Young & Laramore

Ugly Mug

When we first began work on this brand, research showed that people identified with the Ugly Mug name, but its existing packaging didn’t leverage that affinity. So, we set out to re-brand Ugly Mug with packaging, advertising, a blogger relations campaign and a strong new identity system complete with authentic wood cut type and an anti-cloyingly-Starbucksian-coziness-attitude to fit. Purchasing managers were explicit: it was the packaging that helped Ugly Mug onto shelves from Maine to Florida. Simultaneously, we courted influential bloggers to spread the word about the new coffee king about town. The result? More exposure than Ugly Mug could ever afford, and a healthy online sales curve. Apparently, the world was as ready for an unpretentious premium coffee as we were.

Among other national awards, Ugly Mug was featured alongside Coca-Cola, Tazo, Vespa and Wolfgang Puck in Graphis’ Corporate Identity textbook.


Differentiating a brand in a cluttered category: strategy, research, media planning and buying, broadcast, print, out-of-home, events, identity system, specialty collateral, digital and website