Voortrekker, a gin is born
A comprehensive project for creating a concept, a naming and a visual identity for a new gin produced in Holland, with a super-premium target positioning and a desire to export.
This first Lateral Branding project for a high alcohol content drink came to us with great conceptual and creative freedom. In a highly active European market with a boom in gin and tonic and the culture of mixers, a new gin was to be launched with only two determining factors. The first, the fact that product comes from Holland and the second, the aim of a super-premium positioning. At the outset, we had to identify a powerful and attractive concept on which to build the whole: reeling off a story reflected in a name and a visual identity capable of arousing the image potential this market demands.
DISCOVERING THE HISTORY
The first surprise was the discovery that, against common belief, it was the Dutch and not the English who invented gin in the 17th century. The rivalry between the two was a constant in a world that was global for the first time and in which a clear winner was forged - the future British Empire. Throughout the 19th century, there were several episodes of disagreement. One of the first, and one which was very well known, was staged by the Boers, Dutch colonists in South Africa who, leaving behind the control on the coast of the newly-arrived British, fled to take their chances in the unknown land of the Southern Cone of Africa. Their epic feat, the so-called “Great Trek”, led them to be known as the "voortrekkers", a word which means “those who go forward” or “those who go in front”. They were identified by their own flag, an X-shaped cross. Unfortunately for them, there was always an Englishman in the rearguard to appropriate their lands, as they had done previously with their gin.
The case is that once a valid conceptual key with potential has been identified, everything that must be developed thereafter usually arrives as a logical and coherent succession of decisions that seem somewhat less than obvious. By the same rationale, rather than under this heading, the explanation of the Voortrekker packaging is found in the “Strategy”, which expounds the concept of strategic creativity that originates it.
For this case, the initial research led us to the history and the concept. This in turn led us to the naming "Voortrekker" and through that, to an authentic and powerful symbology which we had to use on the packaging, such as the X-shaped cross or the orange colour. All the pieces fitted perfectly. Orange, as the colour associated with the Dutch origin and as the botanical element typical of the recovered South African formula, was a heritage to capitalise on. The natural orangey reflections of Voortrekker gin set it apart through the transparency of the chosen bottle. A stylised bottle that permits a large vertical screen-print with the name of these pioneers on the cross of their flag, creating a simple, powerful and memorable identification for the brand.