Thursday, June 14, 2007

Baseball, Father's Day And Packaging

Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The Week Issue #1277 - June 14, 2007
Publisher: JoAnn Hines

© Packaging News You Can Use
By JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

I know you all missed me but its been crazy with family issues, business travel and upgrading to a new virtual server. But I'm back now having recently spoken at the Invention Show in Pittsburgh and working and talking tea packaging with Virginia Price from PlanetCanit the World Tea Expo.

Couple of new things in my repertoire. I just finished my special 14 page report "Packaging Your Invention To Sell" email me at for details.

Baseball, Father's Day And Packaging
With Father's Day coming up, I have been on the lookout for innovative packages on products for dad. One of the most interesting was a head of iceberg lettuce wrapped in baseball graphics by Tanimura and Antle. I liked the concept and it made the "buy me" connection for me. With over 60,000 products in the average US supermarket I'll take any marketing advantage that works.

So, let's dissect this marketing gimmick/innovation a little more. Obviously the shape of a head of iceberg lettuce lends itself well to baseball graphics. The lettuce looks just like a baseball when over wrapped (even if it is green). It's certainly going to stand out among all of the other lettuce products. It even has a recipe printed on the package in case you are at a loss what to do with iceberg.

I think it's a clever use of branding a shape and integrating it into a Father's Day campaign. It's a good example of crossing outside your industry to create relevance to your product and brand by connecting it to a family mainstay. In fact, Tanimura and Antle want iceberg lettuce to become the official Father's Day vegetable just like other vegetables get associated with other holidays. (Green bean casserole anyone?)

Iceberg, once the leader of salad lettuce, has suffered a decline due to the proliferation of all the other lettuce products. You have to do something to it (yes, actually cut it in to wedges or break it apart into pieces) before eating. But seriously, think of all the good things that remind dad of baseball, America's favorite past time. Now spin that to get him to think about eating more salad or even think about lettuce at all.

It's creativity like this that drives business. Basic products that are on the wane can use a little innovative product packaging to give them the edge. My husband is an avid baseball fan and anything that "connects" to baseball is fair game in the merchandising world. Women might even buy it just because it is gimmicky and a conversation starter.

I like when companies try untraditional packaging methods that make the consumer take a second look. That's what it's all about any way . . . Creating enough interest that the consumer will pick up your product for a closer look and, of course, make the purchase.So prepare for next Father's Day and consider innovative product packaging that will intrigue the customer beyond the mundane. Consider the concepts and roll with it . . . baseball, Father's Day and packaging.

For more ways to utilize packaging branding, innovation and marketing concepts to "connect" with your consumer contact JoAnn Hines the Packaging Diva at You can also subscribe to he complimentary newsletter "Packaging News You Can Use" at the same email address.


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