1. The silent salesman revisited

    Posted by Steve on Sep 20th 2011 in: The silent salesman revisited

    Cup a soup packs on shelf

    Welcome to Shelf Life, the blog that reports the stories being told by packaging on the supermarket shelf. Packaging was famously called ‘The Silent Salesman’ by James Pilditch in his 1961 book of that name, but how does a mute object tell a story at all? With great ease it turns out, because our brains…

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  2. Cup a soup range of products on shelf

    Here’s a truly charming design, telling the brand story with wit, appetite appeal, clear variety coding and plenty of impact. In truth it’s really a product story since the Cup-a-Soup ‘brand’ is virtually generic, but perhaps the little Batchelor’s flag saves the day.

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  3. Bonne Maman desserts on shelf

    I’ve always loved this brand story and also admired the fact that its owners resist the temptation to ‘improve’ it. They clearly understand that they managed to create a near perfect encapsulation of this very popular worldview: ‘Products like these tasted better in the past, when our Grandmothers had time to make them from scratch…

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  4. Dorset cereals packaging among other cereals

    The success and subsequent rampant copying of the dorset cereals design aesthetic reveals that they were definitely ‘on to something’. By any conventional measure of standout this pack has very little, until you realise that it’s all about different worldviews. To devoted buyers of Kellogg’s Special K and Coco Pops this pack is invisible; but…

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  5. Leffe beer on a Belgian supermarket beer section

    In Belgium there are dozens of so-called ‘Abbey beers’, many still genuinely brewed by monks as part of their traditional way of life. Others have ‘moved on’ to become part of global brewing empires, but their noble origins live on through the brand story and its design metaphors: medieval scripts, parchment and stained glass windows….

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