Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pepsico listens to the people

Consumers of Tropicana Orange Juice weren't overwhelmed by the recent redesign parent co. Pepsico released, in which the longtime 'orange with a straw' image was replaced by a tall glass of OJ against an otherwise naked background. And they complained about it (I noticed the change myself, and happen to agree with those that thought it looked a lot like what you might expect from a generic store brand). Pespico has announced, as a result, that the old packaging will return. The takeaway here (if you can ignore the massive wasted cost associated with designing, producing, and then canning the 'new and improved' packaging, more on that below) is that the consumer has mad power. And that companies are listening.

Interestingly enough, Pepsico has been redesigning across divisions lately, with new packaging for the Gatorade and Pepsi lines as well. All courtesy of The Arnell Group. The common minimalizm is evident in all three redesigns. While I'm a minimalistic guy when it comes to, say...decorating my living room, none of these passes my sniff test. We'll see if the other two survive.

The cost, by the way...? This Advertising Age release (posted on the Arnell Group website) suggests a million dollar bill just for the agency effort. When you factor in updating ALL marketing materials (think delivery trucks, vending machines, etc) that cost could easily grow to several million dollars.

UPDATE - 04/02/09

This is all far enough in the rear view mirror now that there is some concrete evidence to the damage (and cost) associated with Tropicana's big FAIL redesign. Sales dropped a fairly astonishing 20% after the new packaging hit the shelves, a hit to the Pepsico wallet of approximately 30 million dollars.

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