Communication & brand direction for a burger restaurant

Our plan to bring storytelling and character development to a fast food business:

Trey is a local Iasi, Romania start-up that focuses on automized gourmet burgers.

When we started talking with the team at Trey we had already a few pieces set, but the overall brand was missing an overall story, mouthpiece and voice to it.

They had a unique futuristic location design, with giant screens that played on loop animations of their “eyes”.

The challenge in the brief presented to us was to better engage the 16–25 demographic as well as transmitting the personality and contouring the identity of Trey, both as a character and brand.

With the character of Trey (a robot/AI) already set, but not necessarily communicated or used as the main communicator of the brand, we started to build the following concept;

As with most projects we started by analyzing and talking with people that fit the desired demographic for the brand and products. After we centralized the insights we moved into contouring a mood board.

As you can tell from the visual direction, in order to stand out, follow the current brand elements we had and also be culturally relevant we decided to focus on a retro-wave aesthetic. Trey, being a “young” A.I. would be fascinated with the 80s era and all things arcade. This was our starting point.

With the clear visual direction and list of visual assets needed, we started with a product photo shoot with the help of Alexandru Saru.

An important aspect of our strategy was to have the products themselves be recognizable brands and highlighted. Thus keeping in line with our direction and aesthetics we set out to make individual logos and “poster like” visual that would be displayed on the big screens in the locations as well as online and in the OOH display channels.

The burgers had to each have a “poster like” presentation, not only to highlight the options to have a menu, but more to make them be the key focal points in attracting curious traffic that the locations had in the Food Court areas.

with emotions:

The location menu was comprised of 4 big displays set in 2 rows. The first set of 2 displays where used to house the Trey character eyes and for him to “talk” through messages.

The final menu was split into two categories showcasing each type of meat, and we also kept 2 sections of the displays as animated areas in order to have triggers and info points of reference.

The final menu also took into account time,date and weather triggers for the video playlists arrangement and display order.

The video sections highlighted deals, special menus, hourly offers, new products or product extras. Here is one example for the coffee trigger:

Also an example for the non-meat burger options:

For the locations the discussions about a Self Ordering Kiosk were at an early stage, but we also came up with the proposal of having an on location arcade game, that could contribute to the idea as well as be more of an incentive for clients that could play with the purchase order code.

For locations, digital media and OOH

Sadly reality isn’t as you plan it out to be, during this process the pandemic started and the food sector (especially the food court locations) took a big hit and the project was stopped and all design, implementation and marketing was taken in-house by the client.

However now 6 month later, we are happy to see that most of the ideas, layouts and proposals are still used or adapted to a certain extent.

Also the retro-wave style seems to be now more present with other brands visuals, especially the ones that target the 16–25 age demographic, proving that our due diligence insight gathering was on point as well.

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