Refreshing a 75 years old Portuguese icon of good surprises: Lancers Rosé.

Born in 1944, Lancers is owned by the José Maria Fonseca wine company and has its own space in the Hall of Fame of Portuguese brands. Indeed, Lancers was created to meet the opportunity for sparkling wines in the US, in the form of a rosé wine in an opaque bottle. This was rather original and still is today (can you name many Rosé brands which hide their wine?).

To add a layer of intricacy, the name was inspired from “Las Lanzas” a Velazquez painting of a battle, which feels odd vs. the friendly wine moments of Lancers. Soon Lancers became a huge export hit. 75 years later, the brand gathered some dust and was in danger of loosing relevance. Read here how we worked with Lancers’ team to refresh and relaunch this lovely icon.

When looking at Lancers’ elements, it is easy to be misled by apparent inconsistencies. Indeed, how can a rosé that hides its content and a name with a weapon connotation, be so successful in the US and in Italy (THE land of sparkling wine)?  To avoid hasty conclusions, we examined the brand with the care and respect for the work of previous marketeers.

Las Lanzas by Velazquez (1635).

What emerged, was a brand of surprisingly good quality, for friendly get togethers, where one is genuinely curious about others and would like to bring a spike of fun. The opacity of the bottle, not only protects the wine from the light, but is also an allegory to hidden surprises worth uncovering. And indeed, a careful examination of “Las Lanzas” shows that the depicted warriors are about to reconcile with each other. Therefore, the core emotional benefit of Lancers is to reward curiosity.

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With this standpoint defined, we briefed Volta Brand Shaping, a Porto design agency, to bring in warmth, quality and appeal to the current pack.

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The outer appearance now has a brushed metallic feel with warmer tones and dotted areas to reveal the liquid level. The text is now refreshed and organized for a natural reading. The brand symbol now shows a city key and the 1944 date, as references to the painting and year of creation. Last, “Always Chilled” was added as a recall to the consumption mode and mood. To complete the packaging work, we developed a call to action “Refresh your Curiosity”, as an invitation to (re)discover the brand in simple, friendly, genuine and positive situations.

Lancers’ positioning and design project is a personal satisfaction because I worked with the brand in Italy in a previous life and I know how much it matters to the Soares Franco family, Lancer’s owner. The success of a brand depends on many factors, but the feel that everything is coming together naturally and that the brand stays true to its spirit AND is relevant, are good signs for the future.

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