Bringing strategic clarity and creative vision to your brand articulation. Defining and developing inspiring new territories, platforms and concepts for creative expression. Includes testing and optimisation.
Helping Barbie become a more powerful role model for young girls.
In response to changing culture, Barbie needed to re-claim her status as a positive role model for young girls. By exploring the diverse social and cultural issues that are holding young girls back from achieving their potential we identified powerful new stories the brand could tell.
Our work directly influenced the inspirational ‘Barbie Dream Gap’ campaign which has been widely praised for raising awareness of key issues which limit girls’ self-belief and future success.
Get in touch to learn more about how Space Doctors can help renew your brand’s purpose and place in culture.
How Space Doctors used commercial methodology to fuse technical intervention with human behaviour for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Green technological advances don’t have much impact without an activated people movement behind them. By applying relentlessly human-led techniques in behavioural sciences, semiotics, and storytelling to a central government context, Space Doctors helped BEIS to decode the contexts around their decarbonisation projects with fresh empathy, energy and expertise.
We needed to pinpoint the barriers, triggers, and levers which could help to ensure that this technical investment was always embedded within human awareness. So, while the technical assessment was underway, Space Doctors got to work finding ways to connect to people’s lived experiences across the six new cities.
Through semiotic research and expert interviews, we collected human insights to inform more empathetic narratives around decarbonisation. To create a clear view of the codes required to influence behaviour change in different human groups, we mapped this spectrum of discourses against human-based segmentations.
But these findings were useless if not communicated to the community with power and clarity. So, alongside Ramboll consultancy, we developed a digital platform with design that carefully considers colour, space, and narrative towards an impactful user experience.
The platform ensures the value of the project lives beyond its initial dataset; the cities can monitor and communicate where they are on the road to zero carbon heating.
Thanks to our semiotic deep-dive, behavioural change has now been embedded as a core element of the decarbonisation delivery plans; it’s considered a powerful principle for ensuring the success of technical initiatives.
Balancing technical innovation with human activation — that’s sustainable storytelling.
Does your brand message need an authentic, human makeover? Get in touch to see how we can help.
How Space Doctors helped Durex discover and represent the emerging realities of sexuality around the world
What do sexuality and semiotics have in common? To us, they’re both all about exploration, attention, and discovery. When Durex needed a fresh, culturally powered read on a category that still remains taboo in many markets, an innovative approach that put semiotics to work was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Durex were struggling to establish meaning beyond being the world’s number one condom brand. Wanting to gain relevance in conversations of broader sexual well-being, they needed to understand the cultural shifts impacting how people talk and think about sex across intersections of sexuality, ethnicity, generation, and region.
Using local analytics from our in-market teams across the globe, we defined a set of Cultural Codes of Sexual Wellbeing and plotted them onto a Semiotic Map of Sexual Wellbeing. This tool enables each regional Durex team to visualise market-specific nuances they can use to identify the visual and linguistic levers they need to pull to activate these codes.
We then decoded key competitors in each market by studying core brand assets and communications. These Global Category Codes highlighted connections between dominant and emergent narratives, as well as how Durex can disrupt them to elevate and differentiate its brand in the future.
Durex now have a wealth of accessible information helping them to tell more powerful and distinctive stories, directly inspired by and tailored to specific cultures and markets.
This project was about unlocking the world of discovery. Without returning to traditional, demure imagery, Durex have found ways to represent sexuality in a way that champions inclusivity, sensitivity, and authenticity. That feels important for the future, not only for Durex as a brand, but for society as a whole.
Are you ready to supercharge your brand story with the sharpest cultural insights? Get in touch now to see how we can help.
How we helped Gillette reflect and embody the changing face of masculinity worldwide.
Gillette wanted to re-establish ownership of their cultural space. They asked Space Doctors to provide a future-facing, substantiated point of view on how grooming habits were evolving in 5 markets.
We called on masculinity experts, analysed popular culture and communications, and carried out live semiotics in barbershops and family bathrooms to deliver a provocative pint of view on the future of male grooming.
“Space Doctors delivered a future-facing system for understanding the changing face of global masculinity and shaving behaviour. This was invaluable in helping us craft our purpose and connect more emotionally with Gillette users around the world”
John Mang, VP Gillette, The Art Of Shaving at Procter & Gamble
Get in touch to discuss how we can help your brand or business meet the future bravely and boldly.
We showed Haagen Dazs how the cultural notion of ‘progressive elegance’ could be brought to life through their new packaging.
Haagen-Dazs wanted to know the specific cues (imagery, colours, shapes, fonts) that would best communicate the idea of ‘progressive elegance’ through their global packaging.
We looked at how this idea was being expressed in popular culture across four markets before our design semiotics team took the lead, creating the concept and design guidelines that became the blueprint for the new packaging.
Need to amplify your brand by building meaningful and impactful activations that cut through the noise? Get in touch.
We helped IHG re-design their hotel rooms to deliver the best night’s sleep for a Millennial audience.
We identified four key cultural stories of sleep the brand could tap into. Two powerful insights were supported by ethnographic observation in hotel rooms: the importance of fluid, flexible space and the importance of thresholds.
We then worked with leading designers from outside the sector to reinvent the hotel room space in a way that uniquely addresses guests’ real unmet needs.
The design has been so successful that in late 2018 it was patented.
How effectively is your brand delivering the experience you and your audience want it to? Get in touch to find out how we can help.
How Space Doctors helped Saffron harness imagery, narrative, and culture for one of the biggest brand relaunches in digital memory
While global design agency, Saffron, were working on the launch of Meta – Facebook’s new company brand – the pressure was on to make this the most significant digital relaunch of (at least) this year. To ensure no details, opportunities, or meaningful moments were missed, Saffron turned to Space Doctors to help them understand the vital role of colour and emotion when crafting a definitive identity to bring in a new era of digital immersion.
In designing the ‘metaverse’, Facebook were trying to push the limits and lead the future of social media and the immersive digital environment. Reaching beyond the screen, metaverse design principles should inhabit the entire canvas of the user’s imagination – from the air you breathe to the light on your skin. Keeping in touch with Facebook’s core social values, this world had to be built on foundations of connection, empathy, and possibility.
We began this journey by researching the cultural codes of digital natives, how colour plays an emotional role in their lives, and how we could call upon their vibrant creative energy to define this digital frontier specifically for them.
We then dug deeper into the design codes of virtuality itself – how light, interactivity, energy, and motion unfold across the spectrum of VR/AR and MR to create a narrative meaning that would speak to the social essence of the metaverse.
To focus our insights, we synthesised the two research pieces into unique colour worlds detailed through imagery, texture, narrative and cultural context. Now armed with an intricate visual outline for design, the creative team at Saffron had the tools they needed to form a new brand identity that could hold the vast range of human experience the metaverse was striving to offer.
Could your brand identity use a cultural refresh to encourage more engaged and meaningful customer interactions? Get in touch to find out how we can help.
How Space Doctors impacted the design work behind the 2021 Ocado brand refresh
Ocado has established itself to be synonymous with an incredible range of quality groceries. But their visual identity risked losing its zing and zest over time and was in need of a refresh. We worked with the Ocado team to set a new course for their visual design, towards something distinct, vibrant and long-lasting.
Digital spaces demand more of a brand’s visual identity. It was vital that Ocado was able to come alive brilliantly here, and for every customer interaction to be meaningful and well received. Space Doctors delved into culture – using semiotics and cultural insight – to discover how Ocado’s visual world could evolve to become more potent.
Our analysis explored Ocado’s colours. Their previous green and charcoal colour scheme felt too serious – it risked seeming impersonal or lacking in emotion. These muted colours had a quiet subtlety that felt at odds with the vitality and variety of choice Ocado is known for. More energy was needed. We sought a new way that not only evoked a fresh new vibrancy, but that was ownable for Ocado.
We knew shape and form would also be vital to evoke a sense of dynamism and opportunity. The brand’s organic shapes were strong, but as people view the world on ever tinier screens, they needed to work harder to be distinct. We considered how the Ocado swirl and wordmark could be tweaked to stand out and be even more clearly recognisable.
The resulting redesign shows Ocado having evolved. It feels emergent, bright, fresh and distinct – and robust enough to remain so into the future.
Lisa McDowell, Head of Brand Marketing at Ocado Retail, said of working with us;
“We love working with Space Doctors at Ocado Retail. Their contribution across multiple projects has been invaluable over the last year. Our teams across Marketing, Merchandising, Insights and Creative value the rich and wide ranging culturally-informed category insight, through to the granular analysis we’ve done on our visual and packaging identity, fleet design and value messaging. Our relationship with the team at Space Doctors has helped us stretch our thinking, shape successful creative briefs and carve out new exciting opportunities.”
If you’d like to chat to us about how we can help you reinvigorate your visual identity, please get in touch.
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Image Credit: Courtesy of Ocado
“I can smell someone who knows what they are talking about and Space Doctors know…I’ve never seen an agency connect with designers, marketing and researchers in the room at the same time”
Michelle Sullivan, General Mills
Space Doctors semiotic findings expanded our thinking beyond the category and usual competitors and opened new possibilities for our brand to connect into emerging cultures, deep human experiences and design trends.
Dannie Zhuang, Senior Consumer and Market Insight Manager in Unilever Food Solutions
“The Space Doctors team helped propel our future growth positioning through deep expertise, skill and most of all passion. The work was key in delivering fresh innovation and future thinking with both substance and style.”
Éadaoin McCarthy, Director of Market Research and Consumer Connect at Kerry Taste & Nutrition
”Space Doctors is the firm we go to when we need a broader, richer and more up-to-date perspective on key themes. Time and time again, they have provided a rich canvas of meaning with which we have plotted where we want our brand to go and how we aspire to show up, in a way that’s compelling and relevant to consumers and customers alike, and true to our brand’s essence and abilities.”
Susan Betts, Global Director of Microsoft Brand Strategy
“Space Doctors are the 4th dimension in marketing. They call it semiotics but it’s more than that - it’s strategic creativity and executional innovation.“
Virginie Helias, WE Marketing Director, now Global Director of Sustainability, Procter & Gamble