Box Vox

packaging as content

March 29, 2008

Partisan Politics & Package Design

RepublicankraftWhy are convention delegates like kids at a birthday party? Goody bags. Apparently, “goody bags” filled with an assortment of products are handed out at political conventions in this country. These two packages are from the collection of our foreign-journalist friend who attended the 2004 Republican National Convention here in New York.

The M&M‘s are packaged in a patriotic, yet non-partisan style—(red, white and blue with flag)—suitable for dispensing at either convention, to Democrats or to Republicans.

Kraft, on the other hand, took a very different tack, making a specifically pro-republican package to dispense at the republican convention. Did they also make a Democratic version of the package?

Digging around online, I was able to confirm that they did indeed hedge their bets and also handed out Democratic Mac & Cheese boxes at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

(comparative photos of both Dem & GOP boxes follow after the jump…) 

Kraftdemocraticbox
Kraftrepublicanbox

These images come from Mother Jones’ web site.

2008 Goody Bags
All of which, raises some questions… What products are to be included in the 2008 goody bags? What packages are now being designed for the upcoming 2008 Republican and Democratic conventions? Who’s designing them? (Please comment if you know the answers to any of these questions!)

There are frequent flurries of controversy (on this blog and on the dieline and elsewhere) among package designers about whether it’s ethical
for a package designer to design packaging for a product he or she may find morally objectionable. Cigarettes, unwholesome “junk” food, things bad for the environment all come to mind.

At the risk of sounding rather partisan, I’d say that, given the state of the U.S. economy during this Republican administration, it would be kind of a luxury for most American package designers to boycott or turn down any sort of work.

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

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