White Out by Faye Toogood

While wandering around the Milan furniture fair last week feeling a bit weary but as ever not wanting to miss out on anything, I suddenly found myself being drawn into a White circular tent within the MOST pavillon organized by Tom Dixon…..

Once Inside the tent this very calm and serene atmosphere immediately hit me, with soft seductive music playing in the background; a very welcoming relief from the crowds – just what I needed. We were invited to sit down – a perfect time to rest my tired feet, although I was not really sure what was happening …

We all seemed to be focused on this woman dressed from head to foot in white, wearing an amazing sculptured head piece, sitting on a white stage underneath a white sculptured tree playing with what looked like white clay. The stage seemed to be littered with little white clay models.

At the same time a couple of women appeared, yes…surprise…also dressed in white, walking towards us with trays of curious delights – white… of course! I could not quite work out what they were, but they were very nice – sweet. Then very shortly afterwards some more trays came out but this time we were presented with a ball of white clay, which we were invited to mould and shape into something. It took me back to my play-dough days. Tried to shape a little muffin out of it, although it came out more like a mushroom. Oh well… I could have sat there for ages. I certainly felt like all my senses were being explored  – but I think somehow that was deliberately intended. Anyway decided to leave and head on and as I was leaving this wonderful shelter of calmness I was handed a pot of Nivea cream –  aha….!   Very white.. and very pasty!

This seems to be a new way of branding. You get the consumers to interact in a much more subtle and lateral way with your product. And we all know that the more we evoke our senses and interact with a product the more a brand gets stuck in our heads.

Sounds easy and logical I know, but I am not sure this wonderful branding experience would have been possible without the mastermind of Studio Toogood (http://www.studiotoogood.com/). Chapeau to Faye Toogood, you are definitely one of people I’d like to interview this year. And well done to the Nivea Mktg Manager, he/she must have had a strong vision and courage to let the Studio Toogood go a bit wild with this project. And this is also the best recipe for the most successful projects: the more you unleash your designer the more you will get from your project.