The Best Things Come In Secret Mahjong Boxes

by Bill McCool on 01/20/2021 | 2 Minute Read

In extremely cool promotional packaging news, London’s OMSE and New Zealand’s Think Packaging teamed up for a curious little piece of Mahjong magic.

Recently, Shanghai’s first gin brand – Peddlers Gin – launched their new custom bottle. To celebrate the occasion, the brand and the designers cooked up an elaborate announcement that the new Peddlers bottle had finally arrived and it involved a heaping dose of mystery. They sent 100 of the best bartenders across China a key held in a waxed-sealed envelope. 

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

On the key was the Peddlers logo—nothing else. 

After a week, the bartenders were sent a Mahjong box that had a secret compartment inside. Once opened, it revealed a collectible and elegantly designed hinged box with red foil stamping. Ornate details aside, the package held Mahjong pieces with a set of instructions—once the bartender moved the magnetic pieces across the board, it would unlock and reveal a bottle of Peddlers Gin in the secret compartment.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

Even with that solid bit of magic, it’s a reflection of the brand’s identity, and they found inspiration in the secret societies that operated throughout the port city in the early 20th century. These details informed much of the project, from the custom apothecary bottle that steals from the Shanghai peddlers of the past right to the typeface that found inspiration in the sign-writing of that era.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

Altogether, it makes for a beautifully crafted bottle with a compelling brand story and an even more intriguing launch. And hey, it didn’t involve anyone having to gentrify Mahjong.


Photography: Graeme Kennedy

Editorial photograph

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