Google alerts has officially notified me that this story is sizzling across the web (from CNN to the The Takeout). Fargo Brewing Co. from North Dakota recently did a very cool can release aimed at “ONE-der dogs,” highlighting difficult-to-adopt dogs from a local rescue on its packaging.
This past Monday, the brewery hosted an event (image below) where beer drinkers and dog lovers could pick up a $9 six-pack of Fargo Brewing’s Original Larger in the excellent packaging above and meet one of the doggies up for adoption. $1 from all the proceeds on pints and six-packs were donated to 4 Luv of Dog Rescue, a Fargo rescue devoted to rescuing and rehoming fidos and bowwows.
I reached out to Fargo Brewing, and Cofounder Aaron Hill, and Jerad Ryan, volunteer for 4 Luv of Dog Rescue, sent me this statement.
“I have been a volunteer at 4 Luv of Dog Rescue for a little over four years now. The harder to adopt dogs, sometimes labeled as ONE-der dogs, have always had a special place in my heart,” said Ryan. “My living situation changed to where I could foster one of our ONE-der dogs, so I took Bizzy home. She has been bounced around and ended a long-term residence at our shelter where she didn’t have much fun.”
“I was always trying to think of ways to promote her and the other less fortunate dogs in our rescue. At my job at Northern Plains Label [a custom label printer in Fargo] we produce labels for breweries, and I just had the light bulb style idea to feature the dogs on beer cans. I approached my boss about donating labels to a brewery willing to feature our dogs. He loved the idea. I asked Fargo Brewing if they would be willing to do this for us, and they loved it too. They have gone above and beyond with donating profits and having an event where the public can come and meet our ONE-der dogs, as they don’t get to attend events with the other dogs. The response from the community has already been amazing and heartwarming.”
Pretty great stuff, right? The six dogs featured on the beer cans are Nyx, Bizzy, Jensen, Hobie, Moby and Virginia. I’ve reached out to 4 Luv of Dog Rescue to see if any had been adopted yet and will update this post if I hear back. Fargo Brewing packaged some 40 cases of this special adopt-a-dog lager, and last we heard: “We have approximately 10 cases left,” said Hill.
A big reason why this whole concept works is because of Fargo Brewing’s beautifully clean can designs. The dogs just fit perfectly onto that white palette. As our website has documented over the last few years, the bright white can design trend continues to be popular throughout the industry. From our friends at CODO Design on the white design craze:
Is it store brand or premium? Is it Millennial Minimal or just unconsidered? Maybe vintage and unfettered? We touched on the minimal branding trend last year. And while it was definitely clean, there was still some color to it. Now, we’re seeing packaging (predominantly cans) that eschews even the most base of design elements altogether.
It seems as if we’re in an arms race to create the most reductive, simplified cans and bottles possible. This look is signified with a large amount of white space, one, or if you’re feeling snazzy, two colors, maybe an icon and some typography.
For Fargo Brewing, the look works perfectly. This great idea and the great design seem to connect with a lot of people, myself included. I’ve helped foster difficult-to-find-a-home dogs from the Ohio Pug Rescue, and it shrivels your heart a little every time you have to pass along that dog to someone else. So, it feels good to see something like this succeed in a big way.
“This is crazy and completely unexpected,” said Hill. “Obviously the whole point is to find these dogs a home, but it’s awesome to see the outpouring of support from all over the country. ”