Wines & Spirits

7 ways that packaging reaches a man's heart

Kiehl's Fathers day shop window display

It will soon be ‘Father’s Day’ again, that time of year when kids and adults alike are forced by the marketing machine of the greeting card and gift industry to buy something for their Dad. This means that the shops and the internet are stuffed to the gunnels (look it up) with products that are…

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Carta Blanca

Bacardi Old and New Packaging on Shelf

Most famous spirit brands have a long history and a complete archive of labels and bottles past. That makes it easy to research and bring back elements of an old favourite from an appropriate period. The challenge is to make it look not like a special nostalgia edition, but to emphasise the craftsmanship of those…

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Travel accessories

It seems obvious in hindsight, but you’ve got to applaud the insight that Veuve Cliquot now mines with great panache, to distinguish its brand from dozens of other champagnes: Travellers love accessories. For besuited business blokes it’s a quick rummage in the electrical section, hoping to find yet another bargain camera or an iPhone charging…

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Explorers wanted

Johnnie Walker display at the airport simulating Louis Vuitton Luggage

Still on the theme of making people feel good about themselves (which is pretty much the whole point of brands anyway), Johnnie Walker has been working hard to encourage businessmen and women to see themselves as Explorers. Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better than ‘number-crunching knowledge worker catching the last flight home’? The Explorers’…

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Defining character

Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Jack Daniel's displays

There’s a fine line between symbolism and caricature and this particular manifestation of Captain Morgan just crossed it. Looking like a prop at the Year Six performance of Peter Pan, I don’t think I can take his products seriously. I know he’s not meant to be taken that seriously, but this is alcohol, after all.…

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Mixed metaphors

Havana Club Display simulating a pub

The brief seems clear: Make Havana Club feel like the authentic ‘rum of Cuba’. So we’re transported to a room set which could be an impromptu bar set up in someone’s kitchen. It’s a bit of a rough neighbourhood judging by the state of the walls, painted decades ago in the duck-egg blue of the…

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On the razz…

Belvedere and Stoli flavoured Vodka

Two examples of vodka indulgence that need no help from elaborate displays, selling their offer straight from the shelf through sheer tastefulness. Adding a flavour without spoiling the cool chic of the category has become a bit of an arms race, and Belvedere’s coloured punt is only a rehash of a technique pioneered by Absolut…

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The power of wood

The Glenlivet Whiskey Airport display

Ah, the hundreds of stories that whiskies tell us about wood. Aintcha just sick to death of them? Well, no, actually, in fact I was deeply fascinated by the account of whisky maturation in wood, in this richly informative website. Being German it’s big on diagrams and convincing technical explanations, but slightly less good on…

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Short story

Three Chase bottles in a Special gift box, which is a book with the Union Jack Flag

William Chase (of Tyrrell’s Crisps fame and fortune) has transformed himself from a potato farmer to a bastion of British good taste and style. His Union Jack bow-tied Vodka bottles stand out proudly on many a Travel Retail shelf, but here we have a suitably eccentric gift box of small (but not miniature) bottles. There’s…

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The secret language of boxes

Several Whiskey Brands on a Supermarket Shelf

A box is a code in itself, in the case of expensive spirits for both protection and gifting. The two are not unrelated, because our brain has learned to associate protection with precious and valuable items. Shape, colour and proportion are hugely important signals here, and these combine to very different effects in this small…

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