Smarties partners with Echo to bring children’s learning to life through interactive design

Echo redesigns the packaging for SMARTIES Music Creator and develops new downloadable online learning resources to encourage children to learn music in a fun and playful way

Brand design agency Echo announces its latest work with children’s confectionery brand, SMARTIES in redesigning its SMARTIES Music Creator (recorder) alongside a number of downloadable online resources that bring music and learning to life. The digital learning resources offer children an interactive brand experience and the opportunity to acquire a new skill by engaging with different learning techniques.

The multi-dimensional concept, which sees physical brand packaging converge with online play, extends from SMARTIES’ previous range of products that encourage developmental and constructive play, and a positive reward system that resolves the tensions between ‘learning’ and ‘treating’.  

Peter Cowie, Account Director at Echo, commented, “Today’s children are independent, smart, excitable and easily bored, but there’s a great opportunity for brands to capture their imagination by creating experiences – through tactile and digital play – that satisfies their curiosity and need for self-expression. SMARTIES wanted to progress their mission in facilitating children’s learning through play and interactive design. Initially, we were asked to design the physical packaging for the toy, but we also explored the option of utilising SMARTIES’ online space to increase the educational value of the learning experience, driving deeper engagement with the brand and packaging and driving traffic to the SMARTIES website.”

The new sustainably made packaging for the recorder, launched in Q2 this year, includes a QR code that, once scanned, redirects consumers to an online portal where they can access a number of resources which children and their parents; can use together to learn to play the recorder. Inspired by SMARTIES’ signature fun and playful brand identity and to appeal to their young target audience (children aged 3-10), Echo designed a vibrant online portal, which is now live, that includes:

  • A brand story page
  • A ‘ways of learning’ scoring system to help parents understand how the toy can benefit their child
  • Downloadable and printable sheet music
  • Interactive pages where children can click on recorder notes to play the corresponding sound
  • Tutorial videos 

These resources are currently available for five different nursery rhymes: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary had a Little Lamb, The Wheels on the Bus, It’s Raining, It’s Pouring and Old MacDonald Had a Farm with the opportunity to add more based on the success of the first five rhymes.

Susie Whittaker, Graphic Designer at Echo, commented,“The SMARTIES brand has a well-established visual identity: it’s a playful, fun and colourful brand. Our aim was to reflect their iconic visual language throughout our new design whilst maximising the channels available to us to help children become more engaged with the brand and the activities. We kept a fluent design language throughout the assets, replacing the usual black notes of the scores’ brown hues, resonating the brand’s chocolate pastilles. The function of the score remains the same but the presentation is in line with the brand’s colourful playful identity. In a similar way, we designed the 8 recorder holes on the visuals of the instrument to resemble the colours associated with the brand and the tasty chocolates inside – a great example of using brand design to influence learning.” 

Tamara Spada, Nestle International Travel Retail Marketing Manager commented, “We are on a mission to inspire parents and guardians to engage with their children in playful learning. No two children are the same and we know from our own studies with child development experts that children learn in different ways. Through the resources that Echo has designed, we are able to offer children a variety of engaging ways in which to learn, highly visual, which corresponds to the different learning styles we have identified; namely the thinker, dreamer, and creator. We’re excited to see how children engage with these new tools that are set out to inspire, drive and motivate fun learning.”

Source: Echo

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