THE UGLY TRUTH

Short List
ClientUGLY DRINKS
Category A02. Rebrand / Refresh of an existing Brand
TitleTHE UGLY TRUTH
Product/ServiceUGLY
Entrant JONES KNOWLES RITCHIE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation JONES KNOWLES RITCHIE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production JONES KNOWLES RITCHIE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Ian Ritchie Jones Knowles Ritchie Chief Creative Officer
Tosh Hall Jones Knowles Ritchie Global Executive Creative Director
James Nixon Jones Knowles Ritchie Managing Director
Sean Thomas Jones Knowles Ritchie Executive Creative Director
Stephen McDavid Jones Knowles Ritchie Creative Director
Luke Thompson Jones Knowles Ritchie Senior Designer
Ashley Killen Jones Knowles Ritchie Designer
Patricia Lee Jones Knowles Ritchie Account Manager
Lee Rolston Jones Knowles Ritchie Strategy Director
Rebecca Ford Jones Knowles Ritchie Senior Brand Strategist
Jonathan Murphy Jones Knowles Ritchie Senior Visualiser
Christopher Sharpe Jones Knowles Ritchie Copywriter
Wayne Bilton Jones Knowles Ritchie Visualisation Director
Giles Heselwood Jones Knowles Ritchie Head of Artwork
Caroline Vidal Jones Knowles Ritchie Production Manager
Louisa Penfold Jones Knowles Ritchie Realisation Designer
Amy Maw Jones Knowles Ritchie Marketing Director
- H.Y.T. Illustrator
Rob Clarke - Typographer
Jerry Gallaher - Copywriter
Marco Senna - Visualiser
Martin Clarke - Visualiser
Scott Ramsay - Visualiser
Luke Stephenson - Photographer

Background

Ugly is a 100% natural, fruit-infused sparkling water. They offer cold can refreshment without the sugar, sweetener or suspicion to a Gen-Z audience thirsty for authentic, healthier alternatives to Soda. And they’ve got big plans. After a strong first year in the UK market, they now had a growing product portfolio and a US launch on the cards. To make a splash across the pond, they needed to evolve fast across packs, point-of-sale, posters… everything, really. A rebrand that elevated their rebellious attitude to the forefront and yet ensured they felt like a truly mainstream brand - not just another niche product - would be key.

Describe the creative idea

From the off, Ugly have rejected received wisdoms: healthy drinks don’t come in cans; beautiful brands don’t call themselves in Ugly. So for a brand that doesn’t take the conventional road, we needed a big, powerful idea that did the same. We call it ‘The Ugly Truth’. At once a slogan, a mission and a design ethos, it allows the brand to be their provocative, street-smart and self-aware best, calling out the big dogs in the soda industry and beyond. Pairing that sense of duty with a distinctive, no-nonsense humour is a natural fit with Gen-Z’s desire for brands that stay true to their word. As a result, the spirit of ‘The Ugly Truth’ runs through everything the brand touches, from the tone-of-voice on their social media, through to tackling gender inequality through their partnership with Girl Up.

Describe the execution

Provocative in style and unfiltered in tone, Ugly is the antidote to a multi-billion dollar industry that over-promises and under-delivers. The illustration style is bold and unapologetic, elevating the brand to protest-movement and graffiti-culture inspired heights: from the central tongue logo and redefined typography, to a collective of fruits with attitude (F.W.A.) that cause a ruckus and grab attention spans wherever they go. The copy similarly raises its game: sharp-tongued when tackling The Ugly Truth on social media, refreshingly self-deprecating when talking about the product itself, and always ready to rally the Ugly mob. The heart of the brand is the packaging, as the key point-of-difference and ownable real estate, but the identity always had its eyes on bigger things – bold enough to stand-out in campaigns, cool enough to make sought-after merchandise, and adaptable enough to take on partnerships with UN foundations.

List the results

The goal was to rise above hipster sodas and bland waters to take Ugly mainstream. And since the re-launch in stores across Europe, the new brandworld looks to be doing just that. With the new identity Tesco, Whole Foods, Amazon, W.H. Smith’s, Uber Eats and Planet Organic have picked them up and as a result the Ugly business has doubled in size, with 100% growth month-on-month. In the UK alone, over a quarter of a million cans have been sold since the rebrand. The brand is now launching into the US market.