Say hello to Berg

10th December 2020, News by Ryan Marx

Gone are the days of sickly sweet alcopops destined for pre-loading punters, the new generation of drinks aspire to more sophisticated, cleaner, healthier flavours.

The RTD genre is growing rapidly, driven by customer demand for alternatives that suit their millennial tastes. Innovation and new products are rife, if something can be batch brewed, distilled or infused, there’s probably somebody working on it right now.

When Lion approached us to develop the brand identity for a new alcoholic seltzer named Berg, our goal was to rise above the brand cliches and sameness of the RTD market and deliver something different.

With an evocative name and a new proposition for clean, lo-cal drinks, we wanted the Berg product identity to be guided by well realised design which told the best story for the product inside.



Berg was created by a unique and complex process, leaving it free from artificial colours and preservatives.

Made from sparkling water, alcohol, and a light dash of fruit flavour for sweetness, with minimal carbs and less than 110 calories, Berg is the perfect chilled option for long, lazy summer days. So what is a seltzer exactly? Although the word “seltzer” sounds like it was coined by a panel of marketeers trying to describe the satisfying pzzt of bubbles being opened, it’s origin comes from the quaint German town of Selters. Renowned for its effervescent properties, the natural carbonation of the Selters springs became something of a local sensation. Sensing they were onto a good thing, the good citizens of Selters became pioneers of fizz, they've been commercially bottling and selling water since the 18th century. Thanks to these industrious Germans, somewhere along the line the word seltzer became synonymous for any mineral water with bubbles added via the magic of dissolved carbon dioxide gas.




As a contemporary take on “hard” or alcoholic seltzer, we were drawn to the idea that it took some deep thinking for Berg to look so effortless, that beneath the surface there was a lot to discover.

In our design direction we played on the concept of the above/below divide, using hidden depths as a visual device to communicate Berg’s uniqueness. With sophisticated drinkers in mind, Berg also needed to portray a high level of visual interest to get across its point of difference while projecting a strong shelf presence. Like its icy floating namesake we wanted to communicate there was more to Berg than meets the eye. An ice floe is an evocative and almost haunting image.

The countless tonnes of H2O locked up in its solid form, the sheer majesty in the power of floating ice, the literal “tip of the iceberg'' which is still the most apt description for all that lies undiscovered. Tonnes of H2O locked up in its solid form, the sheer majesty in the power of floating ice,  the literal “tip of the iceberg'' which is still the most apt description for all that lies undiscovered.



We used the Berg iceberg device to show bold colour differentiations, featuring primary colours in deep blues and yellows with contrasting hits of purples and peach. The horizon line created by the definition between floating object and sea created a visual element which divided up the packaging and provided a focus point which was just off centre.

With fresh, vibrant flavours such as Watermelon, Lemon & Yuzu and Blackberry, the colour contrasts helped portray the varieties while still keeping the minimal aesthetic. For the campaign shots we used bold colours and bright studio lighting, using the horizon line device again in a more playful and informal way. We wanted Berg to look like nothing else in the RTD market, to claim some new ground with a surprising and eye catching design aesthetic.

The end product is a sophisticated drink with unique appeal for discerning drinkers who’ve been yearning for something more refined. The message was deep refreshment and a touch of intrigue, we hoped Berg would pique the interest of curious consumers who were jaded and bored of the usual suspects in the drinks section.

Contemporary, vibrant, and unexpected, Berg is a drink you’ll actually enjoy, not just pretend to. You might say it’s refreshingly deep, we certainly did.



Want more? See the full case study.