Sitting here on this Sunday afternoon I am contemplating why more food and beverage companies don’t do something so simple with their packaging. Giants like Coca-Cola and Snapple have done it with great success while other companies don’t make the minimal effort to do so.
I have always fallen sucker to big brands who offer interactive twists on the packaging of their product. While I have devoted a lot of my time and money in the past to playing promotional redemption contests that companies introduce (i.e. MyCokeRewards or McDonalds Monopoly), today’s blog post isn’t about the marketing campaigns that reward the customer with something in return. Rather, it is about the effort that some companies take to make the customer laugh, think, or share.
Let me cut to the chase. I will be much more likely to buy a product if a company does something humorous and/or creative with their packaging/labeling.
I really started thinking about this tendency of mine a couple weeks ago. While hanging out in Spokane with my family and fiancé, we were drinking Bud Light bottles. This summer, as part of the brand’s #UpForWHATEVER campaign, Bud Light is placing short phrases on its 12 oz. bottles starting with the words “The Perfect Beer…”. These little one liners are incredibly stupid. For example, I had one that read “The Perfect Beer to improve your beanbag marksmanship.” Or recently I had another that said “The Perfect Beer for walking the line between late night and early morning with tacos in hand and friends by your side.” Still another one read “The Perfect Beer for shaking what your mama gave you.”
The numerous phrases that Bud Light has pasted on bottle labels all share two things in common: they are all random and they are all dumb. But we love it!
Whenever my family reached for a new Bud Light, we read aloud the phrase on the bottle. It made us all roll our eyes but laugh at the same time. These stupid saying had such an impact with us that something interesting happened during the last BBQ we had in Spokane before Sidney and I went back to Myrtle Beach. My brother, a die hard Coors Light drinker, showed up at my parents’ house that night with a 24-pack of Bud Light bottles.
Last night, even though we were 3,000 miles away, the game still continued. While drinking Bud Lights during a low country boil, Sidney and I read our labels to each other. We then snapped a photo of the phrase and sent it back to my brother. Wonderful marketing by Bud Light.
Sorry to bring up another example revolving around beer but I must tell the story of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I am not a PBR drinker by any means, however, if I am drinking it from a bottle I can tolerate it. The company had the genius idea of placing a card value under each cap (think 10 of Spades or Queen of Hearts). When you have a group of people together, it is fun to create different hands and compete against each other. For some this simple tactic might not do much for them but it reels me right in. I now have no problem drinking the stuff with my PBR-loving dad.
A shining example of packaging fun goes to Coca-Cola. The #ShareACoke campaign has been a smashing success. Everyone wanted their name on a Coke bottle or can. The company wisely extended the campaign by recently offering terms of endearment such as BFF and Soul Mate. I go back to my vacation in Spokane. My parents stocked their fridge with cans of Sidney’s favorite beverage, Diet Coke. Each time she pulled a can out of the refrigerator we got a kick out of what it would say.
Jokes on popsicle sticks, facts on Snapple caps, and games on backs of cereal boxes are other examples of making products attractive beyond just their taste. While this type of marketing might not work on some, it definitely does on me. Companies that go the extra mile to liven up packaging will win over customers in the end. Don’t Blink.