Gifts Today magazine

Elmwood takes Argos’s Chad Valley brand on exciting journey

Global brand design consultancy Elmwood has completed its first project with multi-channel retailer Argos to create a new identity for its exclusive range of toys, Chad Valley.

Chad Valley is an established toy brand with more than 150 years of history. The challenge given to Elmwood was to bring the brand identity up to date and ensure it told a consistent and compelling story.

Elmwood was tasked to deliver brand consistency across multi channels, including product packaging, catalogue pages and a dedicated Chad Valley webshop within the Argos website. To further the brand experience Elmwood also delivered an augmented reality catalogue page and a pop up stand for an internal event, to launch the new identity.

Building on customer insight, Elmwood worked alongside the Argos team to identify Chad Valley’s point of difference. This equipped the Elmwood team to develop a strong, creative and robust brand strategy.

Elmwood sought to deliver an identity that would encourage and fuel children’s creativity. The brand believes in giving children the freedom and inspiration to use their inventiveness however they want to. With this messaging at the forefront the 'Valley of Imagination' idea was born. Cementing Chad Valley as a ‘real’ place and a destination for imaginative play.

The Valley has seventeen different worlds, which allow the brand to showcase its vast range of toys in an age appropriate manner. Dinosaur toys live in the fiery Jurassic Dinoland, vehicles come from Motor City full of twisting and looping roads, whilst its dolls come from the soft and dream-like Dolls World.

Each world is brought to life in a family of vibrant illustrations created to tell an engaging and consistent story. The illustrations were designed with flexibility in mind so they could be used across the product portfolio and talk effectively to different audiences.

Steven Shaw, the design director at Elmwood, said: “It was great to immerse ourselves in the Valley of Imagination and to view the world as a child again. We wanted to create packaging that could live on after purchase. The child can use the wraparound landscape on the box as a diorama for the toys to play in.”

Rebecca Hanson, the account director at Elmwood, said: “Working on the Chad Valley rebrand gave us a huge opportunity to deliver a truly joined up brand proposition, executed effectively across all platforms.”

Rob Quartermain, Argos's Senior Brand Manager said: “Elmwood has successfully responded to an extremely challenging brief, to deliver an exciting new identity for Chad Valley which will act as catalyst for the brand's activity in the years to come.

“Chad Valley's brand essence is lighting up children's imaginations. By creating the Valley of Imagination, Elmwood has created an ownable and unique story which both: brings to life our brand essence and engages both parents and children. Elmwood has given us the best possible chance to elevate Chad Valley, continuing the brand's long-held status as one of the UK's most loved toy brands.”

Charlotte Dewhurst, the marketing controller of Own Brands at Argos said: “Elmwood’s strategic approach, detailed planning and personable style has made delivering this huge project at pace enjoyable. The unique new packaging, catalogue execution and webshop speak for themselves, but our customers have confirmed that they drive reappraisal of the brand. A positive first and exciting step towards the relaunch of Chad Valley.”

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