Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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Digging deep

‘I was having a glass of Chilean wine, just after the miners had been rescued when it struck me; someone’s missing a trick here,’ says Unreal designer Ryan Tym.

Not content with the idea of designing and sending Xmas cards, Unreal has designed a Chilean wine concept and packaging for ‘Chilean Winers’ based on the 68 day entombing and struggle for survival of 33 miners. The wine is not for sale and a limited-edition run of 33 bottles is being sent out to key contacts.

The complete set of wines

The complete set of wines

Tym refutes the idea that the project might be seen as in dubious taste though. ‘It’s a light hearted Christmas gift based on the good news story of the year,’ he says.

The 33 bottles – one for every miner – have been designed with the same identity but each has been named and numbered after a different miner in the order they were rescued and has details of their story on the reverse.

The front of the Chilean Winers bottle

The front of the Chilean Winers bottle

Information includes the stories of Edison Pena who is believed to have run 10km per day underground and Claudio Yanez who asked for tobacco but received nicotine patches.

A continuous ‘I’ runs through the words ‘Chilean’ and ‘Winers’ on the main label to delineate their position underground and route of rescue. 

The tube based on the Fenix 2 rescue capsule

The tube based on the Fenix 2 rescue capsule

Packaged in a tube representing the Fenix 2 rescue capsule, every effort has been made to ensure the full story is told. ‘It’s been topped up with gravel which you have to dig away to get to the wine,’ says Tym.

He continues, ‘As recipients dig out their wine, they reveal a replica of the message sent up to rescuers which exclaimed “Estamos bien en el refugio los 33” meaning “We are okay in the refuge, the 33 of us.”’

The front of the Chilean Winers bottle

The front of the Chilean Winers bottle

A website with more details of the project www.chileanwiners.com will go live next week.

Readers' comments (16)

  • I hope the designer was less careless with the spelling than you guys are... It is YAÑEZ not YANEZ. There is a big difference!

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  • oh for gods sake....

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  • Nothing like cashing in on the suffering of others!

    Although all the miners were eventually rescued it really should be remembered they were entombed for 68 days during which not only they, but large numbers of family and friends, suffered the incessant torment of not knowing how their story would end. This was very nearly a tragedy – it's only thanks to the immense efforts of the Chilean authorities that the ending was a happy one.

    In my humble opinion kidnapping such a story of suffering and bravery for self-promotion is in shockingly bad taste ('digging' the bottle out of the rescue capsule!). Using it for a related cause would be fair enough. Anything else is crossing the line. And, aside from its linguistic cringe-worthiness, I'm sure the miners would be over the moon at being called 'Chilean Winers'! Let's hope they never find out.

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  • I actually do think this is in bad taste.

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  • Stunningly executed, the depth of thought that's gone into it is as ever testament to Unreal's creative process - though I'm an Unreal advocate.

    However, the devil in me can't help but see it as a bit of a "cash in" to the whole story. It feels irrelevant to Christmas or the design discipline.

    If this was done on behalf of the engineers who created the capsule, or a bottle was sent to the miners themselves as part of the "Christmas Spirit" it would maintain greater pertinence.

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  • Unreal,
    I had looked at your website and compared to a lot of London agencies, you've produced some innovative ideas. But like the Liberal Democrats, you've just made a stupid, stupid move.

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  • Oh yeah, when I think of Christmas the first thing I think of are Chilean Miners suffering in a mine...

    Maybe you should cut back on the wine or the ideas (or a mixture of both) – Whats next min(c)e pies...

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  • The most important question to ask: Is the wine any good?

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  • Initially, I got queasy about this -the whole 'cashing in' on someone else's pain. Bad Karma. If they all hadn't been rescued then yes, definitely poor taste.

    I have to hope that any portion of the sales proceeds will go the miners, their families, or any recovery effort.

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  • I think that if the wine were being sold this might be different but really it's a commorative piece that is trying to mark the success of the miner's rescue and tell their story so i'm surprised by the harsh comments.

    An alternative christmas message to send to clients is a nice change form the usual santa hats on staff type of card! It looks as if lots of thought has gone into the design to reference the story of each of the miners and their rescue too.

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