack is a symbol of hope, positivity and togetherness, meanings which one strongly associates with Diwali, but have acquired increased significance this year in light of COVID pandemic.”

“Our objective, when we started working on the design for this pack with our strategy and design partner Open, was to create a design which will help us emotionally connect with the consumers and help the brand stand out in retail stores by breaking the festive clutter. Through this pack, we wanted to share the message with our consumers that no matter what, we should celebrate every moment and make every moment count.”

"The idea was to marry the masculinity of Jack Daniel's to the festive season..."

The pack has been ideated to appeal to all the consumers who are looking for high quality premium gifting ideas for the festive season. “We believe this is a perfect gift for people looking for something special to reconnect with their friends and family during this festive season, and convey to them how special their connection is,” says Joshi.

We got in touch with Ashutosh Karkhanis, creative head and managing partner, Open Strategy and Design, to find out how the pack was ideated and finally executed.

Over a call, Karkhanis tells us that the idea behind the new packaging was to marry the bold masculinity of the brand to the festive season. “Other than that, it also has to do with the kind of outlets we have. When visiting an offline store to buy alcohol, you have to pay special attention to spot any bottle of your choice on the shelves from the distance. We wanted Jack Daniel’s to stand out on the retail stores."

Ashutosh Karkhanis
Ashutosh Karkhanis

Karkhanis has been the managing partner at the design agency for the past seven years. In his 23 years of industry experience, he has worked with Saatchi & Saatchi as executive director; Rediffusion Y&R as creative head, national creative head design and digital; Ambience, Grey Worldwide as associate creative director; and Contract Advertising as creative director, etc. His prolific career has included clients such as Britannia, Unilever, Kotak Mahindra, HSBC, Asian Paints, Taj Hotels, Economic Times, Kingfisher Airlines, Himalayan Water, Tata Nano and Tata Sky, and has spanned advertising, design and digital.

When working on revamping JD’s identity for the festive season, Karkhanis says the one question he asked himself was if Jack Daniel had to himself celebrate Diwali, what would it be like? “We questioned ourselves and the resulting design was a response to that.”

However, the challenge this year, he says, was, “... the entire pandemic situation and budget constraint resulting out of it.”

When we asked him what are the major challenges that a design team faces when revamping a brand’s identity, Karkhanis says it is mostly to do with how the brand wants the pack to communicate with the consumers. “We are always looking at how well can the pack communicate with the consumers because that is the main purpose of repackaging and how presentable can it be. Low budgets also, sometimes, are an issue.”

In the past, the agency has also worked on repackaging for brands like Opium (eyewear brand), Unsaid Library (jewellery brand) and Nilgiris (retail chain based in Bengaluru).

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