Beartrap Summer Festival
The two-day Beartrap Summer Festival has been pleasing Bluegrass fans since 1994. Held in Casper, Wyoming’s scenic Beartrap Meadow, the event hosts some of the country’s top Bluegrass musicians and entertains thousands of music lovers annually. From the beginning, the Festival has offered commemorative T-shirts for sale. Although the Tees all featured a bear-themed Festival logo, the logo lacked consistency over the years and failed to create a unified brand identity for the event.
The Beartrap Summer Festival enjoys the loyalty of legions of repeat festival-goers from year to year. The problem was that the Festival’s lack of a distinctive brand identity kept the event under the radar of many lovers of Bluegrass who could potentially become festival-goers in the future. Since there isn’t any mention of Bluegrass (or music) in it’s name, the Festival needed some way to communicate its musical nature to those who were unfamiliar with the event.
The Festival clearly needed to carve out a distinctive and consistent brand identity in order to ensure future growth. Warehouse Twenty One proposed a campaign approach based on a hand-illustrated bear character endowed with a bit of folksy character. Incorporating a banjo — the quintessential Blugrass icon — into the drawing would provide an instantly recognizable clue about the Festival’s musical DNA.
The hand-drawn illustration of a bear with a banjo that we created was a giant leap forward for the Festival’s brand identity. Unlike the bear that it replaced, the Warehouse Twenty One-created bear had a distinct and approachable personality. We decided to leverage the bear’s unmistakable charm by allowing his character’s T-shirt persona to morph slightly from year to year — while retaining the overall campaign feel necessary to establish and strengthen the Festival’s brand.
Since its introduction, the Beartrap Bear has become a widely recognized symbol clearly associated with the Beartrap Summer Festival. Festival-goers look forward to seeing each year’s T-shirt treatment and discovering what their favorite ursine icon (sorry, Smokey) is up to.