EXTENDED! DIELINE Awards 2024 Ends FEB 28TH
Featured image for Echo Taps Into Smarties Colourful World To Highlight Sustainability Commitments

Echo Taps Into Smarties Colourful World To Highlight Sustainability Commitments

by Chloe Gordon on 03/24/2023 | 4 Minute Read

Echo recently showcased its new work with Smarties, the children's sweets brand. The new refresh highlights the brand's sustainability measures throughout the design without sacrificing a fun, playful perspective. Nestlé is ambitious to reach Net Zero by 2050, and this latest advancement in their sustainable initiatives for NITR supports this wider company objective.


NES47610 Smarties Master Brand KV Set-02.jpg

Brand design and innovation agency, Echo announces its latest work with children’s confectionary brand, Smarties, as it undergoes a communication refresh and integrates sustainability throughout its brand positioning. These new communications will effectively underpin all of Smarties future ‘Learn Through Play’ initiatives, with the messaging woven throughout the ‘Cool Creatures’ toy launch. The new work embeds Smarties® sustainability commitments, whilst enhancing the colourful and fun identity for which the brand is recognised. Nestlé have an ambition of reaching Net Zero by 2050, and this latest advancement in their sustainable initiatives for NITR supports this wider company objective.

In 2021, Smarties became the first global confectionary brand to implement 100% recyclable packaging. As part of its wider strategy, the brand is focused on encouraging sustainable behaviours, starting with a call-to-action: “I’m paper, be smart, recycle me.” As long-standing partners of Smarties, Echo collaborated with their Marketing team to evolve this proposition, introducing the new Play In Our Colourful World communication message, which acts as a powerful expression of Smarties® by bringing to life its three key brand pillars: brand purpose, the unique Learn Through Play offer and sustainability. 

NES47610 Smarties Master Brand KV 01 2023-01.jpg

Working on the premise that we all have a vested interest in creating a bright and colourful future for generations to come, Echo has used inclusive and relatable language to talk about sustainability by signposting ‘our’ world in the communications. Evolving the existing idea of Create Colourful Stories, the graphic assets and visual worlds form a design system which can adapt to multiple channels and touchpoints.  The prolific paper tear visual creates a link to the on-pack sustainability messaging and directs consumers to key sustainability commitments.

In line with Smarties’ values, images of diverse family groups and individuals with physical impairments have been incorporated into the visuals to better represent the brands diversity of consumers. Doodles bring fun scenes to life, where images of children and parents interacting with the imaginative world around them promote active play, a healthy lifestyle and an educational role. 

Alastair Jones, Head of Client Services at Echo “Consumers are more aware of their choices on the environment, but they expect more than buzzwords on a pack. By embedding sustainability as a key pillar of Smarties brand proposition, the consumer has clarity and visibility over Smarties® environmental commitments. Using emotive communications to tap into consumer behaviour enabled us to give global consumers a sustainability message that resonates, reflecting the needs and values of Smarties audience.”  

smarties cool creatures visual.jpg

The new Learn Through Play toy ‘Cool Creatures’ was created in parallel and influenced by the Play In Our Colourful World messaging. It allows children to create, decorate and play with 4 sea creature construction toys. Unlike many of its competitors, Smarties toys were created with sustainability front-of-mind – this is not only achieved through using fully recyclable materials, but by creating longevity of play, which acts as a subtle hint to a functional sustainability message. 

Boosted by the Play In Our Colourful World messaging, Echo were able to educate children about sustainability by spreading positive communications about an appreciation of the natural world and creating a colourful future for generations to come. The underwater world provides a gateway to rich educational content that maximises the play and learning experience. The physical construction toy also includes a play mat with colouring areas and fun ocean facts creating even more play value, longevity and fun.

Interaction between the physical world and digital realm was integral to the strategy, which evolved Smarties focus on using phygital as a means to educate the next - and current - generation of consumers. Echo collaborated with augmented-reality content creation agency Zappar to develop three different games: Marine explorer – to find out more fun facts about the marine environment, Marine quiz – an educational quiz with 40 questions and an AR experience – for the consumer to interact with and learn about 4 AR creatures. The games were designed to engage the whole family, with a balance of complexity of questions and information suitable for a range of ages. The AR creatures are the virtual rendition of the handmade toys, aimed to delight children who can see their creation brought to life in the digital realm. The new toys work to help support a happier and healthier generation of children, striking the balance between tactile play and high-tech assistance.