Willie's Distillery

This small batch distillery, based in Ennis, Montana, was one of the first of its kind to pop up in Montana. Willie’s quickly gained local popularity, becoming a leader in the distillery movement. Renowned for their Western-inspired spirits, every Willie’s product is made from natural, local ingredients — Montana grains, honey and native berries, along with a good dose of heart and soul.

Scope

Brand Exploration
Brand Assets
Campaign Development
Imagery & Taglines
Packaging
Copywriting

awards
GOLD

Packaging — Denver International Spirits Packaging Awards, 2017

GOLD

Illustration — American Advertising Awards MT, 2016

BEST OF SHOW

Packaging — American Advertising Awards MT, 2015

GOLD

Campaign — American Advertising Awards MT, 2015

Result

A small Montana-born brand, ready to take on the American West.

Challenge

We needed to find a fresh take on “Western”, one of the most over-played genres in North American marketing. We also sought to steer away from tropes of contemporary micro-distilleries, which often speak through the language and imagery of “hipsters”.

goal

The ultimate goal was to position Willie’s as of equal quality as national, non-craft brands. Willie’s needed the branding assets to convey a clear image of their product and the mountain culture it sought to represent. The brand needed thoughtful, cohesive materials to reach a national scale of play.

approach

The visual elements selected for Willie’s entire product line reflect the natural and local values of their distilling process along with an authentic Western heritage. We chose images of wildlife, cowboys, and gritty type and paired these crisp images of mixed drinks and bottles.

Packaging

The Bridger Brewing team wanted to be prepared to can and distribute its beer after opening its second location. AMS partnered with Bridger Brewing for packaging design concepts. The first step in the packaging process involved a strategy session in which the unique identity of each beer was explored and dissected. Several concepts were then sketched out. Once a concept was selected for each beer, custom illustrations were created for cans and boxes. The result is a full lineup of beers, each with its own design that is unique while still clearly a member of the Bridger Brewing brand.

Reason no. 8

The longest line you’ll see comes from a reel.

reason no. 12

Big ideas are best discussed on the back of a pickup.

“We’ve worked with Hardy for more than two years. In that time, they’ve helped us rebrand in every way, developing all our new bottle designs and creating all new campaigns for our products. Their approach is top-notch and I would recommend them to any company looking for a fresh creative direction.”
Les Terrell
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Willie's Distillery

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