Launching Smart Remote X and Smart Remote U
Project Overview. After a year focused on designing features for Smart Remote and Smart Remote App, my role became more Brand and Marketing oriented as the Beta program was ending and we were preparing to launch Smart Remote in 1000+ Best Buy stores across the US and online.
Website, Packaging, Art Direction and Motion Design for the product launch video, Photography, 3D, Assets, Advertising
4 months
Head of Marketing, 1 front-end developer, 1 designer
Press coverage
Recommendations from coworkers
  • From the Kickstarter campaign to the end of the Beta program, we presented Smart Remote as one product model but we were actually preparing to launch two models at different pricing
  • As a new company with limited budget launching a new kind of device and competing with tech giants like Logitech, we needed a strong and clear communication to catch the attention of customers and press
  • We needeed to have two different packagings and make a new website to present two products
  • We needeed a product video acting both like an ad and a product explainer video
Bringing colors back
When I joined sevenhugs, there wasn't a real brand color, almost everything was black and I was asked to bring back a blue brand color. Working on the launch, we figured out we would need to use colors to differentiate Smart Remote X from Smart Remote U as they have the same design and story. We also needed to work on colors and branding to differentiate ourselves from the competition and catch consumers' attention in retails. After many experiments, we decided to use gradients as they reflects movement, brightness, lighting, life. I made a lot of complex gradient explorations and also animations, looking for creative ways to use them on web.
Designing packaging sleeves
We wanted the packaging to clearly communicate what does the product so people can understand at first glance that it controls Entertainment devices (TV, speakers, set-top boxes, game consoles, etc...) and Smart Home devices (lights, thermostats, fans...). The constraints were to have on the front of the pacakging the logo, product image, tagline, entertainment/smart home, Point Mode technology callout (only for SRX). To represent entertaiment/smart home, I first made trials with devices icons and big typography, but after several trials I noticed that we could merge our tagline and entertainment/smart home into one element so we have less items, which would make them more impactful.
First version printed for test purposes
To test the efficiency of the packaging, we did internal visual tests recreating a shopping experience in retail. We would look at the packaging for a few seconds and see what we could remember, compare it with previous versions we made or competitors' packagings, look at it from a long distance and see what was visible enough, etc. After many trials and reviews, we finally selected those packaging, with the tagline 'Control your MUSIC, TV, LIGHTS, HOME'.
3D Rendering of the final version
Point Of Sale Display for Best Buy
While working on the packaging, we also designed some versions of our point of sale display. We made versions with different dimensions, with or without screen, with different marketing content... depending on budget and specifications. I also worked on the mount used to attach Smart Remote to the display, and on the software running on the Smart Remote. We made a video loop simulating a user browsing through the carousel of popular integrations and scenes/routines (Apple TV, Phillips Hue, Nest, Watch Netflix, Party time...). If the user touches the screen, it breaks the loop and allows him to interact with the device, to test the screen responsiveness, basically feel both the software and hardware. For this reason, it was important to build a mount that let user really touch and feel Smart Remote and not the mount.
Screens used for the video loop & interactive demo
Side view of the POS display mount
I also had to redesign our website and create new pages to integrate our new branding with gradients and tell a new story, consistent with other channels like the packaging or the product video. Our existing website was a landing page to present the product for the Kickstarter campaign and we needed to update it to tell the stories of our 2 models, add use cases with lifestyle images, have a store... I worked on the design of some pages for months, like the product page. I wanted to an interactive experience that delights users and make our website stands out. We needed to present the features Smart Remote offers with real uses cases so people can really understand how this new product works. The main challenge was that Smart Remote U and X share the same features, except the Point Mode feature only on SRX, so they have the same story but we wand to people to understand their difference. That's why we created one product page and a dedicated page to Point Mode. We also made the difference very clear in the product launch video. I ended up designing a product page that reacts on scroll, so user browses through Smart Remote features and use cases while scrolling.
Product Launch Video
We decided to produce a product launch video that would act both like an explainer video and like an ad. We needed to get noticed and remembered by consumers and the press, while introducing clearly the features and possibilities of Smart Remote. We worked with a video production agency for 2 months. We made a script, did a casting, selected houses and props, and shot the video in 2 locations in California on two days. We also collaborated with the agency during the post-prod phase to integrate the motion design I made, the opener with Smart Remote animation and the closing with the tagline. The video has been used on our website, shared in press articles and got great feedback.
Moodboard for the product video
Product & Lifestyle Photography
While shooting the video, we also shot new lifestyle photographies. I also regularly shot product photographies at our office to use on our website and in marketing or support materials.