Assorted Canned Beverages (various Manufacturers) Essay

This essay has a total of 825 words and 4 pages.

Assorted Canned Beverages (various Manufacturers)

Assorted canned beverages (various manufacturers)
by Paul Lukas

Beverage marketers have long recognized the value of a proprietary
bottle shape when forging a brand's identity. Coca-Cola's familiar
contour glass bottle, the classic case in point, has become so
synonymous with the brand that its communicative oomph rivals that of
the product's script lettering. But how does a company maintain that
sense of package-driven equity when selling its product in aluminum
cans, which don't lend themselves to unique shapes? The answer for a
growing number of beverage marketers is simple: Feature an illustration
of the bottle on the can.
The unusual thrust of this approach - depicting one packaging
format on another packaging format - is appealing from a marketing
standpoint because it boils down a package design to pure image, pure
signifier, essentially transforming the entire package into a logotype.
The idea appears to have first hit the American beverage market in 1993,
when Coke began depicting its contour glass bottle on 12-ounce cans. The
company went further in 1997, when it began featuring the bottle
illustration on two-liter plastic bottles and on the cardboard soda cups
used at many movie theaters and fast food outlets.
So does a consumer drinking a can of Coke really connect more fully
with the product if the can features an illustration of a glass bottle?
Coke spokesman Bob Bertini thinks so. "The contour bottle captures the
essence of the brand," he explains. "It's a shorthand symbol for the
brand experience. When people see the bottle, they immediately associate
it with Coca-Cola."
No argument there. But while the glass bottle is clearly a cultural
icon (and also appears to be the format of choice for those animated
polar bears in Coke commercials), it represents only a smidgen of the
brand's American sales nowadays, which means Coke has managed the neat
trick of anchoring its visual image to a packaging format that few
people actually buy, and that the brand's younger customers may never
even have experienced first-hand. It's not hard to envision a future
marketplace, perhaps 50 years hence, in which glass Coke bottles have
been phased out completely but are still being depicted on some new
packaging format that we can't even imagine yet.
The market situation is somewhat different with Orangina, the
citrus drink that debuted in France in 1936 and came to America in the
early 1980's. The brand's short, squat 10-ounce glass bottle - known in
the trade as "the bulby bottle," because it resembles a light bulb - hit
the American market around 1985 and remains the product's most popular
packaging format. With bottle sales running strong, the brand's
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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