Packaging is an absolutely critical part of the communication arsenal of a marketer. In many categories it can be the catalyst to purchase, in others it can play a significant role in purchase reassurance, and in all categories it is fundamental to break through a very cluttered product landscape. It is for this reason that Brands are increasingly looking into collector packs. The spirits business has been very good as this as has the sparkling beverage business. We need only look at the immense Coke pack collectibles (see here). However, many categories, especially the more functionally-driven ones, realize the importance of packaging as a storytelling vehicle. They focus on attribute sharing only.
Ricola is a cough drop Brand that has historically viewed packaging as a vehicle to say what’s inside the wrapper instead of what’s inside can do for you. Meanwhile people who buy cough drops are first and foremost interested in relief. While certain ingredients may signal relief, nothing does that trick more effectively than an emotional trigger, a visual story that you understand. For this reason I love their recent Music Edition.
For a limited time they have decided to use their wrapping as a canvas to show the relief they offer versus say what their drops are made of. The result is absolutely brilliant. Not only is the story compelling, it is highly entertaining which makes you want to purchase. The entertainment factor also is an emotional relief to the stress of a sore throat. In other words, the packaging not only tells you what you will get, it distracts you from your ailment at the same time. Superb. Their nod to stars like Kanye and Madonna are quite funny.