Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bottle Spin

According to a story in The New York Times, “Perrier Plays With Its Venerable Brand to Draw Younger Fans.” As you can see above, Perrier (at least back in October, when this was news) has modified its labels to make puns – which is good if you shop by label and not by shape. The small, bulb-shaped green bottle has been in America since ’76. “Sexier,” “Crazier,” “Flirtier.” All cute. And worth $150 mill to Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

But hasn’t Heinz been doing the same kind of thing with its ketchup labels on and off for years?


I noticed that our local bottled water supplier, Ozarka (with its HQ in Greenwich, CT), has introduced a new and rather fetching 11-ounce bottle called “Aquapod” with a registered trademark. Neat shape, neat name...and Ozarka is targeting it like crazy to kids. It reminds me a bit of the classic Orangina bottle.

You can see more about it here, along with the associated kid-oriented site (which is frankly lame – and I’m not the target market, thank you.) I also bemusedly resent the bad kid being labeled “The Evil Baron,” Barrimore von Thirstmore III. Really.

Mark DeVries, the Amsterdam-based Brand and Packaging Development Consultant,
wrote about the O&M label campaign this way:

This attempt by Perrier to evoke consumer response is really just scratching the surface of what brand owners will be doing as they evolve their products to fit in with the changing culture of marketing communications.

As a packaging professional (and I dont mean graphic designer in the form of brand building or promotions which use packaging as the media) I believe it is time that marketers woke up to the fact that serious, in-depth packaging considerations coupled with appropriate product innovation will give them the edge they are searching for.

They really need to think out-the-box now, because just about anything is possible. Attending a packaging innovations fair in London, I saw some excellent examples that fit this bill. From curved 2-piece aluminium cans to mass-produced cartons that combine multiple curves within the confines of the traditional 6-sided carton (in this case it was about 3-and-a-half)…concepts like these require collaboration from a multitude of experts and a new generation of marketing professionals.


Now Perrier comes along with a really new, PET bottle: portable, unbreakable, recyclable – and looking somewhat like the plastic Coke bottle (except, of course, it’s green). Still, like Ozarka, Perrier is adapting its package, rather than its label, to fit new markets.

The classic problem in B2B, of course, is that so many of our “products” don’t have packages. In this day and time, perhaps we need to consider if there are ways to bring genuine new packaging technology and design into our arena – as many of the oil companies did years ago with their passenger car and heavy-duty motor oil containers.

Your challenge today (as DeVries puts it): Add two new Ps in the 4P marketing mix equation: Packaging and Personality. We don’t need more complexity, but it wouldn’t hurt us business marketers to think “outside the bottle” when we can*.


*No pun intended.

3 comments:

Leigh Lerner said...

RE: Water. Richard, best ad? Methinks not, and who could afford the TV time? But a great short short short subject. This clip, http://www.epica-awards.org/assets/epica/2004/winners/film/flv/06037.htm, won the 2004 European award for advertisements.

Richard Laurence Baron said...

The 2-minute, 40-second spot Leigh refers to is "Water Boy" for Evian Mineral Water, created by BETC Euro RSCG. The spot not only won the Epica, but a Golden Lion at Cannes and a Gold at the New York Art Directors Club.

Gkountevenos Ioannis said...

Sure the ad of Evian Mineral Water you reffered to is great, but i wonder if someone will spend time to watch it more than one time. In my opinion what is needed in ourdays is short (as Leigh Lerner told) and smart clips which will make sense to consumers. As far as it concerns the new perrier's appearances, i think it's a nice try, which will probably increase their sales for a short period, but by itself will not benefit the brand. It need continuous acts like this to be done, in order to refresh the consumer's interest more often.