Iconic Tommy was ready for a refresh.
Tommy Moose plush toys live in thousands of fire trucks, police cars, hospitals, and crisis shelters nationwide, ready for first responders and essential workers to distribute to kids in need of comfort and a listening ear in crisis situations. For over ten years, and reaching more than 250,000 children, Tommy has been just one of the expressions of care hailing from Moose International, one of the original fraternal orders and service organizations.
Throughout the years, Tommy’s design had become dated. As part of a rebrand and refresh, we seized the opportunity to strengthen and expand Tommy’s appeal, mission, and ability to care for kids.
As a plush toy, Tommy was a great comfort to children in crisis situations. By adjusting his age from “knowing adult” to “peer,” feeling and learning alongside children, we saw the potential to grow his reach exponentially by creating a Tommy character who could come alongside kids to help them learn and develop social and emotional intelligence in an entertaining way.
We built out visual and verbal signals to intersect two key ideas: ‘caring that strengthens’, and ‘space to flourish’. These ideas combine to express a means of caring that neither coddles nor talks down to kids. Instead, Tommy gives them the room they need to develop their own thoughts, and challenges them to grow.
Our visual signals helped us hone in on the idea of strength, health, and vibrancy in childhood. Natural and bright colors combined with honest, painterly textures to create adventurous settings for Tommy (and children) to explore.
“Caring that strengthens”
Rather than overbearing, or stifling care, we wanted Tommy to center on the kind of care that empowers children, teaching them valuable life, emotional, and social skills.
While updating Tommy’s look, we adjusted to a more childlike age, so that he could interact as a peer, and children could identify more with him. Working with an LA-based animation partner — Pixel Pirate Studios — we refined and modernized a brand new character-design and initial concept art to create a full picture of who Tommy Moose would be, and the world in which he would live.
Plush Toy Design
In collaboration with several partners, we guided the new Tommy Moose character design through concepting and prototyping. His updated design was taken off the page and brought to life as a plush toy. The Tommy plush delivers on dual purpose: a cuddly comfort for kids in times of crisis; and a character with personality, values and intrigue to help children learn.
Identity and Expression
In addition to the on- and off-page reinventions of Tommy himself, his logo was given a fresh new look. With an updated and modernized new logo, we moved into the concepting and further building out of Tommy’s world, bringing our in-house illustration and brand skills to the table.
Tommy’s world, otherwise known as the Heartland, became the backdrop for Lodgic Kids Camp, a childcare space where Tommy is part of the curriculum. At Lodgic Kids Camp, he learns alongside children how to model social skills and caring for others. Three wall-sized murals were created to not only help identify each classroom, but also to create a unique space for the children to learn and grow with Tommy — the Nest, the Meadow, and the Mountaintop.
With Tommy’s new ethos, look, and environment, he’s ready to expand his care for children in more ways than ever. He currently is featured at Lodgic Kids Camp’s three locations in Champaign, Illinois, Madison, Wisconsin, and Louisville, Kentucky.
Pixel Pirate Studios — Character Design
Purrfection — Production and Manufacturing
Silver Pencil in Brand Transformation
The One Club for Creativity