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Getting To Know: John-Paul Doyle, Senior Creative Director At Anthem Worldwide
Posted on 02.14.12
Anthem Worldwide, one of Schawk’s brand development groups, recently added John-Paul Doyle as a Senior Creative Director in its New York office. John-Paul had barely set up his e-mail before we peppered him with questions about branding and design, and he obliged us with some terrific answers on luxury brands, new markets, sustainable packaging and more.
Q. You’re experienced in marketing luxury brands. What have luxury brands learned from the past few years, and what can non-luxury brands learn from how luxury brands have remained successful?
A. Most luxury brands come laden with a rich heritage and a storied past that goes a long way to drive the message of high quality and prestige. However the most successful of these are those that create compelling experiences for consumers that ensure the brand's relevance today and tomorrow. This can range from an irreverent tweaking of the brand's personality through packaging (Warhol Dom Perignon for example) to large scale, engaging activation programs such as Pernod Ricard's Absolut Blank campaign. What the mass market can learn from this is that the product is merely one part of the overall experience, and that being bold and taking risks with your brand's image can engage your consumer in new and surprising ways.
Q. What are the most fascinating aspects of translating visual brand identity to new markets worldwide? What elements are surprisingly durable and what require the most careful tweaking?
A. Language aside, the way a brand behaves at a global level is the most crucial unifying factor it can bring to bear on any given local market. For example consistent, universal messaging and attitude has allowed the Dove brand to adjust its visual identity in certain markets (primarily Asian ones) while retaining its monolithic brand personality. Local considerations in terms of imagery, color and semiotics can be more readily tackled as long as the overarching message remains constant.
Q. What are you telling your clients today about sustainable packaging? There’s the cost/cost-savings question, the brand-identity question and the matter of evolving regulations, for starters, right?
A. Interestingly we're hearing more and more from consumers in our own research that this is a significant consideration in terms of purchase intent. In the last decade consumers have become much more keenly aware of the impact of packaging on our environment and are resistant to what they perceive as "overpackaging," at least in the mass CPG space. The challenge here is for us and our clients to acknowledge these concerns while still striving to create new and engaging experiences for consumers at shelf and in the home through aesthetics and functionality. The onus is on us as designers and innovators to bring new thinking in terms of materials and challenges to accepted product rituals (e.g. refilling, repurposing) to the table for our clients, whether they demand it or not.
Q. Which brands do you admire today, and why?
A. The manner in which Audi has managed not only to regain its stature as a brand of innovative luxury but outstrip BMW and Mercedes in the depth and breadth of its innovation – and communication thereof – is breathtaking. As a brand, Audi began to lose much of its status in the late eighties/early nineties and veered dangerously close to becoming irrelevant. However by refocusing on the brand essence – technology – and by coupling it with beautiful, iconic design, Audi has managed to play credibly in almost every class in its category.
Q. Tell us one thing about yourself that might surprise people. Are you a licensed pilot? Do you collect 1970s lunch boxes?
A. I can do a spot-on Darth Vader impersonation if I have a large cooking pot handy.
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Schawk provides brand development and brand deployment services and technologies to top brands worldwide. This blog is where our thoughts on the branded world can interact with yours.