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Archive for November 2010

Think inside the crate

Orange juice carton packages and an orange crate in Marrakech

When buying a delicious fresh juice from a market stall is such a feast for the senses, it’s pretty hard for a Tetrapak to compete. Of course it totally wins the convenience contest, but just think what we in Northern Europe could make of a brand with a story called Marrakech or Agadir! Of course…

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All the tea in China

Delightful cube-shaped packs of leaf tea dominate this particular shelf, with green tea nearly as prominent as black. The shape echoes the traditional tea chest of course, but the graphical brand stories are a surprising combination of Chinese (origin), Arabic (culture) and French (quality? allure? you tell me) signals.

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Pick ‘n’ Mix

An interesting blend of great-looking (and smelling) produce with completely soulless displays. Shopping for olives and spices at the Souk is a far more rewarding experience, but it does come with authentic flies as well.

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Character, anyone?

It’s not difficult to get an illustrator to draw a cool looking character. It’s not that difficult to make an animated film or ad with your character, probably in 3D by next week. It’s another thing to make me (= your consumer) care, though you might get away with it for a while if I’m…

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In the bag

Milk section in a supermarket in Marrakech

Adding value to milk is a full-time job for some of our clients, so it’s always worth looking for fresh inspiration. Nothing much here apart from the usual cows, grass, sky and sunshine (though they’re still hanging on to pottery churns and jugs, which Europe tends to reserve for yoghurt stories). I’m almost sure that the…

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Your image in their hands

A substantial beer, wines and spirits section boasted its own security guard, but then again so does my local Morrison’s. The old ‘brand jigsaw’ trick worked a treat for J&B here, whereas Ballantine’s ‘leave an impression’ message was mixed in more ways than one. Meanwhile the Absolut ‘Glimmer’ off-shelf display looked a bit off-brand to…

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Classy Italian

Loacker Biscuits on an Italian Supermarket shelf

It’s not often a biscuit pack is lavished with embossing, foil and a window, but we’re talking ‘Gran Pasticceria’ here (did I say ‘biscuit’? My apologies). You can touch and taste the quality and craftsmanship of the product by simply standing in front of the box. Beautifully old-fashioned.

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The female form

Morocco feels like a fairly emancipated Muslim country, but brand stories that want to communicate an ‘ideal’ figure still need to tread carefully. A quick comparison with the same pack from Cyprus shows that the rest of the global design system (including the wholegrain message and promotional window) is admirably consistent.

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Decoration is craft

This big display of apricot jams reminded me of the lost art of lid design, which was also in evidence on mayonnaise, pasta sauces and numerous other categories. Yes the world-famous Bonne Maman gingham lid was here too, but I was charmed by these local patterns. The story (‘pre-industrialisation’) is the same, and it makes…

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How do you like your science?

Detergent section on a supermarket shelf in Marrakech

The battle for laundry supremacy between Unilever and P&G is a familiar sight on supermarket shelves across the world. The latter certainly has the edge on harmonisation when it comes to naming, though Ariel’s molecular orbital derived symbol comes in several forms around the globe, suggesting different stories still need to be told. The appeal and…

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