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Rebrand earns ROI in under three days

ROI in 2.8 Days

Well loved brand goes into the red!

It used to be one of Diageo’s most profitable brands. But with sales down month after month, it looked like Smithwick’s was no longer being drunk – although it was still loved as a brand.

Our brief was to develop an outstanding brand identity to woo back lapsed users and introduce Smithwick’s to the uninitiated, with the aim of reverting the fortunes of the ailing beer brand.





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  • Client: Diageo
  • Year: 2012
  • Location: Ireland and USA
  • Categories: 2D, 3D, Brand Identity, Innovation, Animation, Production, Design for Manufacture

We were tasked with creating a design that maintained a cohesive ‘look & feel’ with Smithwick’s masterbrand, while establishing a flexible framework from which new products could be launched. We were also asked to create off-trade packaging, and change on-trade brand perceptions by designing a bespoke new glass, and extending the new design to a tap handle and fount. As part of the process, the creative team visited Smithwick’s Kilkenny heartland, met the 9th generation Smithwick family, and scoured the 300 year-old archives.

Our creative solution was rooted in the brand’s centuries old history, and positions it as a national treasure. Kilkenny Castle takes central stage and is represented in a contemporary way alongside a bold logotype inspired by a typeface found in the ancestral home’s games room. The brand’s colourway moved from clichéd Gaelic green to a luxurious deep red, reminiscent of the colour of the beer itself.

The fount represents the three-dimensional physical manifestation of the Smithwick’s brand and communicates strength, pride and confidence. The evolved castle icon is extended onto the structure of the fount itself ensuring the target audience experiences a consistent look and feel of the Smithwick’s brand and its values on- and off-trade.

We scooped the 2010 Gold DBA Design Effectiveness Award for our successful brand overhaul of Diageo’s Smithwick’s. From the identity and take-home packaging, to the glassware and the fount, our new on- and off-trade livery delivered a phenomenal sales increase, and a return on the entire design budget in just 2.8 days.


Congratulations - this is fantastic news and fully deserved. The work you did on Smithwick’s is outstanding and has been central to the fantastic performance on the brand since the relaunch. You should be very proud. Well done and thanks.
Oliver looms – Diageo Ireland Marketing Director

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