In 2010, Amy (Regional Marketing Manager) from Nando’s Central Support office in London contacted us and asked if we could tender for the business of their chicken suit. They wanted a design and they were thinking of placing an order for 50 suits, and they had a planned budget figure that was fixed.
Already they’d had 2 costumes made, one by a company that charged two and a half times the cost of one of our suits (But they did not like the design or practicality of the costume and it didn’t represent the brand, it was a bit more Warner brothers than Nando’s)
And one that had cost half of the budget, but that neither looked like the brand or even a chicken, it looked very sad after a couple of outings.
We were supplied with the Nando’s logo, and a brief “Bring the Nando’s cockerel to life, but not in a cartoony way.”
ACTUAL BRIEF FROM NANDO’S
“Make it fun, larger than life, durable, high quality and within budget”
That was enough, the passion to meet this challenge took over.
First we looked at what they had bought before, and understood why it didn’t work for Nando’s.
We then looked at the logo, our first question was ”Can we give it converse trainers?” The answer was. “Yes for special occasions”
That was enough! Not only did we want to do a sketch , we wanted to make the costume and demonstrate all the durable functional practical aspects of our suits. So we did.
I had two ideal guinea pigs who both worked for Nando’s in Manchester (and were totally passionate about the experience) They would be the type of wearers in the restaurants around the country.
I asked them what would help them enjoy wearing the suit, and it included “not wearing tights” And “not having to take off my jeans”
So we built that into the design.
Our first stage was to build a quick 3D mockup for the client to discuss / approve.
I have feedback from the team here and the design is very close to where we want to be. Well done!
I have made comments on the attached two drawings, I thought it easier that way. If anything is unclear please give me a ring.”
Within 2 weeks I was on a train to London, the Nando’s chicken suit beside me.
The presentation was loads of fun, everyone loved the design, the look, the clever legs and feet, the great vision and sublimated printing.
The Brand Experience Manager tried it on, we talked over a few alterations including making the dangly bits more dangly! (…and the printed key lines look more hand drawn)
They loved the Converse trainers!
An order for 25 was put into action immediately and we were give the authority to supply worldwide.
Now, 7 years on, we have supplied over 150 suits in the U.K suits to America, and several other countries. We even have one in Australia. We have provided extras for any missing or lost items, collected and refurbished and well-loved suits, and have developed a stock system whereby we can meet any order for 1-4 suits within a week or two.
The Nando’s chicken, Barci (short for Barcelos) is one of our favourite costumes to make. It’s great to be a global supplier for them.
“It has been a pleasure working with Costumes With Character, the team are always at the ready to assist with any requests. Service is fantastic and turnaround times always exceed expectations. Barci is a much loved part of the family and we have been impressed by the quality of the suits. He is a valuable addition to our local marketing activities.”
Amy Schoeman – Nando’s