The art of packaging

Procter & Gamble coined the phrase ‘First Moment of Truth’ (FMOT) referring to the consumer’s first exposure to the brand – at the shelf in a store. At that split second, the first impressions of the brand are formed.

The “first moment of truth,” as P&G calls it, is the three to seven seconds when someone notices an item on a store shelf. Despite spending billions on traditional advertising, the consumer-products giant thinks this instant is one of its most important marketing opportunities.
[Dina Howell, director of FMOT at P&G] says packaging should “interrupt” shoppers on their shopping trip. P&G has developed a set of questions that a package must answer: “Who am I? What am I? Why am I right for you?”

The appeal could be a function of packaging, display, merchandising – the entire gamut of possible interactions with the brand at a store level. The importance is heightened in modern trade formats where it’s a one-to-one between the brand and the consumer. In this context, packaging – the form, shape, material, brand name and graphics – is paramount, specially in consumer goods. In India, my impression is that we are not as advanced as the West when it comes to quality of packaging design & graphics. It is not yet a widely practiced specialist function. Part of the reason could be that Art Schools place less emphasis on this discipline and most Advertising Agency art directors are more comfortable with mass media advertising. In creative award shows, Packaging is just another category. The bigger categories hog all the limelight. Radio, on the other hand has specialist award shows like the Mirchi Kaan Awards. And helped by the FM phenomenon, Radio is seen as a category where creative work can be done. And it shows in the importance given to the medium by Creatives.

There is no dearth of inspiration from the West. Herewith some packaging that caught my eye:

Traidcraft Tissue

Toilet paper. Kitchen towels. Wipes. Not the words that evoke great imagery. And if you are the designer responsible for the packaging design, having fun wouldn’t be on the top of expectations with the project. But look at what Studio Blackburn did with Traidcraft Tissue range.


This won a Silver at the 2009 European Design Awards, under Packaging (Miscellaneous).

Help, I Need Help

I had neither heard of Help Remedies nor seen this packaging before. But I am sure for all of us this completely changes our mental images of pharmaceutical products.

help The art of packaging   Part 1

Simply loved the nomenclature and the ‘dare to be different’ approach to packaging.

Cosmos Paint

The ads are colourful. The cans aren’t, usually. The environment in which it is sold is also dull and unlikely to be ever visited by the end consumer. It could be different in Greece, where this was designed.

COSMOS1 The art of packaging   Part 1

COSMOS2 The art of packaging   Part 1

Agency: K2Design


A typical reaction (and perhaps right) to this would be: this won’t work in India. Labels in this category tend to be filled with graphics and copy, but this could appeal to clients who address the very top end of the market in India.

Waitrose Honey.jpg

Designer Turner Duckworth, United Kingdom

Waitrose Mustard.jpg

Designer: Lewis Moberly

waitrosetubs The art of packaging   Part 1

Designer Pearlfisher. Loved the way the designer has organized his portfolio.

Rexona Men

While packaging designs for sophisticated, high end markets can afford some experimentation, this is as mass-market and supermarket shelf as you can get. And I think it evokes an instant, positive reaction.

Rexona men.jpg

Agency: Pierini Partners

This was awarded the Most Irresistible Packaging Solution by Unilever in 2008 and also won at the Penta Awards, 2008.

Tesco Tortilla Chips

A Platinum Award winner at the Penta Awards, 2008 this supermarket design for Tesco Tortilla Chips takes a quirky approach with the use of a Mexican character.

tesco2 The art of packaging   Part 1

Agency: Pemberton & Whitefoord, UK

The Harry Potter tweet ::: the chance to send potions and cast spells

In the UK for the release of the latest Harry Potter movie, Warner Bros has decided to "use" Twitter. On a dedicated website Twitter users get the chance to send potions and cast spells on the people following them.


Sorry I'm a copy cat

the Copy



Ad agency: JWT Tunisia
Music: Whan

the Original

Blink presents - Sorry I'm late - (2007) 3:11 (UK)

This stop motion animation was shot against a gym floor.


Music composer Keith Kenniff

Written and directed by Tomas Mankovsky

Buzzing the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing

Energy BBDO helped create buzz for the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing using OOH, Print and Digital media - in short, they went all out.

The basis of their idea is that the most modern thing of the modern Wing is the museum itself - architecht Renzo Piano has created a fitting masterpiece to host all others.

OOH work included: train cards, bus kings, double-decker bus wraps, two-sheet posters, bulletins, retailer windows; while the Print included newspapers and magazines; and the digital space utilized banner ads. All elements worked together to bring news of the new wing of the AIC to Chicago, Mid-West and NY art enthusiasts.

Welcome to Modern. Circa Now.
The First Masterpiece
Cubism or Abstract impressionism?
all ads

Client: Art Institute of Chicago
Project: Opening of the AIC's Modern Wing
Agency: Energy BBDO
Photographer: Dave Jordano

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