The Small Gestures Campaign

Employees of the Los Angeles based apparel giant Sunrise Brands consume a lot of coffee and tea on a daily basis. With a staff of over 500, this meant an tragic amount of styrofoam and paper cups wasted each day. Internal management, feed up with placing huge orders for styrofoam cups, saw this problem as an opportunity. Rather than demand each employee bring their own mug to work, they decided to share their appreciation with a positive message and a gift aimed at reducing waste and increasing pride in the industry. Each employee was given their choice of three custom designed and screen printed mugs to keep at their desk. Every mug was accompanied with a printed piece thanking the employees as well as encouraging everyone to use and reuse their mug and help to eliminate the consumption of Styrofoam cups.

Designer: Aaron Schasse
Creative Director/Copywriter: Jennie McGuirk
Category: Professional

By supplying each of their 500+ employees with a reusable mug, Sunrise Brands has ensured that everyone in the company has their own sustainable alternative to the unnecessary waste of paper and plastic from each daily cup of Joe.

The Small Gestures campaign is about gratitude, pride and people making a difference. The message has also been embraced by the Corner Bakery located on the floor level of the Sunrise Brands corporate headquarters. To reward the good practice of Sunrise employees reusing their mugs each time they buy coffee, the Corner Bakery has offered to apply a generous discount off their total purchase.

Over time the company will save money by cutting the cost of providing paper and styrofoam cups for over 500 employees. However, the greater value of this initiative is harder to measure. The Small Gestures campaign has worked wonders to boost morale, spirit and pride within the ranks. The mugs have also been used as promotional gifts to industry contacts and business partners, increasing brand equity.

In the fast paced corporate world, very few moments are taken to appreciate and encourage positive action. These mugs and their complimentary booklets continue to serve as a reminder of a greater cause to all those who work at Sunrise Brands.

We started this project with an eco-initiative to reduce waste in the office space. Ordering generic, branded mugs seemed like an unoriginal “thanks for nothing” approach, so we began writing and brainstorming ways to spread the positive message of reducing waste. We challenged ourselves to create a unique mug which would appeal to a broad audience and in the end we created three different mug designs, offering employees the ability to choose their favorite. The focus of the mug illustrations is personal: You play an important role in our company; You clothe millions of people every year; You are a part of an industry leading global corporation. The blue mug is illustrated with symbols representing the many roles that employees fill within the company, everything from design to retail to manufacturing. The red mug illustrates the wide range of people (customers) who are clothed as a result of the products created at Sunrise Brands. The yellow mug simply states the three main branches of the company: New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

An additional guide of ‘Ideas for Use’ offers humor and color to the campaign.


Posted in 2013 Winners.

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