Swedish supermarkets replace sticky labels with laser marking

 

The humble fruit sticker may seem an unlikely cause for environmental concern but removing it from produce could create huge savings in plastic, energy and CO2 emissions. In response to consumer demand for less packaging, Dutch fruit and veg supplier Nature & More and Swedish supermarket ICA have joined forces to run a trial to replace sticky labels on organic avocados and sweet potatoes with a laser mark. M&S are also using it on coconuts in the UK. Dubbed “natural branding”, the technique uses a strong light to remove pigment from the skin of produce. The mark is invisible once skin is removed and doesn’t affect shelf life or eating quality.

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Are you a spaceflight company? You may want to rethink your logo

 

A quick glance at the logos of some of the most prominent spaceflight companies, including SpaceX and Orbital ATK, show just how similar their branding has become. “There are usually dominant blues, dominant blacks, all going with this rocket swoosh and a pointed star,” says Andrew Sloan, a graphic designer and specialist in brand development. That’s a problem, he says, since it makes it hard for these brands to differentiate from one another.

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Swedish supermarkets replace sticky labels with laser marking

 

The humble fruit sticker may seem an unlikely cause for environmental concern but removing it from produce could create huge savings in plastic, energy and CO2 emissions. In response to consumer demand for less packaging, Dutch fruit and veg supplier Nature & More and Swedish supermarket ICA have joined forces to run a trial to replace sticky labels on organic avocados and sweet potatoes with a laser mark. M&S are also using it on coconuts in the UK. Dubbed “natural branding”, the technique uses a strong light to remove pigment from the skin of produce. The mark is invisible once skin is removed and doesn’t affect shelf life or eating quality.

Read the full story here

Old book, new look: why the classics are flying off the shelves

 

This autumn, though, they’re offering something new: a range of hardbacks offering “unique content” – a collection of an author’s works that hasn’t been presented this way before, or a new translation of a classic. Their design is flamboyantly simple: no dust jacket but a cloth binding, a cream background on which title and author are printed vertically with a single tiny image on the top. Gothic Tales by Arthur Conan Doyle features a descending crow, Homer’s Odyssey shows an image of Odysseus dwarfed by the cyclops Polyphemus, Poems of the First World War offers a soldier’s helmet. They look fantastic – but who are they for? “We’re working a lot with the production team to make them look very collectible and tactile, to appeal to the gift market,” says Gough.

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A case that will run and run: Duracell and Energizer’s court fight over rabbit mascots

 

The Duracell and Energizer bunnies are set to fight it out in court, after a judge ruled that a legal tussle over the right to use a rabbit mascot can proceed. Duracell failed in a bid to dismiss a lawsuit by Energizer, which claims that its rights to use a pink bunny to advertise batteries in the US have been violated. While Duracell’s bunny is 16 years older than Energizer’s, having been born in 1973, the latter firm has the sole right to sell rabbit-emblazoned batteries in the US.

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Maynards and Bassetts unite to form new “adult candy” brand

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Maynards and Bassets, two venerable British brands of sweets, have merged into ‘Maynards Bassets’ – not the kind of mouthful that gets you salivating.

The new packets look good, but that name and logo (or ‘plaque’ as it’s known) looks a bit heavy to me. Not as heavy as the bizarre language used to describe it, mind…

Bulletproof has created a new Maynards Bassetts “plaque” that can sit on the packs. The consultancy describes the new plaque as “a conduit where the intrinsic values of the products tumble in through the top and out again, turning into a wonderful, colourful and dynamic flavour slide that delivers the sweets or characters, such as Bertie, in a dynamic and exciting way.”

Oh dear.

I’m not sure what the thinking is here. It’s supposed to make the sweets (not ‘candy’, thank you) more ‘adult’ but… I’m not sure what’s adult about sticking a corporate logo on a packet of Jelly Babies. I’d have made it much smaller and let the sweets be the branding. ‘Liquorice Allsorts’, ‘Jelly Babies’, ‘Wine Gums’ – that’s what they’re selling.

Hashtag backlash: marketing campaigns that turned into social media disasters

 Hashtage #fail

In the lead-up to Anzac Day, Woolworths launched the commemoration website “Fresh in Our Memories”, a play on the supermarket’s “fresh food people” slogan. People were encouraged to upload war-related photos and tributes to the site, which would automatically add the Woolworths logo and the Fresh in Our Memories catchphrase to them. Using the hashtag #FreshInOurMemories, Twitter users were quick to call out the supermarket for being disrespectful and insensitive. The then minister for veterans affairs, Michael Ronaldson, was among those who complained, and the site was taken down.

Read the full story here – there are more stories like this, all from Australia in this case.

There are some real idiots out there. Private Eye runs a regular column called ‘Desperate Marketing’ that highlights this sort of thing – famous person dies, or terrorist incident occurs, and out come the press releases selling everything from double glazing or, in the case of the Paris attacks, wine. It’s not a recent phenomenon, but social media makes it easier to do, and these things should always be slept on.

My favourite is still #Susanalbumparty.

Nurofen’s maker admits misleading consumers over contents of painkillers

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Drug company Reckitt Benckiser has been marketing Nurofen under different sub-brands with the implication being that each one targeted different types of pain. Only one problem with that, and it led to action in Australia.

“The ACCC took these proceedings because it was concerned that consumers may have purchased these products in the belief that they specifically treated a certain type of pain, based on the representations on the packaging, when this was not the case,” Sims said. “Truth in advertising and consumer issues in the health and medical sectors are priority areas for the ACCC, to ensure that consumers are given accurate information when making their purchasing decisions.”

Quite how this strategy got approved is beyond me. I was staring at these packages a couple of months ago when I was suffering with a migraine and looked at the details on the back. I couldn’t figure out what the difference was, and this is why.

Advertising and branding come in for a lot of stick, and this is a good example of why. It’s shameful.

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Apple is still UK’s top storytelling brand

The 2015 Brand Storytelling report, now in its third year, surveyed 2,800 UK adults about their views on 154 major brands. Respondents rated all of the brands they were familiar with against nine criteria, including the brands they feel have “a clear sense of purpose and vision,” those that “produce content you want to share or talk about,” and those where “you are intrigued to see what they will do next.”

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Judge Dredd’s assault on consumer culture icons finally unleashed

Episodes of the Judge Dredd strip from classic British weekly comic 2000AD that poked fun at McDonald’s, Burger King and corporate mascots such as the Michelin Man and the Jolly Green Giant are due to be reprinted after almost four decades in legal limbo. In 1978, the comic featured a long-running storyline called The Cursed Earth, in which the far-future lawman went on a road trip through an America reduced to a post-nuclear wasteland populated by grotesque mutants. Two episodes – Burger Wars and Soul Food – saw Dredd go up against characters caricaturing icons of American consumer culture.

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