UGG’s frozen in time splashes paid homage to their newest product collection
The end goal of any project is, of course, important, especially when it comes to visual merchandising. But, what goes on behind the scenes is just as significant as the result and can have a huge impact on the execution of the concept.
UGG is an international brand that has smashed its way into the footwear and apparel industry with its iconic sheepskin boots. The launch of their new product collection was the purpose of their Splash campaign for Autumn 2020.
After meeting the UGG team at Euroshop in February 2020, we started our collaboration and went about developing the brand’s global campaigns, which consist of 4-6 projects yearly.
The creative brief
UGG approached us with the creative brief to support their newest product launch. The boots featured a waterproof coating, and this is where the inspiration behind the window display came from.
The boots were to be displayed on transparent circular stands in bright neon colours. Against these stands, the client wanted striking, but realistic-looking, water splashes that looked frozen in time. This was to fully complement and emphasise the waterproof aspect of the product.
The splashes also needed to have a small amount of colour opulence to match the envisioned circular stands and fit snugly against the stand to look like one complete unit.
Frozen water splashes that were stingingly realistic.
The challenge with this project was to achieve the frozen expression of a water splash. The splashes needed to look completely solid, rigid, and frozen, but still have a realistic appearance of fluid liquid.
The idea of frozen water splashes was inspired by the boots hitting a pool of water, caught in the moment where the water splashed up and around the boots. So, the final appearance of the elements needed to look like a real water splash, frozen in time, created out of durable and appropriate material.
Hand-crafted moulds for a truly organic splash
With this brief in mind, we got started on bringing these frozen splashes to life. Since the client’s brief did not contain any technical details, we analysed how to get the most realistic look for the splashes. We conducted a series of experiments, video documented, to capture the splash created right after an object hits the surface of a pool of water.
Based on the frame-by-frame study of the experiments, we engineered 3D renderings for the elements to distinguish the overall organic, frozen, and textured appearance. Based on these, we drafted a set of technical drawings, complete with accurate dimensions, for UGG ́s approval.
During this technical development phase, we explored different types of materials that would be the most suited for the splashes, to achieve the final illusion. The material needed to convey the correct rigid expression of the frozen water but allow for the textured surface. Different plastic materials were explored, but in the end, resin proved to be the most suitable material as it was most flexible and provided the most realistic, frozen effect for the splashes.
Once the technical drawings were formed, we worked with a sculpturer to create the shape and outline of the splashes. The form of the splashes was modelled out of clay, where we could play around with the silhouette of the element to refine the shape further.
For the splashes to fit snugly against the tube-shaped stand, a model was created from clay and metal wire mesh to create a mould. The curvature of the splashes was then created from a cast to be placed perfectly against the acrylic tube, where the boots were to be placed.
To decide on the final shape of the water splashes, we developed several prototypes so that UGG could see an accurate idea of the element and make any decisions and adjustments before mass production.
Already, during this process, packaging was taken into the equation to find the optimal solution, which also occupied the least amount of volume to save on distribution costs.
Ice cold colours and glacial gradients
The next obstacle for the splashes was the coloured effects. For this specific campaign, we created the splashes in a light blue colour for UGG’s US stores, and neon yellow, pink, and blue for the Japanese stores. The goal was to achieve colourful splashes with just the right amount of gradient colour to give a striking look for the window display.
The colour was added to the resin after moulding. The gradient effect was achieved by lowering the finished moulded resin into a bath of reactive dying fluid. The elements were lowered to the point where the gradient effect should start, and then over many hours, gradually sunk into the fluid. By doing so, the resin absorbs colour relative to the time it has been into the bath. The final result is a very organic gradient effect.
Global distribution to different markets
Since we worked with UGG globally for both US and Japan campaigns, UGG chose to let us do the distribution directly to the different markets. As UGG decided for the campaign to be distributed by air, all 3D elements were packed by store, suitable for air transport.
To create the safest transportation by air of the items, we created custom packaging. A custom- sized honeycomb box was created, with reinstated corners to give the most protection against any harsh handling. We also wrapped the inside and outside of acrylic tube stands in foam to protect against any scratches.
We placed the splash elements inside the tubes to give the most efficient packaging, to save volume, transport costs, and minimum environmental impact. Within the box, the tubes were surrounded by custom cut EPA foam that was made specifically for this project. We also prepared all the paperwork, documentation, and custom codes for easy and quick customs clearance.
Easy and effortless assembly with our instruction video
Easy and effortless installation on-site in the stores is a keystone in all we do. Our solutions should always be possible for the store staff to install, without hiring an external, expensive contractor to perform the installation.
Each project we work on is completely customised, so we always include detailed assembly instructions. UGG was no different. The stands and splashes were relatively simple to put together and were easily fastened together with clear acrylic screws.
Instead of paper assembly instructions, we decided with our client that a detailed instructional video was the most appropriate.
The simple assembly combined with the accurate craftsmanship of the items resulted in a quick and easy 3D element and stand that could be put together within a matter of minutes without the need for an external contractor or installation experience.
Striking splashes that were frozen in time
The result was a striking campaign that truly emphasised the brand’s main message. The water splashes looked completely frozen and rigid, with a realistic texture of frozen streaming water. The colours were bright and eye-catching and displayed the product as the customer had imagined.
In total, we created and delivered these customised 3D splashes and stands within 3 months, from initial enquiry to result.
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