Onfire Design Ltd 15 Tuffy Towels

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Matt Grantham
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Sam Allan
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Matt Gantham, Natasha Alimova, Curtis Walker
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Yuki Sato
  • Client
    Heather Greaves

The paper towel category can be considered one of the last supermarket areas that have lacked any branded effort to inject personality and relevance into the offering. Instead, it is an example of brands following the commoditised norm.

The team behind Tuffy were aware of several issues with the current brand. It lacked the strength of absorbency of its close competitor, which they had worked diligently to remedy, creating a new product just as good, if not better. From a brand perspective, they knew through research that its competitor brand was more well-known and that Tuffy was perceived as too masculine and 'budget'.

Our response was to reframe what a Tuffy towel is used for in a modern New Zealand family home - the small messes that happen every day. Our new positioning of 'Mess Happens, Get Tuff!' is a simple proposition...these things happen, and Tuffy is there to help out. It is a universal, democratic idea - loaded with positivity and a Kiwi 'can-do' attitude.

This allowed us to relook at the packaging and category language from a different angle. Rather than bland utilitarian sameness, we created a set of visual assets that embraces the small messes rather than ignores them.

The new Tuffy wordmark is big, bold and strong, with a subtle roundness that suggests it absorbs mess. Importantly it is locked up with a New Zealand statement since this is an iconic Kiwi brand that had not been promoted as such. Messaging is simplified with a logical hierarchy. Each product in the range now has its own 'small mess' or usage shown in a full-colour photograph. These are now the focal point of the packs - a melted ice cream, coffee stain, sausage sizzle wrapper. All everyday Kiwi occasions become the heroes of each pack. Bright and cheerful colours have been introduced to aid product navigation and prominence on shelves. In a sea of bland blue hues from competitors, rich purple, bright pinks, and greens are pops of positivity in the aisle.

The tone of voice was also reworked. Loaded with positivity and a love of an everyday Kiwi lifestyle, this reinforces the core positioning pragmatically.

Tuffy has become the modern brand for today's Kiwi consumers. Speaking to all of New Zealand and embracing the messy lifestyle of families in general, Tuffy brings brightness and positivity to the previously drab supermarket aisle.