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Home to Louisiana, and made with red peppers, distilled vinegar and salt, Tabasco is one of the top selling hot sauces. Our assignment was to make Tabasco known as the hottest hot sauce on the market. The strategy was simple: it’s hot. What is the most effective, visual and enticing way to show that Tabasco is not only enjoyed by most people, but meets their hot sauce needs? This strategy was something that had been assigned in previous years. After seeing so many great executions in both the student and professional worlds, we were challenged to make this idea new and refreshing while still on strategy. Many hot sauce advertisements have been cliches and repeated ideas that play a joke on what the product really is. Our professors wanted us to make something real that Tabasco would likely produce. We were determined to take “it’s hot” (such a simple strategy) to the next level.
We decided to take a different approach than most by focusing on an idea that expressed heat in the hottest way: physically. Though imagery can be powerful and exaggerate an idea, we wanted to show something realistic, instant and relatable. Tabasco targets a range of people who have different interests and lives. However, many people from all different backgrounds and environments still use lighters and matches for various things. We wanted to create something that everyone could find a use for. They are universally understood as a source of heat and fire, giving our items the platform to be used globally.
Though our class focused mainly on print executions, we wanted to take this a step further. Promotional items seemed like a better fit for this project that showcased exactly what we were trying to say: it’s hot. Our group decided to make both a lighter and a set of matches since today people are using both. Whether through the push of a button or the swipe of a match, instant heat and fire are made. Tabasco evokes the same feeling for many people - a sense of heat and fire. We kept the lighter shape the same as the original bottle so lifting the cap to reveal the heat of a flame is the same as revealing the heat of the hot sauce. For the matches, we wanted to show that the user is now in control of making the heat.