Yonex invited monopo to launch a subculture-driven visual identity and campaign for the release of its new ARCSABER 11 racquet.
A global print and digital programme which harnesses local badminton communities and pro-athletes alike.
Among badminton fans, the ARCSABER series enjoys a cult following. Its iconic shuttle-hold features give the racquet an irresistible feel of supreme precision and control. Yonex was set on doing justice to the level of dedication fans have for ARCSABER and decided to approach the racquet launch with its own distinctive visual brand.
Creating an identity that intersects functionality and craft is always a challenge. We took direct inspiration from the racquet itself by creating a symbolic system that educated the player on the shuttle-hold technology within and mirrored the feeling of using the racquet.
We created abstract graphic shapes that can be used as a visual language to convey the shuttle-hold technology and the distinctive feel of hitting a shuttle with an ARCSABER racquet. We were inspired by the lines of the racquet string bed and used them as a grid where each intersection of the strings becomes a circular anchor point. The string bed became a canvas upon which we built the identity and launch campaign.
Through the weaving of these circles, and the subsequent distortion of them, we created a graphic system from which the different campaign messages could be told; from mysterious symbolism to drive intrigue, to educational content in the form of a step-by-step visual guide to ARCSABER’s technology. Alongside the visual sits an impactful new tagline for the product – ‘Locked. Ready. Launch.’
Harnessing components of fandom, we prioritised a physical activation for the launch campaign. Local badminton clubs adopted ARCSABER posters to pull in potential fans, whilst merchandise items such as t-shirts and stickers armed existing fans and pro-athletes with tools to express their pride and adherence to Team ARCSABER.
Looking at what could help garner the right kind of attention, we took inspiration from the community and its ambassadors. We gave ARCSABER a presence by creating a wide range of products that can feed fandom. Everything from posters, apparel, accessories and social media stickers to potential future collaborations with brands and tournaments.
A selection of pro-athletes were invited to post mysterious teasers on their own social channels to kick-start monopo london’s strategic digital activation. With an animated motion graphics trailer also at the ready, ARCSABER was locked and ready for launch.