Just like any other superhero – superhuman, rather (according to the brief) – Captain Berg has an origin story. It’s a short one but it’s nonetheless as complex and important as the one of the hero in a black suit with pointy ears beating up bad guys and protecting his city.
The ideation of the character started when the guys from Broomberg barged into our office (like their energetic selves), one fine afternoon, asking us to make a mascot for them.
Broomberg provides deep-cleaning services for homes, offices and cars – therefore, our mascot had to do the same. Broomberg required a mascot who ‘is friendly, trustworthy, an expert, means business, is a know-it-all, down to earth, takes Charge, solves problems, is witty, but not condescending, talks directly to the audience, and an authority on cleaning.’
Mascots are the representation of a brand. They are the personas who are essentially the physical embodiment of the brand’s vision and mission. Therefore we decided to transform a regular cleaning guy into a mascot by giving him lots of gadgets (to clean with, obviously) and a cool hairstyle.
Captain Berg is someone who leads by example and is not afraid to get his hands dirty if he feels the need to clean a spot is of utmost importance.
Following the guidelines we did a few sketches in the beginning and sent them across. We received feedback that what we had created was not what they were not looking for. Rather, Broomberg wanted a character who worked from the shadows and was stealthy in his approach. The character needed to look mature and the costume needed to be changed to reflect that.
With this feedback in mind, we stitched a better costume for Captain Berg using the pen tool and bezier curves on a canvas. The new costume had a better, brighter red color. It had a mask for the stealthy look and even scrubbers under his boots. Captain Berg now carried a foldable squeegee which went inside the sheath attached to his back, and a few instant capsules which when popped open would morph into equipment needed to deep clean a certain area.
We were very happy with the character but this time, we learned that the character was now supposed to be more muscular and heroic. To bring this across, we had to add – wait for it – a cape! One that was as spotless as Broomberg’s service.
I bet no one saw that coming.
Although we had already spent around one and a half days on the previous versions, this time we started work on a new idea from scratch. The character now was clearly more muscular and dependable than the two iterations before. We kept the foldable squeegee attached to the character’s back intact and also left the scouter in its place. However the most beautiful part was the addition of the cape, the guy definitely seemed to have more authority now.
We sent across the new character to Broomberg, and they loved it! Captain Broomberg is now out on the streets protecting people from the rampant allergies and sickness a dirty environment can cause. Just give him a shout out and he’ll be there before you can spell ‘anaphylactic’.