How a tardigrade became our ambassador.
After all, the visual appearance of a brand is only the tip of the iceberg. We want to do more than just please. We want to convey our values and show who we are, what we do and how we do it. Our spacesuits, as much as we like them, unfortunately hide the personality of the astronauts in them. And that’s why we started looking for a suitable ambassador who would support our communication in a humorous and catchy way.
What should it be?
Obvious characters, who can be associated with us in any way, are of course many. Robots, aliens, personalized screens: if the story is well told, almost anything can be enlivened as ambassadors. The thought of finding something that naturally has certain properties that suit us was even more appealing. In a relaxed lunchtime session, we once came across tardigrade, aka water bears, aka tardigrades. Half of those present had never heard of these little creatures before. Initial research showed a rather bizarre little creature that is not particularly attractive due to its visual appearance. The initial skepticism soon gave way to a genuine fascination with a widespread living being, whose properties are remarkable in many ways (as can be seen in this entertaining short film, among others).
Whatever you think about these animals, they are definitely one thing: unusual, specialized and extremely adaptable. Qualities that we believe are an excellent fit for us and that match our vision of a suitable ambassador. And the fact that there were supposedly attempts in which tardigrade even survived the vacuum in space in their cryptobiotic state only played into our hands for storytelling, of course. With that the “what” was set.
Cute or ugly? Unique, by all means…
Initial appearance at christmas
Of course, our tardigrade also had to be given a name, a personality and a visual appearance and introduced. It was important to us to define only as much as necessary. Since we cannot yet foresee exactly when, in what form and for what purpose our ambassador will be deployed, a certain amount of leeway had to be left. Our annual Christmas mailing was a great way to establish initial contact between our audience and the ambassador. The idea for this year’s Christmas present (who would have thought it?) Came from the extraordinary circumstances of the corona pandemic. After many rejected ideas (not original enough, too elaborate, not surprising enough, blows the budget by far, etc.) we came up with the idea of self-designed toilet paper. We have all been confronted with the hamster shopping phenomenon in one way or another over the past year, and not just toilet paper. But this offered us an opportunity to connect or at least initiate the current situation in a humorous way with our revised appearance and our newly elected ambassador. A full explanation of the tardigrade and its new appearance should then be explained on our website.
The artwork and the result from the print shop.
Hardy, the Tardy
The name came up for the first time during our team retreat – “Hardy” is characteristic, concise and goes well with the short form of tardigrade. For the first illustration by Hardy, we were able to commission Rémi Cans, who was already responsible for the creation of the aforementioned short film by TEDEd. The style of his illustrations was perfect for a first introduction: playful, sketchy and relaxed, just like we want Hardy to be in the limelight. The story of Hardy is supposed to represent a humorous contrast to the rather sober, refined appearance of JOSHMARTIN. The result convinced us and we can hardly wait to see where Hardy is going and how we will get along with him in the long run.