Uncle Tetsu is a well-known Japanese bakery that is recognized for its delicious cheesecake. There are about 60 restaurant locations around the world (Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Melbourne, etc.) with eight locations in Canada. Stingray Business was approached to create a menu board (two screens) for their new location in Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall. The main request was to have a menu board completely different from what they had in the past.
Coming from a chalkboard menu, they wanted the upgrade to include an animation of their famous icon: “Uncle Tetsu” himself. Another challenge was to design an attractive menu board, with only four items, without it being boring and “cheesy”.
As mentioned before, coming from a chalkboard design, and with a not-so-easy-to-understand type of branding, the artistic direction was not obvious at first. We watched all that was done around the world, and we had nothing to base our design on. All they knew was that they would like their character “Uncle Tetsu” to fly around the world showing the greatness of the brand and the international side of it at some point. And, as mentioned above, the fact of having only four items on their menu brought us a design challenge that we had to overcome.
So we decided to start with their promo. Our first concept was to promote the fact that the brand has stores all over the world by animating “Uncle Tetsu” flying around the planet. The promo spot was very well received, and they were thrilled to have their character “moving around the world.” So the theme was extended to display the four main menu items, and the animated character was accompanied by big images of the products to make them stand out and really appetizing.
The client was so happy about the concept of the big photos with the animation of Uncle Tetsu that they decided to keep both of our concepts in their store, alternating from one to the other throughout the day. The in-store results were so great that they decided to extend the concept to all of their location afterwards!