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AdAgency Dead As We Know It & The Kraken

New York, USA, Advertising Agency ‘Dead As We Know It’, devised an impressionable, integrated communication campaign for the launch of a Black Spiced Rum from the Caribbean in 2010.

The agency’s inspirational creative team brought a legendary monster and his black ink, known in Norwegian folklore as ‘The KRAKEN’, to indelible life globally, which is no mean feat in a highly competitive international market dominated by long-established alcohol brands.

Twelve years later, my admiration for this meticulously planned campaign with its compelling graphics, painstakingly crafted brand identity, and engaging wordsmith storytelling, continues to burn brightly as never before, hence this celebratory, part-reprise, of a previous post.   

‘The Kraken, the most fearsome of all sea monsters, lives up to 3,000 feet below the ocean surface. This dreaded behemoth has been known to attack ships, dragging god-fearing seamen to their deaths’.

‘The largest shipment of Caribbean Black Spiced Rum was reportedly brought down by the Kraken. The rum was named thusly, as to being as dark, strong and mysterious as the ink of the beast’.

What I particularly admire is the integration of holistic design. The ‘retro’ monochromatic brand identity graphics and labelling, start with the distinctive design of the container inspired by the shape of a victorian rum bottle. 

The packaging forms part and parcel of a planed communication concept of visual identity that is central to the brand construct in all integrated media. 

Advertising Agency: Dead As We Know It, New York, USA

Executive Creative Director: Mikal Reich

Graphic Designers/Creative Directors: Charmaine Choi and Andrew W. Kay

Copywriters: Ella Wilson and Jesse Adelman

Illustrators: Steve Nobel and Ariane Irle

Voice-over Artist: Actor Paul Bellantoni

VFX & Animation Production Company: Blur Studio, Culver City, California, USA

Film Director: Tim Miller

Brand and Packaging Design Agency: Stranger & Stranger, New York, USA

1. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, The Bottle, The Legend, The Rum

2. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Existence

3. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Chapter 1. Anatomy

4. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Chapter 2. Ink

5. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Chapter 3. Myth

6. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Survival App

7. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, The Twelve Days of Krakmas