Archive for June, 2010

Leveraging Captain Morgan’s brand & packaging assets through NEW media

Posted in Branding, Business News, Drinks Packaging, Marketing, Product News, Social Media, Tweets on June 18th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 9 Comments
Captain Morgan wielding his packaging assets

Captain Morgan wielding his packaging assets

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to listen to Paul Walsh CEO of Diageo, the world’s leading spirits, beer and wine company, deliver a ‘marketing’ talk at Nottingham Business School (Nottingham Trent University). It was entitled “Marketing & Communication in 2010 – Responding to the New Stakeholder Condition” and was such a powerful &  interesting insight, I thought I’d provide you with an overview and share some of my thoughts with you.

Diageo is the proud owner of some of the biggest ‘power brands’ on the planet, such as Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Baileys, J&B, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Bushmills & Tanqueray. Both Guinness and Johnnie Walker have been around for over 200 years and Bushmills almost 400 years. Some feat! and a tremendous bank of heritage on which to pull (or push – or whatever you like really!).

Walsh is a fine orator, who is passionate about his brands and company. He talked about the basis of all iconic brands being ‘great products’ driven by FACE (Flair, Agility, Consumer insight and then Executed flawlessly). But he also acknowledged that the global marketplace is constantly evolving which affects the way we live and interact with our favoured brands.  At the same time, broadband is proving to be the biggest technological development since the introduction of television. As the world ‘goes on-line’ a whole new media stream has opened up to feed a young and dynamic market who have ‘bags of energy’ and want to ‘party’.  Walsh highlighted this momentous change by showing the video Shift Happens – some mind-blowing & thought provoking figures (I’m sure you will agree).

So the ‘rules of engagement’ have changed, and indeed are constantly evolving. Advertising spend in traditional media such as magazines, newspapers and TV has ‘nose-dived’ and has been diverted into new media, where Diageo, and other companies for that matter, have “up-weighted their spend in the digital space” and enjoyed much bigger ‘bangs for their buck’, realising huge cost savings.

It is clear that Diageo have become masters of leveraging the new technology. Key to their success, according to Walsh, can be attributed to a 5-point plan:

1. Having a good product

2. Being clear about the target

3. Identifying the single most compelling benefit

4. Effectively dramatising that benefit

5. Saying and constantly repeating it through the most effective channels

Affiliated to this is the ability for brands to attract and become “participants in a conversation NOT simply involved in a top-down message”. Metaphorically, he likened this to a change from a game of ten-pin-bowling, with a one-ball strike to a game of pinball, banging, bouncing, to-ing and fro-ing through a maze of buffers and pins. In this new media world, Walsh alluded to 3 types of people:

Passive participants – Those who are completely passive and soak up all of the information ‘thrown at them’ via static websites

Engaged participants – people who are engaged and share information via social media platforms

Active participants – those who voraciously add content on-line and are hugely influential

These 3 groups of people seem to inhabit this digital world in approximate ratios of 90 : 9 : 1 (respectively). It is the small group of active participants have been key to Diageo’s new media brand success. By influencing these people in this sector they have turn their brands from on-shelf icons to (almost) living and breathing entities.

A classic example of this success is Captain Morgan, which has rocketed over recent years and now holds a prestigious No2 position for premium rum brands. The driver behind this has been the building and grooming of the ‘Captain’ icon as a ‘living legend’. This hasn’t happened by accident. A carefully orchestrated campaign has evolved through the ‘Captain’s Cup’, video and photo ‘collateral’ and word-of-mouth – driven by social media. The Captain has a certain physical stance or  ‘pose’ and when an interpretation of that ‘pose’ was ’struck by a famous US NFL football star on the pitch during the Super-bowl, it took on a completely new iconic dimension. There followed a series of copycat ‘poses’ by a number of esteemed brand advocates, including David Letterman on his prime-time  TV show. Media-savvy Diageo capitalised on this by offering a $10,000 prize to famous people striking the pose in public places & at high-profile events, all building on the character of ‘The Captain’ and acting s a ‘viral’ growth driver for the ‘living legend’. It has proved a very cost-effective way of marketing.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that this type of ‘non-sponsorship’ could be classed as a more passive form of  ‘ambush marketing, which is actually very topical at the moment. In the South African World Cup this week (14th June), 2 Dutch women were arrested for ambush advertising and 36 women ejected from one of the stadiums when they were spotted wearing short orange dresses made by the Dutch brewery Bavaria, in conflict with  Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser who are the official beer of the event. It led to quite a fuss and ITV media pundit Robbie Earle was sacked from his role when it was claimed by FIFA that he had sold tickets meant for family and friends on to the Dutch beer company.

Getting back to Diageo, another fine example of leveraging the new technology, has been the Smirnoff ‘be there’ media campaign built on a ‘viral’ marketing platform. Here young (25-30 yr old) party-goers were encouraged, via social networking sites like Twitter & Facebook, to provide ideas on their perfect party events – a party that they would remember for all time – to have ‘been there’. Diageo then picked the best ideas, provided funding to hold the event and a short video was shot at each which were then posted on YouTube. Here’s an example of a Smirnoff ‘Be There‘ TV advert. These have also proved a phenomenal success for Diageo at moderate expense – a terrific Return on Investment (ROI).

So, all in all, Diageo have shown great foresight in their on-line endeavours; an area that has worked well and is sure to be developed by them further across all of their brands. If companies want to stay ‘ahead of the game’ in an increasingly fragmented market, they need to embrace and adopt new ways of working and promoting themselves (and their brands), using creativity, flair and imagination. In this respect they could learn much from Diageo.

It also goes without saying, that in these recessionary times, where marketing budgets are being slashed, left, right and centre in huge cost-cutting exercises, the time and effort invested will also reap huge benefits in cost and greater ROI…..and will also work wonders for a brands’ ’street cred’ ;-)   Why not get in touch and see how we could help you Contact Design Cognition OR, if you’re a more hands on person why not have a look at our forthcoming Branding and Shelf Impact training course.

Chris Penfold

Healthcare compliance taken to a new level with aid of Facebook

Posted in Healthcare & Pharma, Marketing, Social Media, Technology on June 16th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 8 Comments
New Healthseeker game on Facebook

New Healthseeker game on Facebook

A new game called HealthSeeker has been launched  to more than 400 million active users of Facebook, with the goal of helping adults with specific lifestyle and nutritional challenges. The benefits of the game are actually available to anyone, but HealthSeeker specifically helps people with diabetes make more informed lifestyle decisions in an innovative way that complements their daily use of social media. Leading experts have reiterated how important a source of support, information and inspiration social networking tools like this can be for someone living with a chronic condition like diabetes. Many diabetics struggle with the lifestyle changes that are needed to help manage their condition, such as adding more fibre, fruit and vegetables to their diets, or increasing their daily activity. HealthSeeker can help them stay motivated by presenting simple, everyday steps to help them achieve their lifestyle goals.

So the game really takes ‘healthcare compliance’, and social media for that matter, to a completely new level.  Chris Penfold

Read the full article at Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News

Adding value for consumers through internet & packaging in a Brave New World

Posted in Design, Innovation, Materials, Opinion, Retailers, Technology on June 15th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 18 Comments
Bionic woman - Source: Wired

Bionic woman - Source: Wired via BrianSolis

Do you remember the film, Minority Report?  Fiction often prefigures reality and in that movie a future was depicted, where visual objects are manipulated by hand, newspapers have sound & moving pictures, billboards change & interact (depending on who is viewing them) and cereal packs ‘talk’.

In the near future, it will be technically feasible and increasingly more cost-effective to put a moving display onto a packet of cornflakes. However, whether you are a technical specialist, generalist or know nothing about packaging whatsoever, we are all consumers and the question that’s so often overlooked is: so what?

Imagine going into your local supermarket where every cereal box bears a moving image. Should we use that moving display for promotional purposes or to add more information on the pack? As pointed out by Faraday, If all the pack graphics are moving, how will you create a clear point of difference? How else will the consumer be affected by the technological tidal-wave that could result from cheap, ubiquitous nanotechnology including plastic electronic devices and ‘smart’ materials?

Sony’s Rollable OTFT screen

Sony’s Rollable OTFT screen

Remarkably much of this technology already exists. Touch-screen technology is rapidly developing and ‘talking’ newspapers with moving pictures are close, as printing & polymer science catches up in devices like flat-screen televisions, where Sony launched “the worlds first OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TV” in Japan 2007 and more recently (May 2010) their organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) ‘Rollable’ material.

Elon University made broad predictions (2006) for the future:

2010-2014: RFID tied to GPS – everywhere. Super supercomputers. Intelligent materials.

2015: Adaptable materials. Genetic profiling. Human cloning.
VR immersion. Ubiquitous robots. Emotion-control devices. Paint-on power.
2026-2045: Space elevator. Moon base. A “singularity” due to accelerating change.
2046-2150: Mars colony. Time travel. Brain downloading. Humans assimilated into the internet

So what are the implications for retail packaging? Certainly, it will need to be ‘smarter’, not only in terms of technologies & materials but also:

  • Supporting changing lifestyles
  • Communicating more effectively (on shelf & at home)
  • Providing greater consumer & convenience
  • Augmenting branding
  • Lower environmental impact

Packaging will also need to communicate even more information to the consumer:

  • ever-more information required on ever-smaller packs (primarily pharmaceuticals)
  • traditional printed packaging will not cope
  • use of low-cost printed displays & electronics could be necessary

There are already a variety of ‘intelligent’ packaging formats available in the healthcare sector to help patients take their medication at the right time. In consumer packaging, some AR technology is already used, such as the Lego Point-of-Sale packaging that gives a 3D visual rendition of the assembled contents within.

Lego AR POS packaging demo

Lego AR POS packaging demo

Lego AR interactive POS terminal (Source: Augmented Reality Blog)

However, AR initiatives so far have been mostly utility focused, nothing more than animated 3D demos, exploiting the novelty of new technology. As a result, the AR ‘space’ is quickly becoming overcrowded and won’t take long for the ‘AR novelty’ to ‘wear off’. What is needed is a more consumer focused ‘problem solving’ approach in order to exploit the benefits of the technology.

As technology and web convergence happen, a number of exciting packaging opportunities will arise.

In retail stores, there will be opportunities for:

  • Enhanced shopping experiences through interactive packs at POS
  • Improved Brand identification, through applications such as Google Goggles, where consumers take photos of packs on their mobile phones, products are ‘recognised’ and more information, special promotions or affiliated/similar brand/product information is provided via web
  • Guiding you to other similar products via GPS
  • Longer Term RFID will supplement ‘hodgepodged’ communication to further enhance interactive experience on packs at POS
  • Communication will become more ‘pack driven’ (RFID), rather than requiring consumers to take photos of packs

However for all of this to work, there will be a fundamental need for collaboration between retailers & all their supply chain partners.

In the home there will also be potential for more interactive & vivid:

  • Instructions for assembly & use
  • Multilingual & interactive 3D information
  • Product shelf life warnings– fridge & fruit
  • Product information

This will mean opportunities for ‘Storytelling’ and bringing the products ‘to life’, which will lead to deeper brand engagement and stronger emotional connections, leading ultimately to greater brand loyalty.

There is an argument that all of this technology will have a dehumanising effect and there is also the privacy issue recently highlighted by Facebook, but the counter-argument is that communication binds us together, gives us shared context & ultimately a shared identity. Personally I think that the benefits far outweigh the problems, and we are now already on a journey of ‘no return’. So I would urge you to ‘grasp the nettle’ and take the initiative, before your competitors and before you get stranded without a ‘liferaft’.

O’Reilly said that “If we are going to solve the world’s most pressing problems, we must put the power of the ‘Web to work’ – its technologies, business models, and perhaps most importantly, philosophies of openness, collective intelligence & transparency.” Ultimately the Web and World will be one and the same, inextricably interlinked through packaging!

Chris Penfold

If you liked this and would like to see more – check out the collection of favourite Augmented Reality videos on our YouTube site.

Have you recently developed packaging that is worthy of an award?

Posted in Associations, Awards, Design, Events, Innovation, Product News on June 10th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 16 Comments
Starpack packaging awards logo

Starpack packaging awards 2010

If you’ve got a recently launched product that displays some unusual, differentiated, innovative or unusual packaging – or just looks really ‘cool’ – why not enter it into the Starpack Awards?

The Starpack Industry Awards are the pre-eminent UK awards scheme for packaging design and innovation. The Starpack Awards have been recognising innovative packaging design and technology since 1960. That makes 2010 Starpack’s 51st year!

This year’s categories have been chosen to reflect key areas of packaging applications and packaging development.

The closing date for entries is 25 June 2010.

Design Cognition are proud to support this great initiative which is designed to promote innovation in the industry. If you’ve got a great idea but don’t know what to do with it – why not give us a call, to review your options.

You can find out more about The Starpack Industry Awards and get an application form, by following this link to the IOM3 website. GO FOR IT!!

M&S returns to selling meat in paper!

Posted in Food Packaging, Innovation, Recycling on June 10th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 6 Comments

No, Marks &Spencer aren’t returning to selling loose meat slices between paper sheets, but they are going to be offering pre sliced meats in packaging made using Billerud’s Fibreform material.

This great new paper is highly formable, provides enough barrier properties for the cooked meats and of course is seen as being environmentally friendly – Great for M&S’s Plan A.

Thanks to Packaging for making us aware of this one.

Tesco Hit The High Note

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging on June 8th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 6 Comments

No singing for your supper in this case – sounds more like it’s going to sing to you, albeit with a very limited repertoire.

Great novelty idea from Tesco. World cup sandwiches which sing ‘Ole, ole, ole’ to you. The packaging for these Jalapeno Chicken sandwiches contains the same sort of technology as singing birthday cards.

I’m sure there must be lots of other packs you could add this technology to, whether it is just for fun, or for more serious reasons. Personally I think Tesco should do cucumber and salmon sandwiches specially for Wimbledon that shout ‘that ball was in’ in a McEnroe kind of way.

Thanks to Sky News for shouting about this one, they are even showing a video of it Sky News

Something For The Weekend Sir?

Posted in Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Materials on June 4th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 13 Comments

Interactive Durex Condom PackIs this the future of condom packaging?  It’s very gimmicky, but could well appeal to the younger market.

I believe this is only an idea, but it shows what can be done with a bit of imagination.  Why not spend a few minutes on this sunny afternoon contemplating where else you could use this kind of packaging – I’m sure you could have some fun. (Jane Bear)

To view the short video of this pack in action just follow the link to YouTube