Blog : Branding

Now, this is a sign!

Now, this is a sign!

The house over the road from me is being renovated. It’s happening everywhere at the moment, so there are site boards up and down our street. But none of them are like this one.

This one is beautiful – and I think it demonstrates that Stevens + Waters (whoever they may be!) know what they’re doing.

First, the design. The simplicity is what strikes you. It’s so pared back that it has twice as much presence as it otherwise would.

The font is beautiful: very straightforward, but not “off the shelf”…nicely spaced. Futura? Neutra? Not sure.

The logo is perfect.

The “air” around it makes it look so confident.

….and the detail; my photograph probably doesn’t show it, but the letters and the logo aren’t just printed, they’re die cut, with a backing board to hold those elements (“counters”) that need it.

All of which suggests an appreciation of design and quality that are – no coincidence – relevant to their industry.

But there’s something more going on here, I think.

The simplicity that makes the design work so well is achieved by the fact that there are no contact details: no phone number, no web address. Interesting.

This suggests two things to me: one possibility is that Stevens + Waters have realistic expectations for the amount of work they’ll attract from a site board. It could be that all of their work comes from relationships with architects.

(Something similar happens in my business: we get emails every week from SEO “experts” advising us that our website doesn’t rank on Google. If it’s a polite note, I’ll reply that we actually do a lot of SEO work for our clients. A lot. Our business, though, doesn’t benefit from a “page one ranking”. Marketers don’t look for advertising agencies that way. Ours certainly don’t. All of our new clients come from prior relationships or recommendations.)

The other possibility is that someone at Stevens + Waters – or at their design agency – understands how search works these days. We don’t type urls into search bars any more, we just type in the name. Simple.

Whatever the reasoning, it’s a great result, and hopefully a sign (sorry) of things to come.

Bravo Stevens + Waters!

New York Bakery

New York Bakery

We’re not sure if it’s a great ad for NY Bakery, but it’s a great ad for New York!
Take us there – right now!

Nike Hates Screens

Nike Hates Screens

We missed this one, but it’s so right on so many levels.
It taps into a big, big truth.
It cuts through because it’s sooooo simple…
It takes a position, and is inspiring as a result.
It cost almost nothing (apart from the exhorbitant fee Nike payed their agency – which was worth it.)
And (P.S.) the execution is perfect: audio, edit….brilliant.

Quintessential Australian coastline… In the CBD.

Quintessential Australian coastline… In the CBD.

For the past five years, our client Dulux has been partnering with Surf Life Saving Australia.

The alignment has seen teams of painters and communities across Australia set out to paint every surf life saving club in the country with its long-lasting and weather resistant exterior paint, Dulux Weathershield.

Australia’s surf life saving clubs are exposed to some of the harshest weather conditions, from storms and saltwater to searing sunshine. Weathershield’s ability to withstand these elements is testament to the products’ toughness and durability. Not to mention Australia’s surf life saving clubs are highly deserving of a little TLC.

As part of the campaign, Dulux recently partnered with Apparition Media, to paint a 28.5m long mural at Melbourne Central in Melbourne’s CBD. HBT suggested the mural highlight the extreme weather both Australia’s surf life saving clubs, and Dulux’s Weathershield paint, face on a daily basis.

We think the results speak for themselves.




Head to Melbourne Central before Sunday 6 March to see some quintessential Australian coastline, without having to leave the city.

Cabot’s kicks off decking season

Cabot’s kicks off decking season

Cabots New Season Campaign 5

The footy season may be over, but the decking season is just starting. When HBT created a TVC for Cabot’s, Australia’s leader in timber coatings, particularly decking products, the end of the footy season was the perfect time to kick off an awareness campaign.

The ‘decking season’ starts when the football season finishes and consumers – mostly men – tend to get off the couch and think about the garden, specifically the deck.

Dennis Cometti and Matt Richardson were bought on board to commentate Cabot’s talent coating the deck, as if it was a passage of play in a football game, complete with siren and the roar of the crowd.

“When Cabot’s told us they were thinking about placing a message in the Grand Final, it made perfect sense”, said HBT’s Managing Director David Hayes. “The key to it all was the opening graphic – ‘The footy season’s over. The decking season’s just beginning.’ After that, the idea almost wrote itself. It’s turned into something much bigger than we expected – a celebration of decking and Cabot’s. Plus, it doesn’t take itself seriously, which is a central plank of the Cabot’s positioning.”

The ‘New Season’ campaign first aired on 11 September during the Friday night preliminary round, and has continued to air during subsequent games. It has also been broadcast during episodes of Talking Footy and Game Day, broadcast at quarter time of the Grand Final and played on the screens at the MCG to an estimated crowd of 100,000 attendees.

Read all about the TVC in Campaign Brief.


Unique fingerprint inspires winning app design

Unique fingerprint inspires winning app design


Did you know wood possesses qualities that are almost as unique as fingerprints? It was this insight that led HBT to create an app which received two awards in the Design 100 2015 App Design Awards, announced this week.

Australia’s most innovative woodcare brand, Intergrain, tasked HBT with creating an app that catered to both the design professional and the DIY ace, by taking the guesswork out of timber related projects.

To bring this to life, we collaborated with our digital team to create innovative Visualiser technology, which is a key factor to why the Intergrain Timber Finishes app is so different to anything else on the market.

The technology allows users to preview how a finish will appear on any timber surface – before even starting a project, completely revolutionising the whole selection process.Not dissimilar to choosing a paint colour, people have a finish and a look in mind before they start a project. But unlike paint, there are endless possibilities and variances involved in timber products, which determine what the final end result will look like.

The Intergrain Timber Finishes app takes all these factors into consideration to deliver an incredibly accurate visual – whether interior or exterior, clears, stains or oils – the user will feel confident that they’ll be able to achieve their desired look.

Read more about this award-winning app here.

All new campaign for a2 Milk Company!

All new campaign for a2 Milk Company!

Our new campaign has just broken. The TV’s on air, outdoor’s up shortly.

We’re proud as punch.

Read all about it – in Campaign Brief!

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 12.43.54 pm

The a2 Milk Company (A2MCA) has stormed the dairy category over the last seven years, defying the ‘milk wars’, growing to almost 10% value share of the white milk category in grocery.

The a2 Milk Company’s Melbourne creative agency, HBT has previously used ‘branded testimonials’ to help build the a2 Milk business, but the time has now come to tell a bigger story with the launch of its new campaign ‘Believe in Better’.

Says Peter Nathan, CEO, A2MCA: “a2 Milk has reached a new stage in its development. HBT’s testimonials have played a big role in getting us to where we are now. Importantly, they helped us to show why we are different to every other milk brand, which is core to our positioning. The next stage in our brand journey is to build on that momentum by enhancing our emotional appeal but continuing to communicate our key point of difference to consumers.

“What we were determined to do was to keep a2 Milk looking different to other milk brands as it has a very different brand story to its competitors.”

The TV spots, outdoor and digital activity that form A2MCA’s new campaign will show the integrity and values of a2 Milk through the lives and values of people, while also communicating the unique features and benefits of the brand. It will also introduce The a2 Milk Company for the first time – the corporate brand and a new strategic step in the development of the business.

Says Nathan: “a2 Milk is the only brand of milk that contains only the A2 type of beta casein protein and no A1 protein. It is a better milk with tangible benefits for many people. More and more people are discovering that they feel better when they switch to a2 Milk because it is totally natural and is the way milk is meant to be. This led us to our new positioning line, ‘Believe In Better’. Millions of people are founded in this belief now, and that’s a big story.”

The TVC will air on Sunday 20 September.

Agency HBT

David Hayes, Michael Berry, Sheridan Devereux and Joanna Raine.

Director: Mick Connelly

Producer: Jackie Adler

Editor and VFX: David Barrett / Famous by Tuesday

Audio: Bang Bang Studios