SWITCHEL UP: VOLT Studios Creates Brand Spot for Hobby Farmer’s Switchel

It’s time to Switchel Up! Minneapolis-based VOLT Studios is expanding their motion design department by adding 3D capabilities, perfectly timed to deliver a dynamic brand spot “Switchel Up” for Hobby Farmer’s Switchel beverage. The spot premieres as part of Switchel’s summer tour at music and sports events including the Olympic gymnastic trials, where they will be setting up a Switchel Mocktail Bar, similar to what they recently did for the Big Ten Basketball tournaments held in Minneapolis.

Let’s take a look at the spot then dive into the creative effort behind the campaign…

The origin story of the collaboration is rooted in the Minneapolis production and advertising industry, in which Jeff Cerise – Hobby Farmer’s founder – built a notable career including that of founder of creative agency Secret Agent Man. So when it came time to turn to partners to create a new spot, his longtime friends and Switchel fans at VOLT Studios were a natural choice.

“I loved just letting VOLT run wild. I gave them our label designs and said you have a license to freak. It’s beyond our expectations – from the design, to the edits, to the music,” comments Cerise. It instantly elevates our brand image with greater vibrancy than we imagined. That’s the beauty of trusting creative partners, and a tribute to their team.”

For VOLT, the collaboration was rewarding on many levels, including direct to brand creative ideation to harnessing the power of 3D animation in order to deliver maximum production value and a dynamic spot as effervescent as the product itself.

“Our goal was to provide a larger than life, punchy, big brand high-energy feel for a rising star beverage company. Having the opportunity to really partner with Jeff and his team, with latitude to explore and experiment in the development stage, allowed us to design a variety of options,” explains Motion Designer/Editor Kurtis Benson.

“Ultimately,” adds Creative Director Tom Jacobsen, “We all sought to embody the experience of opening a can – a pop of excitement that has sensory and design appeal.”

Here are a few screengrabs from the spot…

“Working in the 3D space meant we could deliver a variety of assets – for social, the web and print, in addition to the brand spot,” relays Animation Director Mike Nelson. “That’s one of the advantages of working in 3D, and a real advantage for clients looking to maximize their creative. In this instance, our passion for what we do supercharges Jeff’s passion for his incredible product.”

While the visual for “Switchel Up” is pop-tastic, the history of Hobby Farmer Switchel has a rock and roll bent – to when Jeff was the singer in a band who applied his family’s secret Switchel recipe to keep his voice performing night after night. Over the years, his Switchel developed a cult following by friends and colleagues who appreciated its refreshing and delicious taste, along with the immune system benefits. Today, the brand is available online, at retail outlets, public events, and Switchel Fizz is a preferred mixer at high end restaurants for both cocktails and mocktails alike.

In reflecting on this moment for Switchel, Cerise says: “Our goal is to deliver a product that people really enjoy and also makes them feel good. And in working with VOLT I know that’s how they feel about what they do. It’s a fundamental and energizing combination.”

“For everyone involved, the campaign is the mark of mutual expansion while still staying rooted in community and genuine collaboration,” concludes VOLT’s Steve Medin. “We thrive on being creative partners – whether it is with bespoke brands like Hobby Farmer to internationally known giants like Target and Subaru. The growth of the motion department comes at just the right time. Or, to put it another way: it’s a refreshing next chapter.” 

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