Strategic design: Having fun with brand identity

Watched the movie “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” – TGMES – (The official title is “POM wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”) and answered a few questions.


Q1: Do you think the movie provides insight or detail into what drives product placement in entertainment? If so, what have you learned from that? If not, how would you change aspects of the movie to reflect insight on this?

A1: It certainly makes us aware that product placement is a crucial part of financing blockbuster movies. We learn that legal issues can be overwhelming and that you better seek (costly) legal advice as a movie maker. Companies different demands can influence the storyline and make scenes dumb and too obvious. I am a bit disappointed that the TGMES never put down an offer, but always accepted the demands set by the product owners.

Q2: What have you observed about presentations of visual strategies/brand identity?

A2: Pitching ideas both visually and verbally in a logical step-by-step presentation for an audience is crucial. It is not a guaranty that it will sell, but it most likely gives you a foothold for further dialogue. Situations where you only discuss ideas over a lunch without the aid of visuals and more of the client’s key members of the staff is more likely to fail.

Q3: Let’s consider this movie as a form of research. In other words, it was done to see what the effect of branded entertainment would be, a case study of sorts. What are your findings? What have you learned? What has changed your pre-conceived ideas? Do you think there’s relevance in this case study? How could you apply your observations in real life?

A3: It makes movies relevant to present time, and it is a perfectly viable way to finance a movie. There are commercials all around us all the time. It is and would be natural to also see them in a movie. And why not take paid and at the same time support the finances? (I never thought I would say this, but there you go). Research is important and we need to find brands that compliment the movie or at least does not stand in the way of a believable story and characters. I have learned that you need clever people working together to create good ideas, produce the tools and arrange meetings with clients. You cannot do this all by yourselves.

Q4: From the findings above (question 3) imagine that the international coffee brand, Starbucks, is your client. Give one complete strategy for a small activation campaign to advertise Starbucks on airplanes. Give one idea of how you would do this, by following the 5 steps of the work process. To guide you, follow the points below and do a write-up of your idea as well as the steps you followed:

Conduct research – you can visit the website as part of your research. Also think of quick research methods, such as surveys done with family and friends.

A4 – Conduct research:

  • How to convince people to buy a Starbucks-cup on an airplane (small tables, narrow places to put menu, logo and other details)
  • What variations should we sell (Americana, Latte, Tea etc?)
  • Ask friends and family what they would think of this and if it is a good thing.
  • What’s the cost? Free?

Clarify the strategy – Once you’ve conducted quick research, do a write-up of your findings and create your own brief.

  • Starbucks wants to extend their market and offer well-known beverages to travelers while seated on a plane.
  • Start marketing the possibilities long before boarding – on travel agencies and airplane companies.
  • Beverages can be served to anyone, not only coffee lovers, but also other beverages will be on the menu.
  • It should be free for travelers and be included in the ticket price.
  • Logo onboarding card
  • Flyer handed out when boarding (menu and info)

Design the identity – Here you do not need to go into lengthy design, but create sketches of your ideas and remember to think about the movie for inspiration.


Handing over a flyer with menu and info along with the boarding pass

Create touchpoints – As this is a focused campaign, you may have one touchpoint only; describe how you would activate your campaign using this touchpoint. If you need to, you may do sketches that would aid your communication.


Boarding Area showing Starbucks is served on board the flight

Manage the assets – As this is not a prolonged campaign, briefly describe how you would use the possible outcome of your campaign for future use. Also, state what your follow-up steps would be to strengthen your message. For example, you’ve done research and decided to give free vouchers along with every boarding pass handed out. How would you collect feedback from consumers or how would you communicate to them at the airport, on the flight, etc. to support your campaign?

  • Campaign is advertised on trolleys
  • Feedback from customers is best dealt with if they’re given something in return for their feedback i.e. a Starbucks card with a certain number of beverages.


On board airplane trolley advertising Starbucks when passengers are served.


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