Earlier this week, we were invited to attend a review of this year’s design activity at ASDA, along with our fellow agencies on the ASDA design roster. Each agency was invited to present what they considered to be their best work of the year.
These occasions are always interesting for a variety of, often conflicting, reasons. It’s fascinating to see how one’s competitors are performing, how they approach projects and problems, and the criteria they apply when judging their own work. (I use the term “competitor” with some caution – these occasions are principally about sharing experiences and pooling knowledge, for the greater good of the client, and a sense of shared purpose is clearly de rigueur. However, it’s impossible not to experience some degree of chauvinism. – If you don’t start off with the belief that your work is always better than everyone else’s, you’re in the wrong job.)
In truth, the quality of creative work on show was excellent, and the process of sharing and comparing was genuinely enlightening.
Above all, I couldn’t help but observe the extent to which own label design has changed since we first started working for ASDA some 20 years ago, when most briefs could be summarised as “get as close to the brand as possible without getting us sued”.
In sharp contrast, each of the ASDA agencies presented a series of well thought-out, beautifully crafted designs that displayed the product and product benefits to best advantage, reflected its relative position on the private label hierarchy, and, above all, reflected the ASDA brand with pride and confidence.
By the end of the afternoon, it was impossible not to be impressed by the scope and quality of work on display. We definitely left feeling that the bar has been set high for 2020. We also left with an award for producing ASDA’s favourite design for our work on the George Home Glassware range – which was nice!