In the marketing world, there isn't much more of a traditional media space than product packaging. But in the last month or so we've been struck by some great examples of brands taking wrappers and cans to the next level.
First up, food brand Heinz
has tapped into the rise of personalisation with customisable soup cans. After Liking the brand on Facebook
, fans can send their sick friends a customised can of soup to help them get well soon. Through We Are Social
, London, The Get Well Soup
campaign lets Facebook users select a flavour - Cream of Chicken or Cream of Tomato - and enter the name of their unwell friend: Bob, for example. They can then send the can of soup, with the usual Heinz label altered with a message saying 'Get well soon Bob' to Bob (the service costs £1.99). Bob will receive his soup in three to four working days.
A similar initiative was launched by Coca-Cola Australia
as part of the Share A Coke
campaig by Ogilvy & Mather
, Sydney. Alongside TV commercials and virtual Coke sharing on Facebook
, the brand has created 150 variations of the Coke can with names on them, and is letting shoppers have their names printed onto cans at 18 shopping centre destinations. Coke drinkers can even get their names beamed onto Coca-Cola branded billboards across the country via SMS.
Canned fish brand John West
has unveiled new packaging that allows consumers to check the provenance of its contents. Since 2008, the company has battled the negative PR created by a Greenpeace
report which claimed the company was selling the least sustainable tinned tuna in the UK, and using destructive fishing methods which drastically reduced the shark and turtle populations. Sadly, little seems to have changed, with John West now ranking seventh out of eight brands in Greenpeace's tuna league table 2011 (last place went to Princes). The brand's latest campaign, courtesy of CheethamBell JWT,
Manchester, seeks to turn the tide of public opinion and create a more positive image, pushing the provenance of the fish in the tin.
Packaging on tuna cans will feature a code which people can enter into the John West website
to find out where the fish was caught, the species of the fish and even the name of the boat which caught it. TV spots will convey the message 'Discover the story behind every can' and prompt viewers to type their cans' codes into the website to discover each unique 'story'.
Heinz's take on personalised packaging is simple and sweet, reinforcing soup's reputation as a folk remedy to colds and flu (especially relevant with the winter months approaching). As Heinz declares on its Facebook page: 'Because we all know when you're under the weather, It Has To Be Heinz.' If we were going to quibble about details, it's a shame that the soup takes three to four days to deliver, by which time your pal might have already recovered. Still, it's a tribute to Heinz's popularity and the campaign's relevance that it can afford to charge people a premium price for this kind of service.
Personalisation often plays on people's narcissism, but in Coca-Cola's wider campaign (as in Heinz's) the emphasis is on sharing the results with someone else. By getting people to pass the message on, the brand is guaranteeing that it is reaching a vaster audience - indeed, surely the biggest appeal here would be in surprising someone who specifically hasn't heard of these campaigns with a personalised can of soup or soft drink? In Coke's case, having a retail presence for the can printing increases word of mouth, and reaches consumers who might not have seen the campaign on digital channels.
John West seems a little less likely to attract frenzied consumer activity - after all, if you've already bought the tuna, why start worrying about where it came from? But by creating a facility for people to check provenance, John West is effectively declaring that it has nothing to hide and the provenance of its fish is beyond reproach, meaning that people don't have to spend their time on the chore of actually checking. The visible transparency of the campaign, much like Domino's
live customer comments on a digital billboard in Times Square, shows a brand standing bullishly behind its product. Let's hope Greenpeace doesn't pull something unsavoury out of the water to rock the boat.
These stories originally appeared on Contagious Feed. Contagious Feed is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious Feed contact: email@example.com