To be clear from the start, all credit here to Trickett and Webb and Together Design, who invented and developed this brand. But it ended up being a very verbal brand, and I consulted with them on this from the start, and wrote all of the collateral until it was sold.
Tom and Otto was (and still is) a solid, middle-of-the-road paper. How, then, to make the unremarkable… remarkable? It’s a great lesson in how valuable the naming process can be. Trickett and Webb had come up with it. Now where could we take it (or it take us)?
What we did
We created two characters who were obsessed with paper and liked anything that expressed the qualities of their own paper: flat, white, quick running and good value. Everything was done through dialogue. At the outset they were argumentative: one was more scientific and one more arty… but as time went on they mellowed, and the blind love for paper took over everything.
The strapline “Tom&Otto. One passion: paper” tied it all together.
What happened next
The paper was extremely successful. Every year we produced new merchandise for the sales teams. Pizza plates, left and right-handed mugs, pens, radios, European tours with multi-lingual guides… always underscored with this unbending obsession for things flat and white and quick-drying…
Successful enough to be attract the attention of Antalis, who bought it in the mid-2000s, at which point we had to say goodbye to our dear friends, otherwise I’m sure we’d still be writing it. Nearly 20 years later and they are still alive and well, it is still on sale, with the same logo, pack designs and strapline in some regions.
“That’s value for money, Tom.”
“As good value as our paper, Otto?”
“Almost, Tom. Almost.”