Sleeman Design & Branding SAPPORO TAP HANDLE by DentsuBos Toronto

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Industry Beers and Ciders
Media Design & Branding
Market Canada
Agency DentsuBos Toronto
Creative Director Les Soos, Glen Hunt
Art Director David Glen
Released May 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Point of Sale
Product/Service: BEER TAP HANDLE
Date of First Appearance: May 24 2010
Entrant Company: DENTSU CANADA, Toronto, CANADA
Creative Director: Glen Hunt (Dentsu Canada)
Creative Director: Les Soos (Dentsu Canada)
Writer: Dhaval Bhatt (Dentsu Canada)
Art Director: David Glen (Dentsu Canada)
Production Company: (Tap Handles)
Media placement: Draft Beer Tap Handle - Bars - June 15/2011

Describe the brief from the client
Redesign Sapporo’s tap handle to fit with the overall Legendary Biru brand idea to help expand the brand’s appeal beyond Sushi restaurants.

Leverage the iconic imagery and elements of Japanese culture that were so fascinating to our target – and that we had used in creating the mythical tour through a Legendary Sapporo brewery in all the other campaign elements.

We developed the idea of a Samurai Katana tap handle in initial creative development – and consumers went crazy for it in testing. “If you make that, I will try that beer” was pretty much the universal response.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
The biggest challenge on the project was producing a finished piece that came as close as possible to mimicking a real Katana without completely blowing the budget.

We used metal instead of plastic. We debossed Japanese characters into the sword to increase authenticity. We used an actual Japanese swordsmith as a consultant on the project to help ensure as much authenticity and realism as possible.

Attention to detail was paid to every design and production aspect to ensure the final piece reinforced Sapporo’s Legendary Biru brand platform, and encouraged trial in bars outside of traditional sushi restaurants.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
The final solution was the best combination of materials to deliver authenticity and realism while managing costs.

The Sapporo Katana tap handle did end up costing more (on-average) than traditional tap handles – but the impact on consumers and sales make it one of the most effective elements of the overall Legendary Biru campaign.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

The Katana tap handle was an effective tool for driving Sapporo in bars. Sales in bars that had the Katana tap handle design were 45% higher than bars which had Sapporo’s old tap handle.

We produced a limited first run of the tap handles to test response. Response was so strong the Sapporo sales team had to manage bar owners who were disappointed they didn’t receive the initial allotment and we ended up doing 3 additional product runs to meet demand.

Based on this success the Katana Tap Handle was picked up for use in the US in 2011.