With 1,350 suppliers and manufactures attending this year’s International Food Exhibition the competition for who has the best stand was Hot (with a capital H) – and you’d be surprised at who got the number one spot (IMHO).

Of course it is subjective, but the stand out winner for me came from totally left field. It was (of all things) a political initiative to raise awareness of how government legislation is restricting the development of brands across a range of industries. HOW DULL – I hear myself say, but this normally dry topic was brought to life in the most creative way, using a fun and engaging event area, reflective of a creepy fortune teller’s fun fair.

‘The Future of Brands’ event area showed how non-descript visual packaging and featureless shop displays of the future might look, if heavy handed government regulation is not curtailed. The messages were compellingly illustrated with the use of countless examples from a mix of industries and countries around the globe where the effects of visual censorship and heavy taxation is already in effect (across more than just cigarettes).

The initiative was funded by JTI (Japan Tabaco International – a global tobacco company), but its messaging was aimed purely at brands from other categories such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, confectionery and anything else that we all know isn’t as healthy for us as a mung bean stew.

Some stand out features of the event area included:

·     The eerie design of a derelict fun fair

·     The spinning wheel of ‘mis’fortune

·     Zoltan, the animated fortune teller

·     A drab but fun duck shoot target game

·     A bland shop display with faceless brands

To top it off, there was a smart magician, who faster than the blink of an eye amazed me with a range of mind boggling deceptions. Just centimeters from my face he turned lottery tickets into £20 pound notes; and lead me into so many mis-directed assumptions, I am just thankful he didn’t walk away with the contents of my own wallet.

On top of this, the quality of print collateral was excellent too. Zoltan (the fortune telling mannequin) kindly churned out a unique cryptic message, which was added to with a poker style faced USB card and fold open business card flyer too.


The suited team from JTI were all suitably well polished, knowledgeable and keen to engage. If I could suggest one extra element, it would be the cold, creepy claw of a Vikings style soothsayer gliding over towards me to pull me in.

JTI’s creative agency Ignis are due a well earned credit, for an excellent stand – creating a fun, memorable and high impact experience from an otherwise dry topic.


….For more ideas, insight or a creative ideas chat about what’s possible – feel free to get in touch and say hello.