Branding: Design choice - Ben Sherman and Gibson guitars

It is sweet when good strategic thinking meets cool design.

Here is how to do it: first, take some iconic Gibson guitars and basses. Then set up a collaboration with Ben Sherman's in-house design team and a specialist 'guitar artist' to create 18 uniquely decorated guitars. Display said guitars in Ben Sherman's worldwide stores. Finally, auction said guitars on eBay and raise thousands for local charities.

For me, an agency planner, fundraising specialist and dodgy bass player, this works on many levels. The guitars look fabulous and the designs exude British style, from 60s Mods through Punk to Britpop. They also communicate to Ben Sherman's customers in Sydney, Los Angeles or Dubai that this is the store where you can buy the dream of 'cool Britannia'. Gibson, meanwhile, demonstrates that its fine products are as much fashion statements as musical instruments.

The fearfully dull subject of corporate social responsibility is given a refreshingly fun twist and a load of cash goes to small charities, many of which specialise in music education. If you haven't seen the website yet, get bidding at However, leave the Boating Stripe Thunderbird Bass alone - I want it.

Design: In-house

Guitar artist: Phillipe Dubreuille.


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