This year marks TABOO’s 21st birthday and a new chapter in the agency’s evolution as it announces the official launch of innovation and design unit, Taboo LABS.
LABS will sit alongside the group’s recently launched forecasting business, SOON Future Studies, that has already won a slate of blue-chip clients across Australia, USA, India, France and China, such as Mars Incorporated.
Taboo LABS will enable clients to bring to life the opportunities identified by SOON using a culture-first approach to new product development, packaging, branding and multi-dimensional spatial design. Taboo LABS creates disruptive innovation fuelled by the fusion of SOON’s foresight and TABOO’s creativity.
Taboo LABS has just completed the successful development and launch of new hop-water brand Wilde Guru with Tribe Breweries. There are also several new projects underway, including the branding and design for Australia’s first and largest sustainable creative hub, coming soon.
Group managing director, James Mackinnon (lead image), commented: “The innovation and design mechanics of LABS were already baked into TABOO’s DNA. We’ve always strived to make brands more valuable by creating impact where mass communication can’t reach. To create real value, you need to start at the product level – the heart of the brand – and work out from there. Creative agencies are normally engaged after the product ship has sailed, and at that point you’re already limited. LABS supercharges our focus and capability in this area to create culturally relevant brands from inception to connection.”
Taboo LABS will be spearheaded by Kurt Hately and Dane Falkström. Hately, former Asahi head of insights, recently joined the group as strategy director and is responsible for the integration of foresight and insight to drive brand, commercial and business outcomes through Taboo LABS creative solutions.
While Folkström, design lead, has been with the agency for six years leading branding and design projects for Champion, Coopers, TAC and Telstra and is responsible for elevating the Design IQ and Cultural IQ for brands.
Mackinnon added: “TABOO has always connected brands with people through culture, by being a part of it. The addition of LABS alongside SOON makes The Taboo Group a unique, world first, integrated offer. SOON illuminates the future for business, LABS develops and designs innovative solutions, and TABOO launches them into the world through culturally-led communications. We’re extremely excited to introduce this end-to-end solution through the addition of Taboo LABS.”