Oct 31, 2014

Defining character

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. I love the way he owns the shelf space though, and with better execution this could have been excellent.

Jack Daniel was a real man, but he wisely tends to stay way from packaging, being represented by his trademark arched logo, a colour palette of black, white and silver, and an uncompromisingly square bottle design. The distillery and its hometown of Lynchburg, Tennessee is strongly featured in communication, using an ‘unspoilt by progress’ storyline, often told in a gritty, black and white reportage style.

Here in Travel Retail land we’re having none of that, but an uncompromisingly round set of plinths and pedestals, purporting to tell a story about Family. Again the idea of owning the floor space is well achieved with the wooden barrel-end pattern, even when it features the world’s least convincing embossed logo.

Both of these examples score well for getting noticed, but poorly for leveraging brand assets to promote RTBs (Reasons to Buy).