Package Redesign Gone Wild

The NYT has an article today about the terrifying rate of package redesign, a phenomenon the industry blames on, what else—the internet. Oh, and Tivo.

From the NYT:

Consumer goods companies, which once saw packages largely as containers for shipping their products, are now using them more as 3-D ads to grab shoppers’ attention.

The shift is mostly because of the rise of the Internet and hundreds of television channels, which mean marketers can no longer count on people seeing their commercials.

So they are using their bottles, cans, boxes and plastic packs to improve sales by attracting the eyes of consumers, who often make most of their shopping decisions at the last minute while standing in front of store shelves.

“The media is fragmented, and we can’t find people — we can’t get them to sit down and listen to our argument on a television spot,” said Jerry Kathman, chief executive of LPK, a brand agency based in Cincinnati. “The package can convey that argument.”

As recently as the 1990s, most package designs were retained for seven or more years. Now marketing executives say they are constantly planning package overhauls. The average life of a package before its next makeover is down to two years, they add.

What do you think? Are you always looking for “refreshing” packaging? If we had to admit a bias it would be in favor of simple packaging that doesn’t change much. We recently tried to find the conditioner we like to use on our hair and found that they’d changed the name of it…again. By the time we finish this bottle, it’ll be called “magical hair special fortifying happy butter hair creme latte rinse botanical awesome with vitamins” So annoying. You?

Product Packages Now Shout to Get Your Attention [NYT] (Thanks, Molly!)
(Photo:Lars Klove)