Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby GURU » December 7th, 2009, 1:05 pm


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Nabisco is going retro in Target...

http://www.idsgn.org/posts/ritz-and-oreo-go-retro/
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby mgnt8 » December 7th, 2009, 2:05 pm


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Loewy originally designed that Ritz logo (and the Nabisco I think). They completely bastardized it over the years

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Okay I am going to go against the grain here. I think going Retro just for the sake of going retro has been done a million times and is extremely over played. Even those Ritz retro graphics are nice, but they do not communicate Ritz. None of the visual brand elements that we all know of Ritz are there.

I think if you look at the package yes the graphics are not working, but it is not because of the age, or that they do not look current enough. Actually they look like they were updated recently. The big issues I see are that there is not contrast, balance, and all around design composition elements in this package. It looks like a light blue box and the branding blends with it's own packaging family along with its competitors. By adding order and composition to the pack it will dramatically increase it's visual appeal.

Like I mentioned before the first step is to figure out what parts of your branding are resonating with the consumer. What are they communicating? What is it about your product that can be portrayed in your branding?

Also think about is it really the packaging that is not working or is it the perception of you product? You can have the best packaging in the world, but if the product is bad or does not resonate with you consumer it will not be successful.
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby NURB » December 7th, 2009, 3:55 pm

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That Oreo package is a travesty. Gross.

As for the original post, I'd combine rkutchinsky and PackageID's comments. Avoid doing a simple re-fresh, but avoid going retro for the sake of going retro. RK's comment about confusing the product in another language (or even english) is easy to do looking at that shelf photo you posted. Looks like you're getting some pretty good dialogue going here. Since you aren't really doing this project, you might as well take a few risks. As long as they are calculated risks, and you can back up why you did it what have you got to lose? Take a risk, and it fails... so what. Take a risk and it pays off, you might find better employment out of it in the long run.
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Thanks again for all the great comments guys -- I can't tell you how helpful this discussion has been.

PackageID wrote:Also think about is it really the packaging that is not working or is it the perception of you product? You can have the best packaging in the world, but if the product is bad or does not resonate with you consumer it will not be successful.


This is part of the reason we are thinking of going with a semi-retro theme for not just the packaging but for our advertising message as well. The project we're working on is designed to incorporate elements from our finance, accounting, statistics, organizational behavior as well as marketing classes, so our proposals have to be grounded in what we've learned in each of them. Alka-Seltzer has great brand recognition and consumer awareness (in a survey we conducted, 97% of 200 respondents were at least somewhat familiar with the brand), but no sense of what it is actually supposed to be. We want to play off the brand's history and take advantage of a couple of current trends: consumers losing faith in pharmaceutical and consumer health companies, tendency to turn to familiar and well-known brands during times of recession/hardship, increasing interest in "one-symptom, one-medication" formulations, current 60s nostalgia (e.g., Mad Men), etc. etc. Alka-Seltzer was at it's peak in the 50s and 60s and we want to remind consumers of a happier, simpler time in their lives. We also plan on proposing a reformulation of the product, swapping out aspirin for acetominaphen to make it safer and gentler on stomachs.

From an organizational perspective, we specifically wanted to avoid going with something trendy just for the sake of doing so (e.g., there's a group looking at a brand of bottled water that's going with a "green" theme, a household cleaning product going "sustainable" and a group doing canned soup that's looking to go organic) if the concept had no grounding in the brand's DNA. With Alka-Seltzer, using a retro theme actually allows us to tap in that DNA.

PackageID wrote:The big issues I see are that there is not contrast, balance, and all around design composition elements in this package. It looks like a light blue box and the branding blends with it's own packaging family along with its competitors. By adding order and composition to the pack it will dramatically increase it's visual appeal.


Since I'm coming at this from a decidedly un-ID perspective, can you explain a bit about what you mean by adding order and composition?

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I will break the package down later when I get home from work, but the what I referring to is creating focal points and contrast. This package is broken up in to 2 sections. You eye fights over staring at the tablets in the corner and the logo on the tope. This causes you to bounce back and forth which is what I am referring to when I mention order.

As far as contrast...The package is one solid color which as causes the viewer to be confused on what they are looking at. Without contrast the package can not be read from a distance, and even when it is observed up close it is confusing. The bubbles that represent what everyone knows to the product, their tag line "Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh what a relief it is", is not visible. This could be because they made the package to busy, but that feeing still needs to be there. My suggestion is if the package is going to be all blue, then play with the tones or visual texture meaning patterns. This could add to the appeal and make it communicate better visually.
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Yup, I'm a nerd.

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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby NURB » December 12th, 2009, 12:03 am

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Nice. Slow Friday night?

My personal take is to ditch the half-tone, but I'm digging the rest of it. "Now with more plop-plop fizz-fizz" Classy.
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Very cool.

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one note to the design above. it came off a bit more kitchy, fun, retro-throwback than originally intended. looks like a new product with a retro theme a bit too much IMHO. an alternate (possibly better) direction would to be to make it look like it's really from that time. didn't have enough time to do the research, collect the fonts, etc., and got carried away with the theme a bit...

anyhow, all good for discussions sake.

R

PS. the dot half-tone was intended to be a sort of bubble like thing. maybe not that fitting with the tone though, agreed.
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby NURB » December 12th, 2009, 9:21 pm

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rkuchinsky wrote:PS. the dot half-tone was intended to be a sort of bubble like thing. maybe not that fitting with the tone though, agreed.


Now I see it. It would probably work if it were more random than so mechanical.
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby ivandr » December 13th, 2009, 11:25 am


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Wow, I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to help give us some ideas as we work through this project... Here's one of the final designs we have settled upon. We found that by implementing strong drastic changes too far away from what customers were familiar with they felt alienated from the product (Think Tropicana refreshhttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/business/media/23adcol.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss) We did some focus groups and found that the sharp contrast helped the package stand out on the shelf and the simple clean look was appreciated across the board. We're approaching the deadline for our project however I'd still love to hear your thoughts...
Thanks everyone!
Ivan
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby mgnt8 » December 13th, 2009, 12:11 pm


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A little piece of advice: don't get your package design strategy from the NYT. Tropicana's redesign failed not because it's consumers were opposed to change, but because the change they offered totally sucked.


http://boards.core77.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=17677&hilit=tropicana

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ivandr wrote:Wow, I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to help give us some ideas as we work through this project... Here's one of the final designs we have settled upon. We found that by implementing strong drastic changes too far away from what customers were familiar with they felt alienated from the product (Think Tropicana refreshhttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/business/media/23adcol.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss) We did some focus groups and found that the sharp contrast helped the package stand out on the shelf and the simple clean look was appreciated across the board. We're approaching the deadline for our project however I'd still love to hear your thoughts...
Thanks everyone!
Ivan



Oh noes, i was afraid this might happen....

Did you use a designer for that? I hope not. First suggestion would be to get one on board in your team ASAP. Without one, no matter the theory behind it, or good intentions, you will have a disastrous result.

Where do I begin... I'm going to try to be very critical here, knowing that you are not a designer, but trying to show the importance of design. Marketing alone (or when marketing tries to do design) is something that should carry a penalty of death.

To start with, the concept, about being safe, only changing a bit, etc...... as I mentioned in my first post on the topic, I think is terrible. What you end up having (and all too common unfortunately when marketing leads), is a change with no real change. Your new package (design crimes aside, which I'll address below), is just a variation of the existing, and there is no point to change for no reason. Especially when it is worse...

Now, the design,

First off, yellow does add impact, but it's way too high contrast to be pleasing to the eye. Such bright blue and yellow combo makes it look, at best, like washing detergent. Not something you want to eat.

All good design layout is based on a grid. On your design, everything is randomly all over the place. Just look at the placement of the large logo, for one. It's not centered right to left, but kinda a bit to the left, and the clearspace above it and to the left are not equal nor do they seem to relate to anything.

Fonts are super important. Looks like you are maybe using a default windows font for the text (I'm not going to bother even trying to identify it, but it's terrible), and the logo font is also not so nice. Doesn't say anything and looks very generic.

In addition to odd fonts, you've got a lot of different type treatments going on. For one, you got all lowercase at the top (effercescent tablets), all upper case, italic (FAST & SAFE), Mixed case (logo and the bullet points). Some maybe bold? And the color of the text is also seemingly random without any hierarchy. Font sizes also look kinda random.

I also don't know what to even say about the alignment of the text. What's going on? "relief of" is sorta right aligned, but not really to SAFE, the bullet points in white are on some crazy diagonal... yikes.

The drop shadow on the logo is just gross, really harsh and doesn't help.

The bubbles are so contained in the "stream" they look unatural, and from far away you see a shape in the stream that with the tablets kinda looks like a wang.

The tablets themselves also look giant. Makes me think I'll have to swallow horse pills if I buy this.

R
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby NURB » December 13th, 2009, 4:03 pm

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rkuchinsky wrote:Fonts are super important. Looks like you are maybe using a default windows font for the text (I'm not going to bother even trying to identify it, but it's terrible), and the logo font is also not so nice. Doesn't say anything and looks very generic.


Optima. Welcome to 1991. That's the only thing I'll add, RK pretty much summed it up.
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