BrandAid Project Design & Branding VODU NUVO by J. Walter Thompson Toronto


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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Design & Branding
Market Canada
Agency J. Walter Thompson Toronto
Executive Creative Director Paul Wales, Martin Shewchuk
Creative Director Don Saynor
Art Director Cindy Habana
Copywriter Kareem Halfawi
Account Supervisor Linda Carrington
Released February 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Charities & Not For Profit
Agency: JWT
Executive Creative Director: Martin Shewchuk (JWT)
Executive Creative Director: Paul Wales (JWT)
Creative Director: Don Saynor (JWT)
Art Director: Cindy Habana (JWT)
Copywriter: Kareem Halfawi (JWT)
Account Supervisor: Linda Carrington (JWT)
Chief Executive Officer: Tony Pigott (JWT Canada)
Vice President/Planner: Jack Perone (JWT)
Media placement: Product Posters - Selfridges London - 13 February 2012
Media placement: Postcards - Selfridges London - 13 February 2012
Media placement: Envelopes - Selfridges London - 13 February 2012
Media placement: Business Cards - Selfridges London - 13 February 2012

Describe the brief from the client
BrandAid is an organisation that helps artisan communities in developing countries sell their art to the world. In many poor countries, these communities make up a significant amount of the local economy.

BrandAid sought our help in building a brand for the Voodoo artisans of Haiti. They were making beautiful creations, but they were not being recognised. And if they were, the artisans were making pennies on the dollar.

BrandAid needed us to create a brand for these products: elegant enough to make high-end retailers and the western world at large, take notice. Ultimately, to help turn poverty into prosperity.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Although it is actually a religion of peace, Haiti’s Voodoo has been the subject of years of dark lies from religious zealots. Since its liberation, the West has held an embargo on Haiti. In the process, they villanised Voodoo, making it seem as if the Haitians were demonic and in a pact with the devil.

All of this has tainted people’s perceptions, preventing them from seeing the true beauty of Voodoo, a religion that brings peace to 1 of the poorest nations in the world. Making it extremely difficult for the Haitians to lift themselves out of poverty.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We designed 'Vodu Nuvo' on the very same tenets of the Voodoo religion, to show people the truth about Voodoo. The brand follows the artisans’ philosophy of making more with less. We kept the design as light and vibrant as the real religion. We spelt Voodoo the original, Haitian way, to help rid it of its stigma. We used the symbol for the Voodoo spirit of understanding, Legba, at the heart of our logo.

Everything about the Vodu Nuvo brand violates public perceptions of Voodoo, while at the same time imparting some of the true tranquillity of the real religion.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
Right out of the gate, Vodu Nuvo was snatched up by Selfridges London, 1 of the UK’s most respected retailers. At Selfridges, our audience can see, touch and experience the wonder of the new Voodoo for themselves. But we’re not stopping there, and other retailers have already expressed interest in taking the brand beyond the shores of the UK in the near future.