Labels: Airbrushing, Social Responsibility

Academics call on ASA to mark airbrushed ads
Academics are to lobby the Advertising Standards Authority to introduce notices on ads that feature airbrushed models, backing a call recently made by the Liberal Democrats. A letter from academics Dr Helga Dittmar of the University of Sussex and Dr Emma Halliwell of the University of the West of England is being sent to the Advertising Standards Authority. It warns of the negative impact that airbrushed images can have on the self-esteem of young people, especially when it makes models look super-thin.

Labels Reveal Companies Social Responsibility
Nutrition labels already give consumers a quick summary of what their food contains. Hoping to bring the same transparency to the companies behind the products, Project Label creates “social nutrition” labels to track manufacturers’ social and environmental responsibility.

(Lack of) Branding: Harris Tweed, Hyundai

Harris Tweed manufacturer cuts Scottish branding from US campaign
The largest manufacturer of Harris Tweed has removed all references of Scotland from its marketing campaign in the US due to fears that the Scottish government‘s release of the Lockerbie bomber could lead to a sales boycott by American consumers. Harris Tweed Hebrides plans to focus on the brand’s island heritage and has removed all references to Scotland and Scottish imagery from its promotional material ahead of the launch of its fashion collection in New York next month.

harris tweed

When construction began on a new subway station just outside Hyundai Card and Hyundai Capital‘s headquarters here, marketers at the South Korean financial-services company wanted to grab as much of the ad space as they could. They got it all, as well as the space in three adjacent stations and most of it in four of the 16 trains serving the new line subway line. The three-year deal cost $2.2 million. Once they had their new display space, the marketers made an unusual decision: They would leave it largely blank. Inside the stations, giant wall signs are all white, except for a small icon that symbolizes one of the company’s services, such as a car for car loans, plus a small company logo.
hyundai seoul subway
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Perrier Conversations, Beer Wars

Perrier Conversations
I am a closet fan of packaging, and read on PSFK that Perrier seems to be making a comment on our age of digital conversation. They have released a new short-run packaging developed by HartlandVilla, a graphic studio based in Paris. Each product is wrapped in packaging that has bubbles of conversation. Qui en savait?



The documentary “Beer Wars,” about how small craft companies like Dogfish are struggling against the machinations of big brewers, has its premiere at the Bell House tonight. Stop by for the screening and a tasting courtesy of Stone Brewing Co., Smuttynose and more, and learn why “angry beer” is better.
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Packaging: Wine That Loves

Wine That Loves
The Amazing Food Wine Co. owns a wine brand called Wine That Loves. This new wine brand “…takes the guesswork out of pairing wine with food. Thus, Wine That Loves Pizza, Wine That Loves Pasta, Wine That Loves Roasted Chicken, and so on.” Basically a wine marketing effort designed to make pairing wines with food easy. Serving Roasted Chicken with a Caribbean-style Mango Glaze… pair the dish with the “Wine That Loves Roasted Chicken” bottle. I particularly like the creatively straight-forward label design…


Packaging: Newton Running

Newton Running
Newton Running based in Boulder, Colorado is striving to produce shoes that have a very low impact on the environment. The company wanted to also look at the way the shoes were packaged and see if there was an alternative to the conventional printed cardboard boxes. Newton worked with TDA Advertising and Design to develop a new package that is less box and more carton. The new package is a molded design that uses 100% post consumer recycled material. The shape of the carton fits the shoe eliminating the need to pack it with tissue paper. Instead of stuffing the shoes with even more paper, the company includes a pair of socks in one and a reusable shoe bag in the other.


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Packaging: Amazon Now “Frustration Free”…

I was interested to see Amazon‘s big splash about reducing packaging. Naturally I am cynical about their motives (I shouldn’t be perhaps, but … saving mailing costs? PR?). Amazon probably ships a small forest of brown boxes each day, so any reduction in packaging is welcome. (Only 19 items are being re-packaged, its worth noting). Interesting they led with consumer self-interest (“easier to open”) and made environmental concerns a sub-point…

“Thanks to a new, multi-year global initiative announced yesterday, Amazon is working with manufacturers to eliminate the causes of Wrap Rage while also minimizing the impact of packaging on the environment. The effort is focusing first on two kinds of items: those enclosed in hard plastic cases known as “clamshells” and those secured with plastic-coated wire ties, commonly used in toy packaging. As a result, 19 best-selling products are now available through Amazon in the US packaged in smaller, easy-to-open and recyclable cardboard boxes that protect the products within just as well, the company says. New, eco-iconic packaging on the Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship, for example, eliminates 36 inches of plastic-coated wire ties, 1,576.5 square inches of printed corrugated package inserts, 36.1 square inches of printed folding carton materials, 175.25 square inches of PVC blisters, 3.5 square inches of ABS molded styrene and two molded plastic fasteners.”


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Packaging: McDonalds

I came late to my fascination with packaging (having been brought up in advertising) and was interested to read that McDonald’s just gave its packaging a flashy update. McDonald’s is scrapping its package design across 118 countries and 56 languages in what Global Chief Marketing Officer Mary Dillon called the “biggest packaging initiative in the history of the brand” (woo!) The new look puts more emphasis on product and less on the brand’s iconic “I’m lovin’ it” tagline.

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I confess I have a sneaking admiration for 7-11’s “7-Election” promotion. Its a nice blend of (that which used to be called) viral and social media. I particularly like the fact it starts in store, but has digital legs also. I am also a self-confessed packaging nerd, so …

Every time you purchase a cup of coffee at 7-11 you can select from a blue Obama cup or a red McCain cup. (I wish they were giving away non-disposable cups, but there you go). Said cups becomes both a status item, a destination driver and discussion spark. Kudos to 7-11 for continuing a simple and smart program.

Oh, by the way, 7-11 claim to have called the last two elections correctly. Let’s see what happens…

PS By the way I love WFMZ’s copywriting on this: Coffee drinkers at 7-11 are used to deciding between regular and decaf, but these days there’s another important choice to be made: Obama or McCain”. How very Ron Burgundy!

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Links for 2008-04-01 : Digital Billboards, Creativity, My Starbucks Idea, 3-D Internet