When we dove into the fast-growing non-alcoholic market to discover what sets Almave apart, we found a sea of sameness — a lot of familiar, millennial-targeted colors, design details and messaging around health benefits and personal optimization. There was very little about the history and craft behind the products themselves.
With Almave, we knew from the jump that we had an entirely different beast on our hands. The world’s first premium distilled non-alcoholic blue agave spirit came to life thanks to a stroke of inspiration from, arguably, the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time — Lewis Hamilton.
Tequila has always been his drink, but during the race season, he needed a way to enjoy its flavor and ritual while maintaining clarity for peak performance. He searched for a substitute that captured the true taste and experience of a full-proof tequila but found the market lacking. On one trip to Mexico, he met with Iván Saldaña — a Guadalajara native, PhD in biochemistry, expert in the blue agave plant and owner of the renowned tequila house, Casa Lumbre — and knew this was just the man to partner with.
Iván and his team painstakingly adapted traditional tequila distillation techniques to yield a non-alcoholic expression, true to the spirit of Jalisco. That, in and of itself, is a powerful story. Their dedication and expertise led to the only premium, distilled non-alcoholic spirit made with the coveted blue agave from the highlands of Jalisco. But how do you get the consumer to care in a crowded market?
Iván and his team’s work deserved to be centered. Their understanding of Jalisco and deep experience with blue agave spirits gave Almave true authenticity lacking in the market. Lewis, of course, was the perfect champion to amplify their story. Our challenge was to tell the story of how, together, Iván and Lewis had gone beyond the world’s expectations to make something that shouldn’t be possible.
We obsessed Almave’s visual identity and voice to ensure the world would know, even at first glance, this was something they had never seen before. Our design team developed a system of brand codes to distill the essence of the brand into quickly identifiable imagery and treatments. These codes — from brutalist forms and art deco-inspired typography to agave plants, Jalisco’s red soil, and fire — will appear throughout Almave’s creative for years to come, setting it apart from the non-alc sea of sameness.
Our brand voice for Almave succinctly and poetically captures the spirit of Almave — it’s an endeavor to capture what shouldn’t be possible, to go “beyond proof,” literally and figuratively. Beyond Proof is now a trending hashtag and frequently used by Lewis Hamilton on his personal social channels.
We made sure that every minute detail of the identity laddered up to our brand position: “Go Beyond Proof.” From the blurs used in photography treatment to express movement and add an otherworldly quality to the brand colors inspired by the magic of Jalisco’s dusk and dawn, every decision is backed with a story. This gives the brand endless hooks for future campaigns and storytelling.
We partnered with Danny Shneeweiss, another founding partner at Casa Lumbre, to design the bottles for Almave. Danny is one of the most experienced product designers in the business, having designed dozens of bottles for Casa Lumbre over the years.
Because Almave launched two products at the same time — Blanco and Ámbar — the labels for each expression had to work together. As defined in our brand identity development, Blanco would use a unique blue tone, inspired by Jalisco’s magical dawn. Ámbar would take the orange, inspired by Jalisco’s dusk.