In March of this year, Interact was contacted by Pallet Magazine, a “medium print quarterly for people with curious minds and adventurous palates,” to design a mock ad for their third issue (“Japan + Star Wars Beers”), which was released this May. The ad was presented as “the impossible sell,” and at first glance, this seemed to truly be the case. The subject? Fracking. “Fracking? What a curious assignment,” you may think, and believe me, the creatives at Interact thought so too. However, once they accepted the challenge, the whole team got together to think critically and sensitively about the firm’s position on the subject, and how they would go about presenting their stance. However, in true Interact fashion, the team took a different avenue. Instead of pursing the conventional pro/con route, they decided instead to inspire a conversation.
Everyone, meet Frackey the Bear! As the product of their genius, the team at Interact, in collaboration with renowned illustrator John Vogl, created a controversial spin on the beloved forest protector, Smokey the Bear. Frackey is positioned within a vintage U.S. National Park poster, which gives the whole image a feeling of old-timey nostalgia. The decision to use a popular icon was a strategic move as it draws the audience in and instills a sense of trust and security in the message. However, as one continues to study the scene, it begins to take on a more sinister feel. Upon closer observation, one discovers that Frackey’s shovel is drenched in thick, sticky oil, oilrigs are positioned at the end of deep tire tracks, and birds are forced to take up residence elsewhere. The message that Frackey leaves us with is a simple, yet convicting, reminder: only you can benefit from national forest oil. There are obvious pros and cons to fracking, which capitalists and environmentalists will always disagree on, but this tension is the entire point: to spark conversation that will allow individuals to form their own opinions through provocation and push back.
Interact prides itself in its identity as a branding and packaging design firm that specializes solely in food and beverage, so the decision to take on this kind of project was far from the norm. However, the team’s commitment to excellence and depth shows the serious versatility and creativity of the firm and those associated with it. Frackey pushed the creative boundaries of the firm while maintaining both the artistic integrity and intrinsic values that Interact has founded itself on and applies to every project it undertakes.
To view the full article, check out Pallet Magazine Issue 3