Go Why or Go Home

We feel every brand is a remarkable story waiting to be told, and for every client trying to meet a challenge we have to find that story. When our client told us the concept they called the Celtic Cowboy Pub and Restaurant, our first step was to ask, “Why?” Why does this town need another bar and grill? Why an Irish pub? Why undertake an expensive renovation of a derelict, abandoned building?

It’s part of how we approach every project. Because if you can’t answer the whys, then there’s no way to get to the hows. If it doesn’t ring true, if it doesn’t inspire, if it doesn’t tell an exciting story, then it won’t make for an exciting brand.

The client’s answers to our questions helped us shape the brand. Passionate about preserving a vital piece of the city’s architectural heritage, Celtic’s owners were determined to save the historic Arvon Block and restore it to its rightful place as the cornerstone of a reinvigorated downtown. The owners were also eager to share the history of the block’s builder and civic founding father, Robert Vaughn. In a town with all the chain restaurants it could ever need, the Celtic Cowboy’s undeniable authenticity would stand head and shoulders above the competition.Celtic Cowboy Exterior

In fact, Vaughn’s own head and shoulders would become the signature element of the brand; the identity we developed was anchored by our portrait of him, and his sense of frontier spirit comes through in each new expression of the brand—speaking to the rich heritage and respect for tradition embodied by the man, the building, and the place. The kind of place that can’t exist anywhere else; you won’t see Celtic Cowboys sprouting up in Provo or Bismarck or Delaware. You can only find it here, because it’s special.

In short, our work for Celtic Cowboy was the answer to, “Why?”

It’s why we believe in matching the right talent to the task. Banik is a crew of excited, skilled, creative individuals who each contribute their best to the overall success of our work. It’s our passions and opinions and differences and preferences which push us to excel for the benefit of our clients.
“Why” makes us uncomfortable. Which is why it’s so important, because comfortable never inspires, never excites, never strives or excels. “Why” is the gateway to greatness.

And it’s why, at this year’s Montana Ad Federation awards, we were given the night’s top honor—Best of Show—for the Celtic Cowboy campaign. Because we sought out the whys of the project, the hows of creating a lively, relevant, tightly integrated campaign became logical—perhaps even inevitable. Competing against higher-profile work for larger clients, the campaign stood out because it helped elevate the brand, and it contributed greatly to the venture’s success.

And “why” also led to recognition of a more immediate sort. The pub’s owners report that since they’ve opened, pint glasses emblazoned with the Celtic Cowboy logo have been disappearing at a brisk clip—making our work a part of the permanent collections of some of the finest homes in the region and other parts of the country.

That’s the kind of work we’re driven to do. Work that’s good enough to steal.

Take a look, and you’ll know why.


Ink, Pixels, Work