Guest Blog: GUTS – Campaign 2012

The battle to a concept
The concepting process for the GUTS campaign started at HAWSE back in June. We brainstormed many broad ideas, but I kept coming back to what the core of the event is – one pumpkin competing against another for the win. We went through archives of fight memorabilia and loved the qualities of the vintage boxing match posters. From that, we ended up deciding to explore the concept of a fight, aptly named “pumpkin vs pumpkin”.

Take it back : the GUTS of the brand
We wanted the concept to have a strong tie to the GUTS brand by keeping in mind signature elements that past GUTS pieces are known for – silkscreening, simple yet bold design, heavy on illustration with no photography, predominance of orange with a secondary accent color. At the same time, we wanted to push things forward this year.

We take a true campaign approach to designing the materials and there is a strong eye on ensuring that the pieces maintain a tight consistency across the group.The items in the set include the save the date, event poster, event invitation, event t-shirt, web site, direct e-mail marketing campaign, and signage on- site. Additionally, there is the design of the gift packs that go to the kids at Levine Children’s Hospital.

We started on the design of the event poster first, as it’s the cornerstone of the campaign each year, and would drive the design of the other pieces we needed. We considered about 5 layouts of the posters and – although it drives everyone absolutely crazy when clients do this – ended up choosing elements we liked from each and combining them into a single poster concept.

The final posters — after what seemed to the designers like 100 rounds of tweaks! – were screenprinted in good hands by the folks down at the Half and Half in Columbia, SC.

Your ticket to ringside
From there it was time to take a step back to sending the save the date, and the event invitation…and then move forward to the web site design and email marketing.

For the save the date, we kept it simple. We wanted to reveal just enough of the flavor of the new campaign without giving away too much of what was to come. We took the approach of clean white paper being physically “punched” to reveal the event graphics underneath.

We really wanted to make a splash with the invitation. We thought silkscreened event tickets that harken back again to the vintage boxing event graphics was a natural fit, but couldn’t figure out how to make this idea original. We loved the “4th annual” graphic you saw above with the knife going through it. That sparked the idea to remove the knife from the graphic on the ticket itself, and instead “stab” the tickets into the pumpkin with real knife, which really took things to the next level.

These were a lot of fun to drop off. We got a lot laughs, a few hard stares, and even a few of the corporate in-house agency lobbies shut us down completely from entering!

The ones with the real GUTS
The name “GUTS” is two-fold: of course the concept of carving the pumpkin, and then the reference to the kids at Levine Children’s Hospital, who undergo so much at such young ages.

Since the kids aren’t able to be at the event, we bring a little bit of GUTS to them when we deliver to each child a GUTS gift pack the following week.

This year we created the gift packs to consist of a kid’s t-shirt and a button pack with fun references to the GUTS theme. The buttons say things like “Champ”, Knockout”, and “No. 1”. Graphically speaking, we loved the tie-in of the round buttons to the circle “I’ve got GUTS” graphic on the front of the shirt.

Championship • carving • showdown!
GUTS is next Thursday, October 25th, at the NC Music Factory in Charlotte. Furious pumpkin carving action starts at 4 pm. A silent auction will follow where the pumpkins will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the cause.

GUTS t-shirts, posters, and button packs will be on sale at the event (in addition to being included in the carver’s entry fees). Gift packs for the kids at Levine Children’s Hospital can be purchased at the event, or now.

The event is free — so if you’re not carving, then come watch! There will be music, drinks served by Butter, a live streaming photo booth, and of course, an “I’ve got GUTS” kids’ zone, where kids will be making puppets for themselves and for kids in the hospital, sponsored by AIGA!


About our guest blogger: Bree Basham is the creative director at HAWSE. She has almost 15 years experience in branding and brand strategy. She spent a few years working – and playing – in New York and LA, and is happy to be settled in her hometown of Charlotte. She oversees the creative team at HAWSE and keeps up the high standards they set for their design work, with an end goal of great pieces and happy clients.


By aigacharlotte
Published October 19, 2012