Kasama is a rum brand inspired by the vibrance of the tropics and the celebration of good company. Joyfully crafted in the Philippines, it perfectly captures the unique character of the tropical islands: bold, playful, and always in good spirits. It only takes one sip to get into the sunshine state of mind.
Rum is a type of drink one would associate with drunken nights at your local bar or perhaps even likened to a sailor's spirit of choice. This came with a pervasive look adorned with pirates and tired clichés. The design sensibilities that were associated with rum were not in line with the message we wanted to communicate. It lacked the youthful spirit that the brand needed. That said, we had to reimagine the way rum can be presented.
Creative Direction and Production
Creative Direction: Deane Miguel & Kookie Santos
Lead Strategy: Selina De Guzman
Lead Design: Kookie Santos & Ross Du
Website Design: Kookie Santos
Production: Selina De Guzman & Reena Mesias
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Kyrke Jaleco and team
Gabby Cantero and team
Tarish Zamora and team
Patricia Remoquillo and team
We began with narrowing down what was important for the brand. There were two things: (1) Kasama wanted to highlight the joy of celebration, (2) and its affinity to the beauty of the tropical islands of the Philippines. With this in mind, we had to shape the design that captured both of these things in a way no one else was doing.
THE BRAND NAME
It all started with choosing a name that best represented the essence of the brand. Rooted in the celebration of good times with equally good company, "Kasama," a Filipino term for "companion," only seemed like the most natural choice.
THE BRAND SYSTEM
We sought to visually capture the spirit of Kasama through a brand system influenced by the vibrancy of the Filipino aesthetic: a flurry of tropical imagery and an abundance of color. This inspired the logo, a modern reinterpretation of an old, intricate style of lettering reminiscent of curves and forms of Baybayin—an ancient Tagalog script. The choice of colors was also uniquely Filipino, an unconventional harmony between mismatched colors.
With the design being so heavily rooted in Filipino culture, we also wanted to make it feel like a love letter from the Philippines itself. This resulted in stamp elements that added a personal touch to the brand, as well as hand-drawn illustrations of native and lush flora like the heliconia, ylang ylang, and dapdap.
These elements were meticulously applied to Kasama’s bottle to pay homage to the rum's roots and evoke a sense of fun. Naturally, this extended to its box as well, where the flora and foliage were mixed with postage stamps to make it appear like a package from the Philippines. The brand's packaging became a product experience in itself, projecting a sense of confidence and ceremonial decoration in contrast to what you'd typically expect of rum.
At the core of Kasama is the spirit of joy and celebration. Kasama encourages the market to enjoy the moments of bliss, the moments you wish would never end. This sense of fun and sunshine are authentic parts of the brand that we felt needed to be clearly communicated in Kasama's launch campaign.
By building on these principles, we were able to produce materials that demystified the age-old perception of rum. Instead of falling back on industry tropes, we developed a narrative that showcased the joy of good spirits. Through the launch, one could experience life through rum-colored glasses, with visual storytelling as beautiful as the island itself.
"Working with Serious Studio has been a fantastic experience and I’m constantly impressed by their creativity, professionalism and vision. Mostly recently, Serious Studio was instrumental in producing a five-day, multi-location shoot involving over 30 people. It was a challenge to put together, especially because I am in Warsaw and wasn’t able to be there in person for any of the planning. I literally couldn’t have done it without their hard work, organization, and constant willingness to WhatsApp with me at all hours of the day and night. Most importantly, they have a great sense of humor and are super fun to work with, which makes a huge difference when you’re working together for 19 hours a day."