Philippines’ shopping mall giant SM Supermalls enlisted the services of creative shop Octopus&Whale to work on its ‘Safe Malling’ campaign, with the intention of bringing returning mall goers up to speed on the so-called “new normal” before reopening.
“Because of SM’s central role in a Filipino’s life,” says SM Vice President for Corporate Marketing Grace Magno, “We took it upon ourselves to keep everyone safe and healthy [with Safe Malling]. We asked O&W to come up with an optimistic message, but reminding the public of what the new mall world will ask of them upon their visits.”
In addition to the creative challenge, O&W co-Founder Nolan Fabular shared that the agency prioritized the mental health of everyone involved while working (remotely): “More than finishing the campaign, it was the difficulty of being productive while in quarantine that we had to face. Good thing we talk about it regularly and remind each other that it’s ok, not to be ok.”
With ‘Safe Malling’, O&W saw the opportunity to create something as functional as it was noticeable.
O&W Founder and Chief Creative Joey Tiempo said: “We were concerned about how effective an online video would be in keeping people safe from COVID19. The real tension, we felt, was the difficulty Filipinos would experience in having to follow safety guidelines when they finally flocked to the malls after the lockdown. So we proposed to the client to come up with a wayfinding design idea to introduce mallgoers to ‘Safe Malling’”.
Octopus&Whale set about crafting bold visual markers to be placed throughout the interiors of SM’s various malls. These included directional floor arrows to encourage one-way customer traffic, and other forms of distinct, colorful signage to guide mallgoers for maximum safety.
“We put them in elevators, escalators, restrooms, parking lots – places where there is usually no one to physically remind people to follow the guidelines. They are colorful and fun for a reason: we still want people to feel optimistic despite all the strict safety guidelines they have to observe,” said Tiempo.
“With hip graphics and bold colors, what greets you when you visit the mall are fresh and bright signage – though these are stern reminders of social distancing, rules for elevators and escalators and entrances and parking, they are executed in a warm and friendly way,” said Magno
O&W’s contribution is part of SM Supermalls’ overall initiative to ensure their customers’ safety across their 74 malls nationwide, including regular sanitizing of common areas, limited operating hours, temperature checks, and disinfecting foot mats at every entrance.
“Malling will not be the same after COVID19,” says Tiempo. “But with ‘Safe Malling’, mallgoers are reminded that they are safe and welcome in SM Supermalls.”
Executive Creative Director: Joey Tiempo
Creative Director: Nolan Fabular
Art Director: Clyde Narte
Illustrators: Nolan Fabular, Clyde Narte, Pauline Ty, Melody Santos
Final Art: Romar Quiros
Accounts: Joy Garcia