Jul 5, 2010

Make 'Em Curious: A Packaging Design That Works For Me

I was shopping with my kids on Sunday. While standing in the checkout line a series of bottles caught my eye. Normally, bottles wouldn't made me stop, but these did. When I took a second look I realized that they were Pringle's chip cans.We love Pringle's in our home, and actually had three flavors in our buggy for check-out.

So, what made me stop on these? I believe it's all about signals. If you're used to seeing Pringle's with different colored cans & flavors then you may walk by a whole row of them without giving the product a second thought. But, these cans send out the traditional Pringle's "signal" to the brain. The design on the can, set in it's optical-illusion style, says "I'm a bottle." I believe the mind has a hard time reconciling these two signals. In an instant it realizes that there is a problem to be solved, then you stop to solve this mystery. This all happens very quickly, mind you. My family and I had a decision to make; are we interested enough to try them?

Being fascinated by this little design & product placement tactic, I bought all three cans. It turns out that all three flavors are pretty good, but none so good that I would seek them out again, of course I would imagine that is not Pringle's goal. They want to move these flavors right now. That's it. It puts the brand in your cubbard for you to try. If you like any of them then you'll be willing to try the other products that are coming out of the line.

We'll finish the chips, and I'll keep the cans in my office. They'll serve as a reminder of an age-old marketing strategy; be consistent, make folks comfortable, then break your own pattern from time to time to grab attention. Now, I've got some Ketchup flavored chips to eat. Thanks for stopping by.
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