Start and Judge Gill call up MTS

Start Creative and Judge Gill have won a joint contract to redesign the stores of Russia’s largest mobile operator, MTS.

The design groups recently announced a strategic partnership (DW 27 September), and say this win bolsters their plans to expand into Russia, a country rapidly becoming a major source of work for design consultancies. MTS’s main competitor, Beeline, recently briefed Brighton-based Above Consultancy to revamp its stores, while Wolff Olins developed its identity.

Start and Judge Gill have been charged with upgrading MTS stores, which are currently seen as functional places designed to deal with service issues. Their brief, which includes 2D and 3D in-store collateral, is to create an experience which educates and inspires shoppers about the possibilities available from their mobiles. Jonathan Cummings, director of Start, says, ‘Russia is one of the world’s biggest growth markets and MTS is one of Russia’s leading brands. We have a clear brief to deliver the best brand experience on the Russian high street and turn MTS stores into a destination for all mobile phone needs.’

The two groups have worked together for some years, in particular on projects such as Virgin Mobile and Adidas, with Start providing brand strategy and Judge Gill retail environment design.

Start is to recruit Russian designers and copywriters, and plans to open an office in the country. Kevin Gill, managing director of Judge Gill, says Russia offers specific challenges, such as the vast size of the country and the fact that stores have to allow for customers wearing huge coats when temp – eratures plummet. ‘The client was keen to use a consultancy with a range of international exper ience,’ says Cummings.

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