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I.W. Harper: Exquisite Harmony

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There are over 700 Kentucky Bourbon labels in the US alone, which means the barrier to new audience discovery is extremely high. With a 150-year legacy, I.W. Harper had all the right taste and quality credentials but was in need of a complete brand refresh to remain relevant and competitive within the space. To launch their newest label, Cabernet Cask Reserve, it was imperative for I.W. Harper to establish a new brand world in the digital landscape that spoke to today’s audiences while leveraging their deep bourbon-making credentials.

“Our strategy was to reinvigorate the brand and use the momentum of the Cabernet Cask “Exquisite Harmony” campaign to drive awareness and growth overall,” says Samantha Edwards, Chief Creative Officer at The Charles Group. “All our audience insights pointed to “hustle culture” – but we knew that “hustle culture” and the “girl boss” approach to work and life are almost antiquated now…We wanted to make sure we were communicating the value of time more intentionally and asking our audience to do the same. This campaign is all about the harmony between work and life, creativity and commerce, style and authenticity, modernity and nostalgia. It’s about the craft of the liquid  —  the innovation of bourbon finished in cabernet casks while celebrating the 150-year-old I.W. Harper legacy.”

The Charles revamped the existing I.W. Harper brand identity and developed a digital-first style guide that could be rolled out across all digital touchpoints. For the campaign launch, The Charles created a comprehensive content strategy and messaging framework, as well as the art direction and production of all visuals. 

“We led with a “Social First” launch, designed to create impact and awareness with our campaign visuals. We used in-platform native features to drive engagement, eye-catching motion, and coordinated posts with the I.W. Harper influencer network,” says Art Director Erick Holmquist. “Our goal was to ensure our content was ownable strategically designed and placed to boost engagement long after launch.”

In an oversaturated market, The Charles’s objectives meant I.W. Harper has a clear definition of who they are, what they’re about, and why they matter. The website redesign is set to launch in Q4 2022  with the new brand aesthetic, streamlined content, and improved user experience.