Apr 23

The pack in advertising

Posted by Packaging Sense in Advertising | Uncategorized

Great advertising, being it outdoor, weekly print or TV commercials, may  contain the pack or may not. The following advice will only deal with two aspects: the package in print advertising and the unnecessary repetition of the brand. It gives the reader a few advices of what to do and what not to do and claims in no way to cover all the various aspects of packaging in advertising.

Make your package the star in the advertisement. If your package is interesting, i.e. highly appetising, or if it has a special feature or gives a new/key message, then present the pack in an interesting, if possible surprising way.

Bring the interest to the product inside the package. People are seldom interested in a package, always in how the product tastes or what good it does to you or for instance your cat or dog. The illustrations chosen are also great examples of the importance of SURPRISING the viewer. If you do not surprise, intrigue or awake expectations nobody will remember your advertisement, nor the brand.

Change the size relations in order to surprise and, as mentioned above, make the package the key design element in the advertisement.

If the package has no reason to be in the advertisement do not show it, but if the package participates in telling a story, it has to have a prominent place in the advertisement.

Change the package to make it more interesting. The famous series of HEINZ advertisements in the UK several years ago are excellent examples of powerful copy, surprising design and strong branding. Can a package really be better in an advertisement?

Show what the consumer is interested in. How the BACI are packed (in cartons or tubes) is of little interest when looking at an advertisement, but the aluminium-foil wrapping certainly is. Therefore, show the wrapped product, not the whole carton, sachet, etc. This advertising is also a good example of showing the actual product without wrapper. People eat products, not packages!

If your package design is unique, surprising, interesting or has a call-to-action message, show only the package in the advertisement. The HEINZ squeeze bottle does not need any more text and can be shown as such in an ad. Here, as in the preceeding examples, the strong branding is not “disturbed”. See under “don’ts”.

Show the product in the most attractive manner which the package design not always can. Present it in an attractive light to create an atmosphere. What the consumer wants to take away from an advertisement of food or drink is not the package, but the taste, the lightness, etc. The viewer of the ad must remember either the name (St. Pauli), the colour (Veuve Cliquot), or the icon (Nescafé Red mug).

Show the package OPEN whenever possible if you are in the TASTE business and always  show the “end result” if it is a product which has to be prepared.

As consumers are not interested in the type of package, show a typical detail of it with the brand clearly visible as that is why we adertise. The master in having you remember the package and the brand is by far ABSOLUT with a campaigngoing on for more than 25 years.

Last, but not least, never show the actual package as it is in an advertisement. To make the communication simpler and clearer, delete from the front panel all unnecessary texts, as e.g. net weight, product denomination, other legal texts, price (unless this is the main message in the advertisement in which case amplify it), etc.

Why two when one is enough ! One of the first advice young brand managers are given at business schools or by their bosses is :  strong branding is a must. Yes, strong branding is a must. It is essential for a company to sell products or services with a profit. But it should never be forgotten that what counts even more for the consumer/customer/buyer is what the product in question does or tastes or offers. So the balance between branding and product must be optimal in all media. Optimal means that the communication of both, brand and product, must be simple, convincing and one should not disturb the other.

However, most marketing people believe that strong branding means repetition of a brand. So on a print add, a second logotype is added somewhere, although there is one already on the pack shown in the advertisement !

If a second (or third, or fourth) brand logotype appears on the advertisement it has a tendency to distract from the main message, be it the ‘first’ logotype, the product or the RTB (reason-to-buy) which can be price, product advantage, New, etc. The two illustrations prove this point and the illustration of the cat in the forest underlines that we are only interested in the main message and do not even see duplications … so why have them ?

Do not believe consumers are interested in packaging. They buy products !

Do not show many packages. Very often the supermarket does not carry the whole range anyhow. Concentrate on one package, but tell the story that there is a range of other flavours or varieties.

Do not believe that the package necessarily has to be in the advertisement. What the consumer can remember is anyhow very little. It must be the brand or brand icon along with the USP or the price (reason for purchase), flavour, taste, etc.

Do not believe that there is a formula for the ‘package in the advertisement’. The above are just a few advices. There are always exceptions to any rule. Common sense must prevail and that is to develop an advertisement that remains clear in the consumer’s mind. Therefore, some of the advertisements in this article can still be improved.

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