Aardvark is a new brand creation by B&B studio for young entrepreneur Hugo Walters, encompassing brand positioning, creative strategy, naming, brand design and packaging. Described as a sustainable, vet approved insect-based pet food for cats and dogs, Aardvark will launch initially as a DTC brand, with a retail offer on the way.
Aardvark was created with the aim to help make pet ownership more sustainable. According to the company, pets eat an estimated 20% of the world’s meat. While 66% of millennials are increasingly turning to plant-based protein sources, they continue to feed meat to their pets – particularly cats, for whom a vegan diet is inappropriate. Insect protein is a sustainable and healthy solution to that problem – but it requires a shift in perception and a change of behaviour for consumers.
Put off by the bug-based puns and insect illustrations common to the design codes of emerging insect-protein products, B&B knew it had to create a compelling and desirable lifestyle brand in order to galvanise and educate consumers. While the name Aardvark, created by B&B, offers a knowing nod to the insect-protein source, it also sets the stage for a witty and characterful brand personality – vital for a contemporary DTC, digital-first brand. By shifting the emphasis from ingredient to mission – as the brand that helps pets protect the planet – Aardvark embodies revolutionary zeal and begins to build a community of pet- and planet-lovers.
The Aardvark identity is a simple but impactful combination of vibrant colour, linework illustration and a bold logotype. Playing on the pointed shape of pets’ ears, the logo makes the most of the double A at the beginning of Aardvark, creating a movable icon that can come to life in a host of applications off-pack.
A common trope of the pet food industry that B&B was keen to move past was the incorporation of human food cues. Aardvark’s initial range of ‘Crafted for Cats’ and ‘Developed for Dogs’ kibbles were specifically developed by leading veterinarians and nutritionists to deliver the essential proteins, nutrients, vitamins and minerals that a pet needs to thrive – not to appeal to our human desire for gourmet restaurant codes. As a result, packaging design takes a simple, functional approach, expressed through bold and recognisable brand colours and the ‘Sustainable Fuel for Planet-Friendly Pets’ descriptor. Characterful illustrations by Aron Leah of a cat and a dog interacting with the earth deliver clear variant coding, while reinforcing the brand’s overall mission with warmth and emotion.
Claudia Morris, Creative Director at B&B studio, says: “We’re a team of pet and planet lovers here at B&B, so it was a real privilege to work on this project and hopefully do our bit to help people reduce their environmental impact. Aardvark is all about building a community of engaged consumers, so we can’t wait to see the brand come to life across its social and digital platforms.”
Founder Hugo Walters says: “With the Aardvark name and brand identity, B&B has delivered the eye-catching impact and engaging personality our brand needs to get its vital message across to pet lovers. The launch of our kibbles means people are able to finally find food that meets all their pets’ nutritional needs while not compromising the very planet on which they run, fetch, pounce and play.”
Editor of Touchpoints magazine, writer for Packaging Europe magazine and design enthusiast!