Expressence — Capturing the brand essence of a city's peak cultural festival and expressing it through multiple channels.
Bleach Festival Annual Campaign
The backstory —
Since its inception in 2012, the Bleach* Festival has grown to become the Gold Coast’s largest arts and culture festival. We’re talking over 200,000 visitors and an economic impact of $25M in its first four years.
Impressive numbers, especially given that historically, the Gold Coast wasn’t exactly known for its cultural output. Excitingly, the festival gathers momentum each year, with a growing audience, higher calibre of artists and events along with an expansion of its reach across the city.
Where we come in —
We’ve been there right from the get-go, as Bleach’s* creative agency partner. Each year, we collaborate with the festival’s Artistic Director to discuss the upcoming program and vision for the next year.
And each year, one of our main challenges is to reimagine the look and feel of the festival to communicate its evolution as the city’s peak cultural event.
With such a diverse program of events, there is no single image that represents the breadth of the festival's offering. To creatively overcome this, we create a new overarching visual style each year that binds every piece of collateral, ensuring a cohesive and striking suite of work.
Production-wise, we need to be agile — our sponsorship has to be paired with the most pressing needs of the festival. The brand is expressed through 50,000 printed programs, around 60,000 website visits along with outdoor, digital and print media. As the festival has grown, so too has the capacity and functionality of the website — with that growth, also comes the need to ensure our approach and processes refine year-on-year.
How we came at it —
With the Commonwealth Games kicking-off on the Gold Coast, the vision for this year’s program was ‘invitation’ and ‘intimacy’. An invitation to visitors and locals to experience intimate cultural encounters during the festival and Games. Our response focussed on highlighting the artists behind the art. To bring this to life, in collaboration with Peter Thiedeke, portrait photography was taken with select artists while recording an intimate interview, published as a podcast series to help promote the Festival and artists months in advance. The portraits and paraphrased interviews were included in the printed program, a large format newspaper-zine, distributed as an insert within the Gold Coast’s primary newspaper.
A strong, simple and highly identifiable glyph was used as the device to promote the Festival along with a monochromatic treatment with a recognisable accent colour. The glyph represented the asterisk within the Bleach* Festival logo, with key event imagery featured within the glyph, acting as a ‘window on the arts and culture’ on offer at the Festival while building intrigue and suggesting a sense of intimacy. The creative approach lent itself to both digital and traditional mediums being expressed through print, outdoor, digital, video, podcast audio and editorial. The artist interviews also provided a source of content that could be re-purposed through print, web, podcast audio, video while offering a high level of share-ability.
How we did it —
Since its first year, the festival's branding has drawn compliments locally and nationally from stakeholders and savvy arts sector peers. Its success has seen the festival receive official endorsement to be part of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Cultural Program. Supported by a commitment of triennial funding from City of Gold Coast and Tourism and Events Queensland, Bleach* Festival's future looks bright indeed.
Why we do it?
Our partnership with the festival is based on our shared passion for arts and culture and creating engaging and captivating experiences that enrich people's lives. We also get a real kick out of knowing we're helping build the Gold Coast's cultural identity and creative industries.
"...they were immediately captivated and came back with an incredible vision that brought to life the strength and beauty of the works presented in this year's Festival program."