10 Cane "Growing Cane"
"It's one of those great situations where an agency was involved in creating a brand from scratch," he says. "It's a big idea that translates into a lot of different media."
While Mother didn't design the actual 10 Cane bottle -- that task fell to Werner Design Werks in Minneapolis -- agency copywriter Todd Lamb did write the copy, and the shop was, as Karlsson says, involved "from the very beginning."
The project involved traveling to Trinidad with photographer Lars Topelman to document the country and the process of making rum, a trip that resulted in some 5,000 images, which are beginning to appear in wild postings, and will soon appear in print ads, on billboards and in a 60-page custom magazine that will appear in July. Additionally, Karlsson shot footage for 17 short films, nine of which will debut on the web next week at 10cane.com. The black and white shorts feature a revolving cast of characters involved in the rum-making process and in Trinidad's nightlife. A French voiceover narrates the action, accompanied by English subtitles.
The site itself -- developed in conjunction with Kirt Gunn & Associates (the company behind Mercury's "Meet the Lucky Ones" effort) -- is unusual, most notably for its navigation. Visitors are asked to enter a word when they arrive and then are guided through the site based on Google-like associations with the word they've chosen. The remainder of the films will debut later this year.