Fire Told

Fire Told aims to reclaim what has been taken and bring back the true essence and tradition behind smudging through an immersive storytelling experience through music and packaging.
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Brandcenter Project | 2 months | Strategy and Packaging Campaign | Spec

TLDR

The Challenge:

Younger generations are losing touch with history, particularly Native American culture. 

 

Before smudging was popularized, it was illegal, at least for Indigenous folks. It was illegal for Natives to practice their religion until 1978 in the U.S. and smudging was part of those banned religious practices.

Today, Native people are still fighting to be able to perform these ceremonies in hospitals. Smudging, therefore, is not to be taken lightly. 

Opportunity: 

Young people care about culture, but the way they’re learn about it is changing. 

There space to meet the younger generation where they are with forms of content that they already engage with: music and visuals. 

 

There’s a chance to bring back the true essence and tradition behind smudging that has been culturally appropriated by non-Native American influencers and companies. 

Strategy: 

Bring to life the essence of Native American culture through an immersive storytelling experience. 

What Exactly is Smudging: 

Smudge sticks represent the deep pain, sacrifice, resistance, and refusal of Native peoples. 

Smudging sage is a traditional Native American practice used to cleanse one’s self or space of negative energies. Sage bundles should only be handled by the person that intends to use it as a handler’s energy is said to be deposited on the bundle and into the handler’s space. All bundles should be sourced directly from Native suppliers. 

Product: Fire Told

Smudge stick bundles that are interactive, engaging, and educational.

 

An easily digestible but modern way to feature Native American artists and their stories through packaging strip visuals that tell the stories of their tribe and tradition of smudging.    

Cultural Appropriation of Smudging:

Smudging in popular culture has been linked to witch and astrology culture online making this custom even more removed from its original meaning. 

Because of all the history behind smudging, when non-Native people burn sage to "smudge" their homes or other spaces, it minimizes the cultural importance of this ritual. 

 

Much of the messaging focuses on “removing bad vibes” when the original tradition means so much more. 

how this solves the problem

1. Using the smudge sticks to reclaim what has been taken from Native American culture.

2. Using the artist and music as a medium for this form of storytelling that is not only interactive and engaging but educational

3. Repackaging music and putting in short forms of content to tell a story that highlights the essence of Native American culture. 

How we show up: Creative Exeuctions

Stories

The packaging for the bundles will include stories of Native American battles, folk tales, and the featured musicians. 

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Interactive packaging

There will be a set of 3 smudge sticks/kits featuring three types of sage bundles and three Native American musical artists. 

 

 Each kit includes matches, smudge stick with a visual strip, information/instructions on how to properly use the stick, and QR code that goes to more long form discoverable content as well as the artists music page/info. 

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Website and Online Shop

There will be a set of 3 smudge sticks/kits that includes matches, smudge stick with a visual strip, information/instructions on how to properly use the stick, and QR code that goes to more long form discoverable content as well as the artists music page/info. 

*Website is attached to the mockup, click it to go to the Fire Told website* 

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instagram Shopping
Native tiktok partnerships
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@patrickisanavajo

@tiamiscihk

@the_land

He is a professional hoop dancer from the Navajo (Diné) Nation and uses his TikTok to show Native dances. 

Jingle dancer and singer Tia Wood of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation uses TikTok to empower other Indigenous people. She uses the platform as an outlet to bring attention to important issues facing Indigenous women today.

Theland Kicknosway produces videos with a positive message, often about Native pride and resilience. There’s singing, dancing, drumming, and even colorful LED hoops. He also promotes educational and political messages about movements such as Black Lives Matter and Indigenous reconciliation.

Team: 

Cat Marsh: Strategist

Lucy Mungo: Strategist

Hamza Ali: Art Director

Meghan Callaghan: Art Director

Aubrey Estes: Copywriter