Case study: Anova Oven Launch
Anova Culinary was setting up to launch a revolutionary new product — a steam combi countertop oven at an affordable price for the home cook. Not only was this a new project for Anova many years in the making, but this would be a new type of cooking appliance particularly for American consumers. Further, the oven product wouldn’t get to benefit from a retail store experience due to cost and Covid-19, so buyers would be adding to cart sight unseen. It would require careful work to educate potential customers through marketing, video content, website experiences, user manual, email, and press for this product.
announcement landing page
As Creative Director, I oversaw development of multiple aspects of the launch of the oven product, designing as an individual contributor as well as managing another designer, and directing copywriting, user testing research, and a contract media team.
Knowing there would be a product demo and full announcement at the CES tradeshow in early January 2020 from Anova, there was a lot of quick work to do when I joined the project at the end of November 2019. I started by creating an MVP (minimum viable product) landing page that would go live during CES to announce that the product was coming soon. It would also collect email signups so that interested people could stay updated while we learned more about what people wanted to know about the product. We would use the sole email signup CTA (call to action) to build a base of users to survey about future publicized updates about the product.
recipe videos + photos
Also live on the page and playing on screens at the CES booth and available for press was a series of videos showcasing recipes cooked in the oven. The recipes were intentionally varied to show the diverse capabilities of the oven, shot in step-by-step fashion so viewers would be able to envision following a recipe themselves in their own home. I planned and coordinated the prep for the 2-day shoot, which included photo and video contractors, broke down the selected recipes into pieces that would accurately reflect recipe steps in motion as a user would be guided through in the app experience, and directed the food, styling, and modeling during the shoot. I later also polished and prepped final select images for press during and following the buzz at the tradeshow.
The CES demos of the oven and press attention were very successful, landing Anova an award for innovation at the show. Initial images sent to the press were published widely in the smart home and kitchen community. See a selection of recipe photos and videos below.
user guide + product images
After CES, I completely designed the user guide for the oven, and directed the design for the shipper box. Working on the guide and writing and editing the instructional copy helped me learn the ins and outs of the product to better understand how to educate others about it.
I also got to work planning for more photo and video shoots to develop launch point creative assets, like an updated set of product images that would ultimately be used on the website, press kit, and in digital marketing. Hardware product development timelines being what they are, the images from early 2020 only featured a prototype with incorrect design features, so additional shoots were needed to fill in imagery of the product as soon as accurate hardware samples were available. See a sample of those images, as well as the packaging and user guide below.
Over the following months, I laid out a new web page and reworked text from the hardware team about the product into marketing copy on the landing page. I worked with the in-house team at Anova to continue improving the design while developing and running surveys for users to test success of these messages. We looked for cues about users perceiving a price point for the product that matched the sales team goals, and gauging users’ understanding of the more advanced technical aspects of the product — if they were retaining the educational content or if they wanted to see more information on certain areas.
Nearing the launch, I put extensive work into designing a series of educational videos which would answer several questions we were seeing arise with users. I planned the details of the 2-day shoot, collaborated and art directed through the script writing process, designed the set myself, arranged for food props, and directed the videos. I managed all of the post-production direction, and directed a contract motion designer for the lower-thirds, alpha graphics, and cutaways we needed to highlight key scenes, even providing quick one-off illustrations for her to manipulate in order to work quickly.
The Anova Oven launched commercially in August 2020. A number of elements of my work are currently visible at https://anovaculinary.com/anova-precision-oven/, and the educational videos are currently live in the Anova Oven app on iOS and Android.