44 North Vodka Branding

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    44 North Vodka Branding

    In 2004, 44° North Vodka began with a simple objective: to achieve a smooth and distinctive taste by distilling directly from 100% Idaho-grown potatoes or Brundage Winter Wheat blended with Rocky Mountain Spring Water. To flavor the vodka, 44° North used only all natural Mountain Huckleberries and Rainier Cherries. To reposition itself in the market, 44 North Vodka needed new branding elements, website, ads, and packaging to further distinguish itself as a premier independently produced Idaho potato vodka.

    Playing off the rugged independent spirit of Idaho, the “North of Center” brand direction positioned 44 North Vodka as rugged, authentic, and yet refined. This was implemented across a new website, ads, posters, and even down to unique packaging for 44 North’s exclusive cocktail onions.

    Reflecting the DIY origins of the company, the response to the campaign among brand fans and followers has been enthusiastic with strong requests for promotional items from the online store as well as increased demand for wider 44 North Vodka distribution. 

    Client: Wyatt Zier LLC.
    Agency: Drake Cooper
    Art Direction/Concept: Jennie Myers
    Writing/Concept: Sean D. Young
    Brand Manager: Dylan Amundson

  • :: The Brand Manifesto ::
  • :: Ads and Web Executions ::
  • These marks allowed for key product attributes to be treated in more ornamental ways. Think of these as "Badges of Truth."
  • :: Behind The Scenes | Selling An Idea ::
    Having arrived at "North Of Center" early on in the process meant that we needed to articulate where the brand could go both in tone and direction. Diving into what "North Of Center" and tying it back to the independent spirit of Idaho proved difficult. Not just creatively, but even philosophically speaking. Suddenly you're thinking about classic American ideals of freedom and self-determination.
    Rather than just make ads and a slide presentation we decided to put all the work on the walls in the conference room to immerse ourselves in the brand. As for the writing, rather than just the classic ad-guy setup I chose to surround my copy with diverse voices to help define the indefinable.

    It must be stated that this only worked because of the engaged intelligence of the client. Not only did they build 44 North from the ground up, they are smart individualists steeped in culture. I felt that this had to be reflected in the work and in the presentation as well.
  • The copy section with quotes from different voices. Where else could P.J. O'Rourke, Walt Whitman, Jean Baudrillard, Langston Hughes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Norman Mailer, Lester Bangs, and Jack Kerouac all hang out but North Of Center?
  • This is where it started for me. I came across Greil Marcus' book THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME, PROPHECY AND THE AMERICAN VOICE. This great book struck a chord in me and I think helped set up the 44 North Brand. This quote is what 44 North is doing by going against the trends of the large corporate takeover of the spirit industry.
  • :: Copy Wall Highlights ::