Pursue Hard Seltzer

Having taken the US by storm with a market value of $8.9 billion in 2021, and a forecast of 31.4% growth by 2028, Hard Seltzers are certainly on the rise, captivating the public with their low-alcohol, low-calorie, gluten and guilt-free offering.
However, the industry has already created and fallen into its own tropes and cliches. Anish Reddy, a fourth-generation entrepreneur from Chennai, saw the potential to redefine Hard Seltzer’s aesthetic and aromatic conventions and bring the promise of the fruit-infused sparkling drink’s introduction to India’s market.

Before too long, after moving back to India after living in Miami, Anish had swiftly developed his own global-ESG-standards-ready distillery and zero-waste production and packaging facility. Creating compelling and contemporary sparkling flavours under the brand name ‘Pursue’.

Outfitted with carbon-emission controls and fully-recyclable produce, Anish intended to reimagine how Hard Seltzers are manufactured and how their brands are perceived. Elevating the genre beyond its current guilt-free associations to a place of positivity, playfulness, care and, crucially, inclusivity.

Wanting a visual identity as fun as their products are flavourful, Pursue turned to OlssønBarbieri to create a playful graphic language that mirrored the local organic flavours infused within the drinks, whilst also channelling Anish’s own nostalgic associations with sodas – historically a go-to drink in India.

This sense of sentimentality went on to underpin the aesthetic concept of the identity, resulting in a refreshing, spirited and freeing brand, as sparkling as the very drink itself. In essence, capturing the innocence, abandon and joy of youth and that unique, unrivalled sensation of your first soda pop on a radiant summer’s day.

Our first practical point of call was to create a custom bottle in favour of the typical slim cans, a strategic decision to defy the category’s standard approach and offer a more undeniably nostalgic and premium look. This pursuit found us researching the history of soda bottles, finding distinct yet familiar details to inspire Pursue’s own unique design. Eventually, we landed on a hybrid between pre-industrial “Blob-top” (1830-40), an art deco soda bottle (1915-40).

Bottle shape inspiration

Carbonated soda and mineral waters had to be able to survive high pressure bottling process as well as post-bottling handling and use since these bottles were typically re-used many times.

  1. Deco soda bottles. Designed to look distinctive and appealing by using boldly embossed designs, pictorials, catchy names
    and slogans (all embossed in the glass).
    The style began with the skirted 1915 “Christmas” Coca-Cola bottle. The heyday for this style was during the 1920s and 1930s.
  2. The crown cap was patented by William Painter in 1892. Firstly used on mouth-blown crown top sodas and later on machine-made bottles.

The culmination of Pursue’s concept, context and history manifested in a striking and tactile cylindric cross-section shape, gradually blended together across the bottle’s slender neck, twisted grooves and embossed text – capturing the light between liquid and glass, creating mesmerising refractions in the process.

The bottle’s metal crown also pays homage to soda heydays of its inspiration, becoming collectable items with their own unique character, name and hidden maxim – with lines such as “Pursue your rhythm” or “Pursue what you love” printed on the inside of each crown top.

Once again contributing to their eco-credentials, Pursue’s bottles are also fully reusable, contributing to the already established ETP (Effluent Treatment Process) system in India that sees bottles recovered, washed and refilled.

Turning to the brand’s narrative, we sought influence in an unlikely place, The Wizard of Oz, inspired by the primary characters and their own unique dreams and limitations – determining Pursue’s naming system with references to the movie’s beginning track ‘Over the Rainbow.’
Taste and illustrations were then colour-coded across the range, in doing so, avoiding the need to graphically portray the product’s ingredients and instead offering that space and precedence to illustration.

Excerpt from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

“Someplace where there isn’t any trouble…
Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train.
It’s far, far away
Behind the moon
Beyond the rain

Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to
dream really do come true.
Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly,
Birds fly over the rainbow,
why then, oh why can’t I?
When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane”…

Thanks to Andre til Høyre for lending us their space, to Past for the beautiful vintage clothes and Bar Boca, Hay and Munchies for the props. Models making everything look good: Jonas, Erica and Esra.

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