June 23, 2011
We recently needed a can of WD-40 and the one we bought turned out to be one of their limited edition series of collectible cans to honor American military forces. It made me wonder about this kind of “Support Our Troops” packaging.
There were lots of companies during World War II that made “supporting the war effort” a key element of their advertising. (See: Life Savers at War) Today, I expect, few of our transnational, global corporations would want to be closely associated with any one side of a conflict. Not when there’s so little political consensus and even terrorists are potential customers.
As a marketing strategy, “Supporting the Troops” is similar to other ethical marketing causes. A portion of the proceeds of each purchase are supposed to benefit the troops.
Necco’s “Red White & You” Sweethearts candy, the benefit is delivered via the USO:
As part of the program, New England Confectionery Company donated Sweethearts for every Operation USO Care Package sent from June through August. Candies were printed with heartfelt sayings like “Miss You,” “Brave One” and “Home Safe.”
Srixon Golf Balls also “teamed up” with the USO:
Srixon, a world leader in golf club and golf ball technology, is proud to announce that in support of our troops overseas and the sacrifices they and their families have made in service to our country, Srixon has teamed up with the United Service Organization (USO) to give back to our troops. From July 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011, we will be donating 5% of net proceeds from the sale of Srixon camouflaged packaged golf products and accessories or those featuring the USO logo, to the USO.
WD-40’s troop support proceeds go to three different charities:
Crown Aerosol Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings Inc. and WD-40 Company are launching a limited edition series of collectible cans to honor American military forces. The series consists of four different designs: three depicting air, sea, and land themes and one combined graphic showcasing all five military branches, including the Coast Guard.
WD-40 Company will donate 10 cents per can purchased to three military charities: Armed Services YMCA, Wounded Warrior Project and Veterans Medical Research Foundation. Crown will also make a donation to each of the charities.
Sometimes, even with the most charitable intentions, a package design can be disturbing.
(Packaging that attempts to honor “the fallen”, after the fold…)
May 26, 2011
“Using a selection of tea from T2 we created four individual tea boxes and personified them to reflect the names of the following popular flavours of tea: Gorgeous Geisha, English Breakfast, Chai and French Earl Grey. Each box holds a few tea bags and a small scroll showing images of recently completed work with an invitation to ‘sit down for 5 minutes with a cup of tea and learn more about us.”
(See also: last Tuesday’s Cat Head Packaging)
Beach Packaging Design
May 19, 2011
Yesterday’s post about the similar interlocking bottles, raised a number of questions. The patent drawings above date from 1963 to 2008, each showing a different patented method of connecting separate bottles. There are plenty of products that can be sold in pairs — shampoo & conditioner; 2-part epoxy; oil & vinegar — but what are consumers to make of it when these products are sold in interlocking bottles?
Are they anthropomorphic couples? Are they happily married? Are they promiscuous? Or are they more like puzzle pieces fitting together?
Or body parts fitting together?
The 69-ish innuendo of yesterday’s bottle structure (and the single quote marks ‘’ in Joy Lin’s Hustler Lubricant concept) is even more explicit in Franck Legoupil’ 2001 patent for a “Container Assemble of Two Nested Containers,” pictured above.
This same symmetrical gender-geometry is also at work in the “Mated Container Units” patented by Juris M. Mednis in 1986:
“A multi-purpose container unit whose hollow body, neck and shoulder sections are proportioned and constructed in a manner that allows interfacing and mating with an identical or mirror image unit of like size… The container has a neck and a recessed portion along its vertical axis which accepts and provides safe harbor and protection to the neck and closure portion of the mated unit whose corresponding body recess, in turn, accepts the neck and closure portion of a second container of the mated unit…”
(See what the “Mated Container Units” look like, after the fold…)
May 5, 2011
Usually associated with instant soup in packets, this ad from a 1946 issue of the Utica NY Observer shows that Lipton’s also once made a canned Tomato Vegetable Soup or as they put it in the ad “…a fresh-cooked soup masterpiece in modern soup mix form!” (The photo on right from Collectologist2’s Flickr Photostream.)
Beach Packaging Design
April 29, 2011
If you’re searching for something relatively obscure on Google, you sometimes run up against this smug, algorithmic presumption that you must have misspelled it.
Last week, while researching “Muffets” (the round shredded wheat), Google kept insisting that it was surely Muppets that I was looking for. To the point where I was forced to type: muffets -muppets (Muffets, not Muppets, damnit!)
But along the way Google showed me something that I was grateful to see: a 1967 commercial for Linit Fabric Finish spray, featuring an anthropomorphic aerosol can with the familiar Jim Henson/Kermit-the-Frog voice.
(Sir Linit photo & Henson’s “Linit Man” character sketch, after the fold…)
April 18, 2011
1. On left:
7" tall figural bottle depicting Al Capp’s Shmoo character with screw-on lid. Bottle by Baldwin Laboratories of Saegertown, PA. Front of bottle neck has Shmoo facial features in red paint, back has expanded “SHMOOoo” name and U.F. Syn. copyright text. c. late 1940s. (Price = $75) via Hakes
2. On right:
A Pre Columbian Peru Classic Huari Wari culture ca. 600-900 AD polychromed pottery anthropomorphic bottle having a tapered bulbous body and tapered head spout with painted and relief facial features. Wearing a wide multistrand necklace and hands held to his stomach. A restored break on the left side of the body and two restored rim chips, otherwise intact. Measures 7 X 5. (“Buy It Now” price = $1,450) via eBay
Beach Packaging Design
April 1, 2011
It now appears that Tareyton Cigarettes covered some of the same ground with their anthro-pack named, “Wagner” sponsoring the 1950s children’s puppet show, “The Gay Cavalcade.” (above)
Wagner, however, was a badly-drawn and ill-conceived mascot that wound up causing the company considerable grief…
People might remember Tareyton Cigarettes as the brand that went bankrupt due to an urban legend back in the 60’s. A rumor convinced people that the Tareyton company was a front for Adolph Hitler, who was living in Argentina and running a tobacco empire to finance an army to re-take Europe. The only evidence for this was the unfortunate design of their company mascot, “Wagner” seen on the cigarette packs themselves, but it was enough to destroy sales when the gossip got around.
Hoverboy and Hitler Cigarettes!
by Ty Templeton, January 20, 2011
Further evidence of Tareyton’s mascot debacle can be found on TobaccoDocuments.org:
I managed to locate one of these brass “mascot lighters” on eBay…
(From brass cigarette lighters to brass knuckles, after the fold…)
March 29, 2011
At top, an illustration from a Grape Nuts ad showing the benevolent ministrations of an anthropomorphic Grape Nuts box for a sickly man. (Note: the flasks by the bed. Medicine?) (via)
The newspaper item on left is from the NY Times, February 28, 1904. I’m guessing that, at that time, there were no editorial rules in place requiring “Advertisement” to appear above. The same “story” appeared in a number of periodicals around the same time.
The ad on the right shows Post’s “The Road to Wellville" pamphlet or “keen, little book,” which T.J. Boyle entitled his book after—about Kellogg’s “Battle Creek Sanitarium.” (Note: C.W. Post spent time in Kellogg’s Sanitarium)
This Little Book FREE.
A Keen, Snappy Little Book
To be Found in Packages.
A copy is placed in every third pkg. of
One of the best known surgeons in America voluntarily wrote a 2-page letter favorably analyzing the healthful suggestions in “The Road to Wellville.”
Some profound facts appear that are new to most persons.
Get a pkg. and study the little book. It wins its own way, and adds to your stock of knowledge.
“There's a Reason”
More Grape=Nuts anthro-pack ads (via)
(One more Grape Nuts anthro-pack, after the fold…)
February 7, 2011
Recently spotted at Barnes & Nobel: Issue No. 36 of McSweeney’s Quarterly—a “head box” with illustrations by Matt Furie. (Note: Illustration on bottom of box shows that this is actually a severed head box.)
This package features the kind of orthographic graphic design we’ve discussed before, but usually it’s the contents of the box that are projected onto the side panels. Here, it’s more like a “serving suggestion” of what you might make of the box’s contents—(your head being the presumptive destination of the ideas contained).
But besides serving as a repository for literary contents, an orthographically projected head also makes a nice diagram to explain our human predisposition toward rectangular, Cartesian coordinates. With eyes facing forward, an ear on either side, it’s only natural we navigate the world in egocentric, rectangular directions: forward, backward, left, right, up, down.
In an earlier post about close-packing polyhedrons, I wondered why packaging so often seems to skew rectangular. Egocentric coordinates could be one explanation. Our skulls may be round, but our ideas are definitely square.
The video below shows what’s in the box.
(The sound track is: “Poodle in the Hen House”)
Beach Packaging Design
February 3, 2011
If you look for T-shirts featuring pictures of packages, you don’t find much. Plenty of T-shirts sport brand logos, but a T-shirt with a straightforward picture of a consumer package is rare.
You can find examples that almost qualify… Sometimes a T-shirt may have enlarged label graphics. In such cases, it’s like the wearer is the package with a T-shirt for a label. (e.g.: this Jack Daniel’s T-shirt) Other times the package is merely an element in a more elaborate illustration.
I thought I’d go ahead and show this example: the Wonder bread “Squeeze Me I’m Fresh” T-shirt. (above) Plenty of T-shirt messages employ innuendo or double-entendre, but it’s unusual to see it done with anthro-packs. (Although I have seen other anthropomorphic Wonder bread T-shirts: here and here.)
Beach Packaging Design