“Packvertising”: A million free GRPs

Picture_4_3Building on last week’s post on how the Geek Squad made the most of every bit of their mix to create impact, here’s another one.

Sitting there on the supermarket shelf is a communication channel that most companies still seem to overlook. The pack. Think about the number of packs you sell a year… for many brands this could run into the millions. And each one is free advertising space that you own: "packvertising" if you like.

It can work for something as seemingly banal as sweetener packs. Equal has turned their food service packs into conversation starters, as described on Scott Ginsberg’s blog (thanks to Seth Godin for this tip).

But the grand master of packvertising is of course innocent smoothies, as Paul at Citizen Bay reminded me of in a recent post. Each piece of innocent packaging is a mini masterpiece in brand story telling. The graphics themselves are highly distinctive. But pick up a pack, start reading and you’ll find yourself laughing out loud. Fans look out for new packs (they change every couple of months) as they would this month’s edition of a favourite magazine. There’s even an innocent label gallery in the "Bored?" section of their website!


A few examples of how the creative director who writes all the pack copy turns mundane into marvellous:

– Ingredients: "We promise to never use preservatives, stabilisers or any weird stuff. And if we do you can tell our mums"

– Usage instructions: "Shake before opening, not after"

– Contact details: "Call us on the banana phone, or pop in to see us at Fruit Towers"

– Brand copy: each pack has a whimsical "thought of the day", such as: "Sometimes its the simple things that make you happy.Waking up on a sunny morning. Folding a map correctly for the first time. Beating your mum at arm wrestling. Or just drinking a nice smoothie."

5-minute workout: how could you make more of your packaging and the million free GRPs that are it offer? What would it look like if you "did and Equal" with bold brand messages? And what sort of copy would you write if you did an "innocent"