2015 Makeover Challenge Reveal: Porchlight



“Porchlight really listened to the brand presentation,” Andrea Alasi, a product specialist in TELUS’ product marketing department and the company’s lead for this year’s Makeover Challenge brand, remarks. “And they were the friendliest. Out of the four, I would say that we built the best business relationship with Porchlight.”

Alasi says the business relationship between TELUS and Porchlight was so collaborative that the design firm might have stumbled upon TELUS’ next marketing direction. “I’m not sure if they did this consciously or not,” Alasi says, “but the second concept, the one that’s supposed to be the stretch concept, used images of people. We just started to use people in our marketing campaigns. Prior to Christmas time, it was always critters never people.”


The stretch concept

“This concept speaks to me the most because it is a personal connection to another person’s lifestyle,” Lynnette Pope, senior art director at Porchlight and the designer behind both of Porchlight’s concepts, says. “The billboarding on the front of each package is just a really good way to talk directly to the consumer.”

The use of black-and-white photography of a variety of target consumers would enable the brand to hit multiple areas of its target demographic without having to choose a visual style that would appeal more to one age group versus the other. The packaging could even be digitally printed to enable even more variety in the photography.

This, Pope says, is especially important when you are reaching out to the older cell phone users. “If my mom saw the package with the older person on it, I’m pretty sure she would pick that phone in a heartbeat because the package visually tells her that she will be able to use it. TELUS was great about sharing the demographics of people who buy its prepaid phones, and I said, ‘Let’s use this data to our advantage.’ So we immediately started looking at different types of photography and different use scenes.”

The agency chose to use black-and-white photography versus color for two reasons: 1) it kept the phone the hero with its full color vinyl cling and 2) the photography had such a clean look that it functioned as white space, keeping with TELUS’ branding layout requirements of creating designs as simplified as possible.


“What I like about the way we approach things is that it’s not about choose design number one or number two,” Greg Corey, founder of Porchlight, says. “It’s about, which problems do you want to solve. Which concepts solve the problem that you feel you have the most? For this project, each concept solves a couple of problems for TELUS but they ultimately have to decide which one is the bigger issue for them. We design to make the client happy and solve the client’s issues and their problems.

“So I think the real challenge of this project, to be quite honest, is to listen to the client and give them what they ask for,” he adds. “So we really examined, tried to find the problems with their packaging, and it led to structure. That wasn’t easy. We see a lot of companies that need a lot of help. But TELUS didn’t need a lot of help. They’re pretty buttoned up.” The agency instead had to find specific answers to targeted problems that might not be immediately evident.


The closer-in concept

The stretch concept was designed to help TELUS boost sales or address any underlying sales problems for the device. But the closer-in concept was created to address cost and environmental issues.

“Here, we saw the problem as primarily structural not visual,” Corey says. “When we opened the current packaging and pulled the phone out, all the contents just spilled out. The charger just dropped on the floor, two coupons from Microsoft floated down, and the booklet was kind of loose. We set about to create a solution that wasn’t a separate clamshell for each device, because we know that would cause inventory problems and things of that nature.”

The answer came in a ridged stadium tray that would enable phones of multiple sizes to fit easily in the package. For the outer package, Porchlight recommended a dual-peg blistercard that would have a stronger environmental profile than a traditional clamshell package, would billboard well and stay steady on a pegboard, and pull the phone’s presence, literally, forward.


Porchlight then cleaned up the message hierarchy. “We realized that the logo on the current packaging didn’t have a lot of weight,” Corey recalls. “Even though they asked for a lot of white space, the current packaging had every corner filled. Lynnette did a brilliant job of giving the logo its own area to live in and not crowding it with a bunch of stuff. The result is that the messaging is a lot cleaner and easier to read even though we didn’t change their copy. It’s the exact same copy!”

Pope adds, “We also cleaned up the icons slightly and moved them to the bottom of the front panel. My thinking was that most prepaid phones are peg-locked where you can’t take the phone package off the pegs. Moving the icons lower would make them easier to read.” 




You can cast your vote now for Porchlight’s concepts at www.packagedesignmag.com/makeoverchallenge, or in person, September 28-30, at
the Package Design booth (#S-6418) at Pack Expo Las Vegas. The agency with the most votes wins the challenge and will be featured in the November/December 2015 issue.

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