Makeover Challenge Winner: Bright Ideas

Bold, innovative design brings victory to this year’s Makeover Challenge winner

Both color and composition were deciding factors for Makeover Challenge voter and former director, packaging and merchandising design and commercialization at Kellogg Company Jeanne Comar. She remarks, “MBN Creative’s use of color and composition is impactful! The continued use of the character from the old design to reassure shoppers that this is the same game that they’ve played in the past.  Use of additional characters tell shoppers new to the game that Telestrations is a telegraphic game that’s easy to understand and, most importantly, fun!”telestrations

Package innovations and functional enhancements also earned votes from the Brand Experience community—especially the box top die-cut windows.  Hector Garcia, founder of and brand guardian for MBN Creative, explains the origins of the window, “One of our team members had a phenomenal idea to create a sheet that goes directly underneath the box cover that would take advantage of die cuts on our cover concept. The sheet has multiple illustrations on it, and it could be positioned in any of four ways. Each position shows a different image through the sketchpad die cut.”  This adds visual depth to the packaging and offers product variation without adversely impacting pack-out times or retailers’ merchandising processes.

Jenny Feng, senior product manager at Behr Paint Company, is impressed by the human aspect of the design with MBN’s expansion of Telestration’s Mr. Sketchy character concept to now include a complete family of characters. Feng explains, “I like that the MBN concept includes people [Mr. Sketchy and his new ‘family’] in the design.  At the end of the day, it's about people getting together, having a good time.  And in this case, it also explains how the game works.”

Kristine R. Sexton, president and CEO at BrandDirections Inc., which competed and won last year’s competition, adds, “As one of my family favorite games, I feel the MBN design gets to the heart of the fun of the game while still being diagrammatically relevant to the game play.” 

Charitable departure

The winning concept was created by MBN Creative as part of this year’s Makeover Challenge competition, sponsored by SunChemical with prototyping co-sponsors Caps57 and COG. The annual competition usually is a blue-sky exploration and celebration of the marketing power of design. For 2018, the competition, for the first-time ever, has both a brand and a cause at the center of its Makeover Challenge. The brand: USAopoly is a developer and manufacturer of board games, collectibles and puzzles. The Cause: Operation Smile, an international medical charity that has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other dental and facial conditions.

sideThis year’s teams—Designtology and MBN Creative—worked with USAopoly to not only re-imagine their packaging with the aim of showcasing the power of design as past Makeover Challenge contestants have. The teams were also motivated by the opportunity to contribute to a 10-year anniversary special edition of Telestrations that will be used to raise awareness for Operation Smile.

The ground-breaking departure for this year’s contest results from a multi-year conversation that Brand Experience’s editor-in-chief has been having with USAopoly’s director of new product development Tony Serebriany, a long-time reader of ST Media publications including Brand Experience and Package Design, and is the brainchild of Serebriany’s colleague Jackie Miserany, marketing manager at USAopoly.

Accolades for all

 With both teams’ concepts serving as launching pads for the special-edition game and serving as contributions to the charitable project between USAopoly and Operation Smile, Miserany is quick to note that in many ways both teams are winners. “MBN submitted an exceptional design that was well thought out and used a process that really sought to listen and understand our concerns, ambitions and challenges with past package designs,” she notes. “But certainly hats off to Designtology as well. She was able to complete the competition despite scheduling conflicts [that arose from competition setbacks]. Kristi [Miroballi] had always expressed that she was drawn to the challenge because of the charitable aspect and it was important to her because it's important to Designtology’s core values to participate and to give back, wherever they can. I admire that when the going got tough, Kristi didn’t back out and she stuck with it.”sheet

Garcia shares Miroballi’s enthusiasm for the charitable aspect of the competition, noting that it’s one of many ways he has been “blessed.” He also said the experience of competing was a reward onto itself and enjoyed the opportunity to get constructive feedback from a wide range of peers from those at USAopoly to those in the greater marketing and design community.  “I didn’t expect so many people to be interested in our concept,” he says. “I want to thank everyone for their honest feedback, whether or not they voted for us. I loved the transparency of this project and the excitement of competition.”