Lately, instead of picking up my usual bottle of Advil or Benadryl from the pharmaceutical aisle, I've been buying the Help Remedies brand of cold medicine and pain relievers. I was first drawn to this brand because of its unique packaging...and the fact that it's $1.00. Upon opening my first blister pack of Help Remedies' acetaminophen ( called Help I have a headache), I noticed a funny one-liner above the drug facts: "Help I have a headache does not contain Red Dye #40. If you enjoy dye, you will have to eat it separately." Cute packaging? Check. Cheap? Check. Company with a sense of humor? Check. I'm officially sold on this new, random drug brand and have since done some investigating regarding their marketing tactics. The CEO of the company was tired of sifting through needlessly complex pharmaceuticals in the drugstores with names he couldn't pronounce, so he created Help Remedies. Simplicity being the most important factor, the brand's packaging names the one active ingredient and the symptom it treats: Help I'm nauseous, Help I have allergies, Help I can't sleep, etc. The straight forward labels make choosing the correct drug for your ailment 100% idiot-proof. Have a cold? Pick up Help I have a cold - done and done - no having to stand there and read 100 different labels. Complete with weird YouTube spots and an awesome interactive website, this is my new favorite brand.
When you're perusing the grocery store aisles for your favorite carbonated beverage maybe you keep your eyes peeled until you see that famous red label with the white script, or perhaps you're a fan of that soft drink with the green and silver label. No matter your preferences, so much of what we know and love about our favorite brands is invested in their labels. I mean, yes, we love the taste of Coca Cola and that's why we drink it, but the red and white label is just so classically American - I guarantee there would be a worldwide uprising if Coca Cola decided to alter their label in any way. That said, would you be able to recognize your favorite brands if their labels were completely missing and were replaced with plain, stark-white "packaging?" Well, a strategic agent at Carbone Smolan Agency by day and a student at the SVA Master's in Branding program by night has taken it upon himself to paint famously branded objects white. For his "art project" he will select one branded object and paint it white; he will do this every day for 100 days, "removing all visual branding." Try your hand at identifying the label-less objects below and see how well you do!
I've been of "working age" for just shy of a decade and during that time I've had several awful jobs - an ice cream-scooper extraordinaire, a morning shift barista and a cocktail waitress, to name a few - but the worst job I ever had was in retail. I worked at a store called Hollister & Co. and one of my duties as a "floor model" was to walk around the store spraying everything with their signature cologne, So Cal. The cologne didn't smell awful but the store was completely saturated with the woodsy fragrance pour homme (you could smell the store before you even entered) and I would leave every shift with a terrible headache. As much as I hated spritzing, So Cal was an important part of the store's brand. Even if someone had only shopped at the store once, they knew that particular scent as Hollister's - mission accomplished. Little did I know that the first person to grasp the importance of fragrance in branding was none other than Coco Chanel. When she created her signature parfum Chanel No. 5 in 1921, Coco had her salesladies douse her French boutique with the pricey floral scent, top to bottom. However, with technology like automatic scent diffusers people no longer have to manually spray their stores like me and the Chanel salesladies. And, companies are catching on to the trend of scent-diffusing in droves: Westin, Victoria's Secret, Bloomingdale’s, British Airways, J.W. Marriott, Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Ritz Carlton and Jimmy Choo "all brand their retail environments with distinctive aromas (some custom-designed, some off-the-shelf) wafting through the lobbies and aisles." Smell is the strongest of our five senses so this marketing maneuver does make sense, but what do you think of fragrance being a primary factor in branding? Do you prefer to shop in boutiques that smell of daffodil blossoms and patchouli extract? I appreciate nice smells, but everyone's idea of a "nice smell" is different; I think that for major companies, like airlines and hotels, to diffuse their lobbies and cabins with the scent of spring meadows is risky business and could be a turn-off to some.
'Dublin' Dr. Pepper, a cult classic and Texas favorite made with real cane sugar, is no more. "After a long legal battle, the doctor has ordered a halt to production of [the] distinct Dr. Pepper product." The relationship between the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company of Dublin (Dublin Bottle Works) and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group became strained over the years due to the Bottling Company's use of Dr. Pepper "trademarks and sales outside of a six-county territory around Central Texas." Dublin Bottle Works was the oldest operating Dr. Pepper producer in the country and while the plant will remain open as a museum and soda shop and Dr. Pepper says they will create a sugar cane-based variation of 'Dublin' Dr. Pepper, we Texans know it just wont be the same. As advertisers? We say, "Bad move, Dr. Pepper, bad move."