I don’t care what it is; The Packaging is Cool, I’m having It.

It’s both a maddening and exciting idea (depending which side of the fence you’re sat on) that a poor product can become successful with the right packaging while a quality product can flop completely if its packaging misses the mark. But, either way, it is a reality…

When I worked in a record store, I would handle thousands of CD and DVD cases every single day. Some stuck in your mind. Most didn’t. The ones which did, I’d later recall, not because of the artist, movie or song usually, but their innovative or attractive packaging and I was surprised at how much I learned about the level of influence packaging had over customers’ choices. Growing up in a generation in which almost every English house had an internet ready computer, I figured people would be conscious of many of the techniques used and attempts commonly made to persuade them to buy a product, and if that they would resist them.

Instead, I discovered a new culture; as people became more aware of marketing techniques, packaging simply became fashionable. Consumers as well as companies began studying-up, turning to books like  Really Good Packages Explained: Top Design Professionals Critique 300 Designs & Explain What Makes Them Work. Packaging, in return, would evolve to exploit their target customer’s awareness, where previously they may have exploited their ignorance. So, the shape of packaging or particular copy used would seem like it was meant as a private joke between itself and the customer. What’s more, customers began buying products to show recognition for particularly clever packaging or to actually own the packaging, not the product, and ‘creative packaging’ began to feature in conversation amongst friends and in ‘top ten’ list on blogs and in newspapers.

Hence, more and more, artists and businesses are wisely enlisting the services of creative packaging companies. Movie makers at every level too are relying on companies such as Key Production, to provide them with bespoke DVD packaging.  And it works.  When the first ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ movie was released, I had planned to download the soundtrack. Then I saw the three CDs unfold before me, the sleek frosted slip case, artwork  and full colour booklet…and even I had to admit, ‘giving in’, never felt so good.

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Why Your Company Branding is Vital to Get Right

When it comes to running a profitable and successful company there a few things that you need to make sure you get right. Company branding is vital to the success of your business. Get that wrong and you are more likely to fail, but get it right and it’s going to be a name that becomes familiar to many people. One of the most important things is your company name (be sure to check it with Companies House first). It needs to be professional sounding and easy to remember to create an impact on people. Any company logos need to be well designed and unique so they will be easily recognised and a company slogan can be effective if it is appropriate to your business.

There are a great many marketing and PR companies out there who will be able to help your business achieve success, but that will come at a cost and is not something everyone can afford right now. Another option would be to approach a printing company. Most will have excellent staff who are able to work with you to design appropriate wording and logos for your promotional material that can often be just as effective. They will be able to design eye catching art work which is specific to your products, and be able to produce a number of different promotional items to help you increase sales. They will be able to advise you on what to include on your business cards and posters to create a professional image and help you come up with a slogan if necessary.

Advertising posters, letter heads and business cards are all items that can usually be produced at a few days notice, and many printers will be able to offer a business package deal to save you money when ordering them together. With a bit of thought, your business will become easily recognisable.

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The Impact of TV Advertising

TV is one of many new technological innovations introduced in the 20th century which has had a huge impact and made a noticeable difference to how we conduct our lives and present ourselves. It seems as though no one prior to the introduction of radio, TV and the internet in the 20th could predict the impact it could make on people from all walks of life in a relatively short spell of time.

When TV was first introduced in the early 20th century it was only the wealthier members of society that could afford to watch a TV set. Throughout the twentieth century TVs have become more sophisticated in their construction and have become cheaper to manufacture and assemble. The social impact of this fairly fast transition is a literal social revolution. As more people had access to TV programming the nature of the programs being broadcast began to change to target the new audience which logically progressed to the introduction of advertising becoming the norm on the majority of channels by the 1980’s. As TV advertising became more commonplace body’s such as the ASA were formed to regulate the content and claims made by advertising professionals.

 

all response media

Even though sites like Youtube and streaming services are increasing in popularity all the time it is still debatably targeting a niche audience. Many media analysts have predicted a steep decline in TV’s popularity and its ability to influence today’s youth and future generations. However like many great, enduring ideas the key to its success is its ability to adapt and change with the current trends and patterns to reflect the attitudes of not just the youth but all cross sections and demographics of society. For example, All Response Media have a distinctive, vibrant style to their advertising which reflects the key values of today’s youth.

To some extent it is impossible to predict how the next decade of TV advertising will pan out, let alone the next generation. With more people watching TV online through streaming services and using set top boxes like Youview and sky products it is questionable how much affect TV will have on the younger generation however it cannot be denied that it will still continue to function in its current incarnation for some time and as the nature of TV standards changes there will always be avenue for manufacturers and advertising executives to collaborate so that the right audience is being targeted with relevant and unobtrusive TV advertising.

One of the ways in which TV advertising is evolving is by using humor, music and pop culture references and celebrities to create engaging yet entertaining and often funny or satirical adverts. A great round up of humorous print ads can be found in this post from One Extra Pixel.

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Reinventing the Classics

Disney is a wonderful brand, that for a lot of children and adults is simply synonymous with happiness and nostalgia. The classic stories that they have brought us over the years have taught us all about love, loss, heroics, courage and togetherness. Their adorable anthropomorphic animals and creatures have smiled, sung and danced their way through hardships and obstacles that captured our imaginations and held onto them for years to come. The characters they’ve created became instant classics, and the ones they reinvented quickly became the standard image of a beautiful princess or prince charming.

The progression of art and culture is all about taking what has come before and reworking and reinventing it in the modern day. Cinderalla, or sleeping beauty were wonderful fairy tales that have been told to children for hundreds of years being passed down through the oral tradition. But in the 20th century the wonderful invention of animation allowed for Disney to bring to life some of the images, and stories that everyone had heard with such joy and passion that these images soon became the standard. The longevity of these images is phenomenal; today it is not uncommon to see a little girl playing in sleeping beauty fancy dress, but the animated classic itself first arrived on our screens in 1959. Even the songs from the film, which most children could sing to you, are actually adaptations of the arrangements from the classic 1890 ballet version of sleeping beauty by Tchaikovsky.

By taking a classic character and reinventing it for a modern audience, Disney has managed to strike a perfect balance and develop characters so iconic that they have a nearly supernatural longevity; working on images, themes and ideas that are already hugely present in the public consciousness.

With this in mind, it seems a shame that Disney seems to be perpetually in legal battles over copyright laws to protect their brand and their characters. It is easy to see why they are fighting so ferociously to hold onto their creative property, the fantastically iconic character Mickey Mouse was created in 1928 and the copyright for the cartoons are constantly being updated so that they can’t be borrowed and distributed without the permission of Disney. It is often said that without the battles that Disney fights, Mickey Mouse would enter into the public domain – meaning anyone could reproduce the character or use him in films without asking, crediting or paying Disney for the use. However, the character is actually trademarked, meaning he belongs to Disney as long as they keep on using him as a company. But the earlier cartoons themselves could fall into the public domain without the extended copyright laws – often called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act by campaigners in large support of the public domain.

The character itself has permeated into the public consciousness in the same way that the characters of fairy tales became part of the oral tradition, it’s part of what makes up our culture. Mickey Mouse is something of the folk hero of the modern age, and perhaps in years to come, the image of the anthropomorphic mouse could be belong to all of the people and lives that he has touched over the course of nearly a century. From this, he could be changed, adapted, reworked and reimagined in order to reach more people and evolve for the future.

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Beautifully Designed Promotional Business Gifts

When it comes to promoting your business; promotional business gifts are a marketing tactic which has stood the test of time. Everyone loves receiving beautifully designed and manufactured products and even more so if they’re a product which actually has some use. Promotional business gifts come in a whole range of shapes and sizes and pretty much any product you can think of can be used in such a way, however what are some of the main things to consider when planning your business gifts and their design?

First things first; you need to decide whether you’re going to go for a useful or a novelty product? Both types have their uses, however you need to consider your target market. If you’re aiming at the consumer market, novelty products will ensure your business stands out and is remembered for doing something that little different. If you’re primarily aiming for a business market with your gifts, however, it may be worth considering something a little more useful. As an example, a promotional frisbee, for example, may be considered as fantastic by a consumer market with an intended age range of late teens, and used for a bit of fun, however a business professional would most likely not take a second glance at such a product. If the product was a pen, diary or USB pen, however, there’s a good chance that such a professional would put the gift to good use.

In such an instance, the gift will act as a daily reminder of your company and, as soon as they require your services or products, it’s likely that they’ll give you a call or drop you a line due to that constant reminder. When it gets down to it; you need to think of the target market and how suitable the product is for that recipient prior to deciding the approach to take for your promotional advertising campaign. In addition, you need to ask yourself whether you’re trying to attract direct business from such gifts (as in an individual see’s your gift and gives you a call fairly quickly) or whether it’s more for brand awareness and you’re looking to alert recipients of your existence.

Carefully consider your target market and the potential suitability of any products and there’s a very good chance your campaign will be a great success. It’s all about selecting the right products for the right target market and, above all, ensuring you have fantastic products to give away which really hit home with the recipient!

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