Design: Brandon
Location: United Kingdom
Project Type: Produced
Client: Thornton & Ross
Product Launch Location: United Kingdom
Packaging Contents: Water-based lubricant
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Plastic tube & cardboard outer

Background and brief
Although KY Jelly is often regarded as the generic term for lubricants, over time the brand had started to lose its relevance with consumers amidst increased competition. Other brands talk to consumers looking for fun and adventure in the bedroom, but brand owner Thornton & Ross had identified a gap to communicate on a more meaningful level with the ‘sex-neglecters’ group – those aged 30-plus who are time poor and juggling many different things, consequently pushing sex down the priority list. It was our role to bring the brand’s new proposition of ‘freedom to connect’ to life.

Strategy & Insight
Making connections is a big issue for people today; our busy lives get in the way, but there’s a strong link between intimacy and relationships and health and wellbeing. Research showed that our target audience are looking to really enhance their relationship and regain intimacy in the bedroom, to connect more deeply both emotionally and physically with their partners.

Lube can help make sex more enjoyable, which in turn enhances our wellbeing and mood – it’s clear things feel better when we lube. We wanted to bring this to the fore and make Kynect the lubricant that people can trust and feel confident will work, thereby giving them the freedom to connect deeper and the confidence to truly enjoy sex and to get lost in the moment. The new Kynect name builds on this idea of connection and adds emotion and a greater sense of meaning to the brand, while also cleverly retaining the ‘KY’ brand equity.

It was important for our design to be gender neutral and focus on the relationship between two people, rather than just sex. The new design is an abstract portrayal of intimacy to bring the idea of connection to life, which is also reinforced by the little details in the custom typeface such as the ‘n’ and the ‘c’ linking together and the little flick of the ‘y’ hugging the ‘k’.

The silhouettes and soft colour palette also subtly suggest intimacy without being too blatant. And the overall feel of the design is one of transparency, honesty and openness. It empowers and encourages people to make deeper connections without feeling overly forced and preachy.

The branding has been brought to life on packaging and across comms which will run in 2021.

It’s always a risk changing such an established brand name, but initial research shows that consumers understand the link between KY and Kynect. It also creates more positive feelings amongst users and non-users, reflecting in a higher purchase intent.

Alison Gates, Senior Brand Manager at Thornton & Ross: “KY Jelly is almost a ‘category name’ in the UK with people often referring to lubricants as KY, therefore, to move away from that, we needed to replace it with a strong brand identity that speaks directly to consumers. Brandon has achieved that through Kynect’s distinct positioning which is sensitive to our existing consumers yet engaging to a new audience.”

What’s Unique?
The brand positioning is focused around connection and intimacy rather than sex like its competitors.