HBO came to us with a name, and an idea
To start, we delved into the landscape the brand needed to sit in. We carried out visual and verbal audits of brands who speak to the same audience. And, unusually, we didn't carry out a competitor audit because Human By Orientation currently stands alone in what it offers.
Understanding this landscape helped us shape how Human By Orientation could stand out and capture the attention of queer people in the US.
We compiled all our findings and insights into a discovery report that showed HBO where the opportunities were — including a detailed exploration of how various brands use Gilbert Baker’s iconic rainbow flag.
Next, we developed the strategic foundation of the brand
The growing COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink our plans for the next phase of work — in particular, our plan to hold in-person workshops. We changed tact and ran a series of digital workshops with the HBO team instead. We nailed down answers to fundamental questions about the brand, including defining their personality, values and purpose.
During the workshops, we hit upon a key insight. In the face of significant challenges, queer people in the US are increasingly confident about living their lives in public. This led us to our brand purpose: “to celebrate our proudest, queerest selves.”
This purpose became the rallying cry for everything that followed.
The team were all so warm and kind. The result exceeded my wildest expectations, and I eagerly await the chance to work with them again.
Human By Orientation events bring queer audiences together to celebrate who they are and build a community around the brand.
We developed a celebratory sound and look — with a rainbow-evolving feel
After exploring what visuals Human By Orientation’s personality, values and purpose inspired, we presented four creative concepts. Ultimately, we settled on “blurring the lines”: a route that celebrates fluidity. It symbolises how you don’t need to define your orientation or gender. You can be proudly queer without giving yourself a label.
The colour palette is an evolution of the rainbow flag, blurring the defined lines that usually separate each colour. The idea of fluidity and energetic movement is reflected in the upward angle of the rainbow gradients, which give a sense of momentum.
With the visual identity in place, we explored Human By Orientation’s tone of voice. We created a celebratory voice that was built from the same guiding principles as the visual identity — linking back to the personality and purpose.
Then we created a system for both the visual identity and tone of voice to make sure the brand had the adaptability it needed to exist in lots of different contexts, while always staying true its sense of celebration.
Human By Orientation launched with HBO’s 2020 digital Pride celebration
The Human by Orientation campaign was covered by Deadline, Fast Company and Variety, notching up over 1.4 billion impressions within the first 24 hours after launch. Our work for HBO was also the subject of a feature article in Creative Review.
Some scenes from Human By Orientation’s virtual pride activation, produced by Lupine Creative.
We created an inspiring brand playbook to empower future teams to build on-brand campaigns and communications.