Feel The Autoburn
By Alixandra Rutnik on Oct 04, 2021
One Club Gold Member 360i plans the spiciest road trip to date
When I am out to dinner and the waiter asks me, “What level spice?” I typically respond with medium. I can handle a five out of ten– maybe a level six spice, but the Autoburn Road Trip was for the ultimate spice lovers– those who respond to their waiter “the hottest you can make it,” without a beat.
The official TUMS Autoburn Road Trip Sweepstakes wrapped in August. Those who participated drove around the country and tried seven extremely spicy dishes– not without their TUMS, of course. And the winner scored a dinner with Sean Evans– media personality and spicy food aficionado.
Not only was this campaign created by our Gold Member 360i, but also the minds who spearheaded this project are all part of the Young Guns community: dentsu Chief Creative Officer Menno Kluin, Young Guns 6; Executive Creative Director Michael Schachtner, Young Guns 7; and illustrator Alex Trochut, Young Guns 6.
We talked to all three former Young Guns to hear about their collaborative campaign.
This campaign is a perfect example of the Young Guns community working together! Michael and Menno, what made you think Alex would be perfect for this campaign?
Michael: Our goal was to bring each dish’s spiciness to life through expressive typography of the dish or restaurant name. How could we not have thought of Alex for this? This concept was made for him.
What was the brief and how did you end up with the road trip?
Michael: TUMS is part of a portfolio of GlaxoSmithKline consumer health brands that 360i began working with in the past year.
When we go on road trips, not only do we bond with each other, but we connect with the people and cultures we encounter along the way. In 2020, over 70% of trips were road trips.
In a survey of 5,000 Americans TUMS found out 63% said they looked forward to eating meals this summer that they haven't been able to enjoy during the past year's pandemic. The brand also found that Americans are certainly united in their love of spicy foods. With safe travel opening up over the summer, our adventure-seeking audience was ready to take on the world.
We searched for a diverse array of restaurants including family-owned restaurants who could use some extra relief after the pandemic, neighborhood staples that foster community in their town, and BIPOC-owned restaurants with unique backstories. We tapped into all different ethnicities along the way to create a culturally-diverse, TUMS-worthy menu with some serious spice. Each restaurant is committed to helping their community, from supporting local charities to serving those in the area with free food. TUMS also gave every Autoburn restaurant $1K towards rent relief.
"We searched for a diverse array of restaurants including family-owned restaurants who could use some extra relief after the pandemic, neighborhood staples that foster community in their town, and BIPOC-owned restaurants with unique backstories."
The restaurants selected for the road trip: Salvador Molly’s in Portland, OR; Guisados in Los Angeles, CA; Jitlada Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA; Big G’s Pizza in Chicago, IL; Gu’s Kitchen in Chamblee, GA; Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack in Asheville, NC; Brick Lane Curry House in New York City, NY
What did The Autoburn Road Trip sweepstakes ultimately entail?
Michael: We created a sweepstakes that reunited fans with the foods and people they love on TUMSAutoburn.com, encouraging followers to share a photo of how they are spicing up their summers.
Customers were invited to share the sweepstakes on social media and refer their friends for bonus entries. Through July 23rd, TUMS selected 25 winners weekly to receive Autoburn road trip kits, filled with essentials to fuel their red-hot road trip adventures such as gas cards, hot sauce, travel kits, etc.
At the end of the sweepstakes, five winners were selected to receive a travel cooler (perfect for when their summer should get too hot!) along with a grand prize winner who received an all-expenses paid trip for four to meet Sean Evans in New York City for a meal to remember at the final stop, Brick Lane Curry House on August 20, 2021.
Did any one of you go on the road trip and eat these spicy foods? We need a recap!
Michael: Unfortunately, this crew did not, but our ACD Jessica Decter and Senior Art Director Jose Contreras Rodriguez both went to different stops. I was impressed when I saw what they ate. If it had been me, I would definitely have needed a few TUMS.
Alex, how did the spicy foods and restaurant locations inspire your illustrations?
Alex: The whole campaign has a general low-brow vibe, having some connections to geographical contexts in some cases, but mostly treating every poster as an intersection of a fiery gig poster, old comics, and American pre-digital nostalgia.
"The whole campaign has a general low-brow vibe, having some connections to geographical contexts in some cases, but mostly treating every poster as an intersection of a fiery gig poster, old comics, and American pre-digital nostalgia."
Every poster started out as a rough idea/sketch from the creative team, and from there we started a conversation on how to create a story from each dish. For example, Great Balls of Fire being meteors coming from the sky, Chiles Toreados a lil gang of hot peppers sliding over a taco skateboard in LA, Chongqing being some letters made of lightning with a friendly death metal vibe, etc... We wanted the letters to become a hero element on each poster and really create the illustration around and from them.
Menno, as the CCO what was your involvement in this campaign? Michael, how about you as ECD?
Menno: Very little. I love it when great things happen and my involvement is minimal. In this case, my role was mostly encouragement to make sure we do stuff that we love, and backchanneling as needed to remove any obstacles that may prevent that from happening. I wish I was more involved, but all the credit goes to Michael, Brian and the creative teams.
Michael: I was very involved in the concepting phase, but when it came to the execution, full credit goes to Alex and the creative team. They just nailed it. I just sprinkled in a few ideas here and there.
Menno and Alex, since you’re both from the same Young Guns 6 class that means you’ve had a long time appreciating each other’s work. How did you get to know each other?
Alex: Menno and I have known each other for many years, and we have crossed paths a few times. I consider myself a crafter more than a thinker, so it’s always a great pleasure to connect with a great thinker like Menno to join forces.
Menno: To be honest I have been a Trochut fan boy since he emerged on the scene, and we have done a couple of projects together now. I love that whatever Alex delivers – from type, to 3-D visuals, to illustrations like these – it is always of the highest quality. Working with Alex means you get something back where you think, “Oh, I didn’t see that coming. But damn, it’s good.”
"Working with Alex means you get something back where you think, “Oh, I didn’t see that coming. But damn, it’s good.”"
Alex: The 360i team has been a delight to work with. I feel we had great communication and a really relaxed way to bounce ideas from each other constantly. It’s been a great creative dialogue.
Michael: I fully agree with Alex, this was an incredible process. I absolutely love when you can work together with people you admire and trust.
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