A recent visit to the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising has me looking more closely at recent packaging trends, and I can certainly see where society’s ADD seems to stem from. Adults & childrens products alike are bombarded with an assortment of bright colours, taglines, and photographs of people who look like they are on a truckload of ecstasy; all to stand out from the other 10,000 similar products on the shelf. No white-space, subtlety is at a premium, cheesy tag lines everywhere, resistance is futile – you WILL buy this product.
How exactly will drinking Diet Coke enable me to have the best summer ever?
I really don’t care if my washing machine lives longer with Calgon, as I will have probably spent the same amount on that stuff as buying a new one by the time I need to replace it.
You can see this same tactic in television & radio advertising; bombard people with a barrage of information & bright, flashing imagery, and people will remember your product even as they fast forward at 30x speed on Sky+/TiVo.
But there is a glimmer of hope in American FMCGs; a move back to retro-styled packaging. White-space, subtle tag lines, and let the product speak for itself. It’s such a refreshing change to the current brash packaging we are assaulted with every time we go to the supermarket.