sip on this

Coca-Cola Pledges To Cut Ads to Kids, Display More Calorie Information

Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 09:47 AM

Coca-Cola broadened its pledges to provide more calorie information to consumers and to stop advertising to children around the world, but the media was quick to scour the fine print of the company's promises as the beverage leader tries to win over consumers. 

CEO Muhtar Kent announced on Wednesday, the brand's 127th anniversary, that the company was taking a four-pronged approach to battling obesity, an issue that it has acknowledged lately in many ways but at the same time has attempted to deflect blame from its iconic sugary sodas.

As part of an initiative it's calling Coming Together, Coca-Cola wants to communicate that it's part of the solution, not the problem. The beverage giant and its local partners will label all packages with calorie details on the front, expand the availability of low- and no-calorie beverages in every market, support more physical activity programs, and stop advertising to children under 12.Continue reading...

green shoots

Clorox's Green Works Finds New Voice and Attitude to Combat Greenwashing

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2013 03:36 PM

As Kermit the Frog taught an entire generation, “It's not easy being green.”

Clorox’s Green Works is a case study in the steep learning curve of green branding. The line of environmentally friendly housecleaning products launched in 2008 with an endorsement from the Sierra Club, which helped boost its market penetration and credibility. 

That $1.3 million contract ends in December and the brand chose Earth Day to announce a strategic marketing revamp, including a new tone of voice (embodied by its new manifesto, posted on Facebook and its website) and the removal of the Sierra Club logo from all Green Works packaging, a clear sign of the times as green cleaning products have been forced to reduce their premium prices and re-position the sell to deflect declining sales.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Big Tobacco's Label Appeal is Denied as NYC Tries to Change Legal Smoking Age

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 23, 2013 02:50 PM

Cigarette warning labels haven’t changed a bit in the last 30 years, despite lots of data being unearthed in that time on the dangers of smoking and plenty of efforts by the government and consumer groups to have those labels changed. The main reason no change has occurred is because of the undying efforts of Big Tobacco’s legal departments. 

Those departments took a hit Monday when the Supreme Court rejected Big Tobacco’s efforts to challenge a 2009 federal law “that requires graphic warning labels on cigarettes and expanded marketing restrictions on tobacco products,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

This doesn’t mean that smokers will soon be carrying around cigarette packs with gruesome images such as a sewn-up cadaver, a crying woman who apparently has lung cancer, smoke coming out of a man’s trachea, and other such unpleasant sights. It will take time to get new images approved and they will likely go through their own legal challenges along the way. Plus, last August, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit “ruled that the proposed labels violated the tobacco industry's free-speech rights under the First Amendment,” the Journal reminds. The Obama Administration later said “it wouldn't mount a further legal defense of the labels, leaving the agency to consider new proposals."Continue reading...

design watch

ColaLife Nabs Best Design Award for Life-Saving Coca-Cola Crate Pods

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 18, 2013 01:15 PM

ColaLife, the non-profit that wedges its medical kits into crates full of Coca-Cola was awarded Product Design of the Year by the Design Museum of London. 

The organization was awarded the honor for its Kit Yamoyo, a simple plastic container that carries an anti-diarrhea treatment including oral hydration salts, zinc and soap. After the contents are disposed of, the container can be used as a water filtration system. The concept was developed by ColaLife and PI Global in an effort to utilize the distribution routes of Coca-Cola suppliers to distribute aid to remote regions of Africa. 

“The maverick in me thinks it’s fantastic that something designed with the poor and for the poor, and with the word ‘diarrhea’ in it, has won a mainstream, international design award," said founder Simon Berry in a statement. "I think it’s safe to say that this hasn’t happened before and I congratulate the judges for being so brave.”Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All The News You Can Drink: Tommy Guns Vodka, Corona's Herd, Dos de Mayo and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 5, 2013 06:30 PM

Gun Company Fires Back at Tommy Guns Vodka

Chicago mobsters back in the days of Al Capone favored a submachine gun known as the Tommy gun, which was then glorified in plenty of films and books about the era. But Tommy guns aren’t some relic of history. Saeilo Enterprises still makes them, and the owners aren’t very happy with Alphonse Capone Enterprises and its Tommy Guns Vodka, which is sold in a bottle shaped like the famous gun.

In fact, they are so annoyed that a lawsuit has been filed, the Chicago Tribune reports. Saeilo wants all of the Tommy Guns Vodka that is left to be turned over so it can all be destroyed. (Consumption counts as destroying, right?)Continue reading...

brand innovation

Is Tide Killing the Laundry Detergent Industry?

Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2013 11:32 AM

Tide Pods seem to be very good for Procter & Gamble, but some observers believe they're killing the rest of the detergent industry.

Naturally, P&G seems quite happy with how the pre-measured Pods are gobbling up market share in the U.S. detergent business, with expected fiscal-year sales of $500 million this year meaning that Tide Pods are well on their way to becoming yet another of the dozens of $1-billion-plus brands in the CPG giant's portfolio.

Moreover, this is a segment that P&G invented, as AP has noted, taking "eight years, 450 product sketches, 6,000 consumer tests and hundreds of millions of dollars." Despite imitators, Tide essentially has the category all to itself so far, with a market share of about 75 percent of unit doses, drawing customers from rivals without the technology. No wonder P&G plans to take Pods to Europe in the coming months.Continue reading...

package design

The Shape of Things to Come: Pepsi's New Bottle Design Reinvigorates Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 24, 2013 09:03 PM

Pepsi is redesigning its 16 and 20-ounce bottles for the first time since 1977 — one in a series of recent moves (see: the recent Super Bowl halftime show sponsorship and related landmark partnership with superstar Beyonce) as PepsiCo attempts to revitalize its flagship brand after a few mis-steps that led to the brand losing market share to rival Coca-Cola's Diet Coke brand in 2011.

The new design features a swirled grip on the bottom portion of the bottle, a shorter label edged in a "cola-colored" border and an enlarged version of its current globe logo and applies to Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Pepsi Next. 

"This new bottle is the next milestone in Pepsi's Live For Now marketing campaign," stated Angelique Krembs, VP of marketing for the Pepsi trademark. "Our single serve bottle is the most visible and tangible connection point we have with our consumers, and we love how the new bottle expresses our brand DNA."

"We started with single serve, because it is the package you're seen drinking and holding," Krembs told Ad Age. "The longer-term view is this new design system would eventually hit all touch points beyond packaging, to be honest, but certainly all other package types, as it applies."

According to PepsiCo's press release, "The new bottle's bold swirl and elevated profile reflect the brand's attributes and youthful spirit, capturing the excitement of now for Pepsi consumers. The etched, grip-able bottom allows consumers to have a more stimulating, tactile interaction with the bottle itself."Continue reading...

package design

Looking for Closure: Twist-Ties, Plastic Clips Battle for Market Share

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 13, 2013 07:12 PM

An age-old battle rages on, pinning two unsuspecting objects against each other and forcing consumers to choose: Would you rather twist or clip?

Apparently, the "reclosure" market is quite hot, as the smallest plastic packaging details continue to fight for real estate along America's bread shelves. While there is no available sales data for the country's largest manufacturers of plastic closures (they're privately held), there is a consensus among industry leaders that places the twist-tie on top of the pile. 

“We feel, based on surveys we’ve done, that the twist-tie is consumer-preferred, but of course the clip people will tell you the same thing about their product,” Beth Radloff, marketing specialist for Bedford Industries, a Minnesota-based firm that’s the largest twist-tie manufacturer for the U.S. bakery market, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Despite a lack of attention, the $10 million industry is the focus of an ongoing tug-of-war as brands flip-flop between packaging closures.Continue reading...

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