Aggressive Packaging Invades Supermarket Shelves

Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 4:51 PM EDT

Mountain Dew, made by PepsiCo, has changed its packaging lately. The new bottles -- 12 aggressively cool styles are due to be released from May to October -- have been launched along with a slightly bewildering website. And the Dew is not the only product to change its look lately. According to the New York Times today, there is a growing trend of aggressive repackaging.

Kleenex has gone from rectangular boxes to oval. Coors Light is now offering cans that turn color to signal the beer is the proper temperature for drinking (Yes, really). Huggies has developed a hippo headed hand soap pump that blinks for twenty seconds so kids know to wash their hands for the doctor recommended duration. Axe shower gel comes in bottles shaped like video game joy sticks.

The explanation for all this novel packaging?

The shift is mostly because of the rise of the Internet and hundreds of television channels, which mean marketers can no longer count on people seeing their commercials.
So the package itself becomes the ad. And with the average company now planning package overhauls every two years, more flashy packaging is on the way. Soda cans may soon spray a smell at you as you open them, and some companies are reported to be developing talking packages. According to the Times your cheese could soon tell you, "I'm good with Triscuits!"

While innovative packaging ideas such as these can certainly catch the shopper's eye, so can screaming toddlers and strangely attired teenagers glowering on street corners. Which is how some of these ideas come off. Loud, intrusive packaging, or packaging that is simply trying too hard to be cool, could be more damaging to your brand than a good, old-fashioned square box.

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.