One final Tropicana thing: this video clip from 5 weeks ago shows Peter Arnell explaining the thought process behind the Tropicana redesign. It’s a peek behind the curtains at how much thought goes into packaging, and how it’s designed to communicate to you subconsciously. [AdAge] (Thanks to wanda!)


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  1. Closed captioning provided by Homerjay says:

    Just curious- this is the third Tropicana packaging post. Why is this such a big deal?

  2. Justbecos Kelvinlee says:

    While it sounds like palatable BS, I think it is to attract generic (house brand) OJ drinkers. It is easy to mistake it for generic only to find out you’ve paid more than usual for juice.

    • Michael Belisle says:

      @Justbecos Kelvinlee: No generic juice has a screw cap that catchy.

      • failurate says:

        @Michael Belisle: You don’t notice the screw cap so much until you actually use the product. So, the carton sells the juice in the store (where it counts short term), the cap sells it once you get it home (long term). You can’t inforce the long term sell without first getting the short term sale.

    • Xerloq says:

      @Justbecos Kelvinlee: Unlikely that they’re hoping to trick people into buying a more expensive brand. More likely, they saw that people attached a perceived value to the store brand and it’s packaging and wanted to emulate that.

      When you’re advertising, it’s best if people make a conscious decision to buy, regardless of the amount of subconscious grooming that takes place. Tricking people into buying is never a good idea because you end up with a bunch of pissed off people.

      Tropicana can’t be hurting so much that a short-lived influx of cash from confused people buying their product by mistake would help that much.

      Tropicana’s loyal customers are most likely attached to the juice and could give a flying flip about the packaging. Packaging is a hot topic these days, though… everyone wants to look and be “Web 2.0” which is why Tropicana flinched when a few people got vocal.

      The reason it’s a big deal (at least to Consumerist and it’s readers) is that this is precisely what Consumerist aims to do – give power of voice to the little guy regardless of what the ‘unwashed masses’ think or do.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Justbecos Kelvinlee: As far as I am concerned, this “generic” argument is pure bull crap. It doesn’t look generic – I’ve said it a million times on all these posts. Generic OJ comes in a damn milk jug.

      • "I Like Potatoes" says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: Stores also carry a “premium” store brand that comes in a carton, not just the milk jug concentrate stuff.

        • Michael Belisle says:

          @changed my name: Sure, but I know that I never look at price when considering a store brand.

          “Why, this new generic Tropicana juice is twice as much as this generic Mill Country Fare. I guess it’s the new super premium generic.”

          Generics traditionally imitate brand names. Why would any valuable brand name want to confuse themselves with the imitators? It does not make sense.

      • Justbecos Kelvinlee says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: This is what generic (store brand) looks like.


      • floraposte says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: Store brands are actually in cartons here. I don’t think that’s the point anyway, though–it’s not that the buyers looked at the generic and looked at the Tropicana and couldn’t tell there were two kinds of juice. It’s that the appearance of the Tropicana label suggested a generic product to them (I like the design myself, but I can see how it resembles the signage on some generic stuff) and that they therefore didn’t necessarily recognize it as the premium brand they usually buy. It’s a semiotics of design issue rather than a literal confusion with a neighboring product.

  3. Michael Belisle says:

    Peter Arnell? Of the Arnell Group? Obviously he knows his shit.

  4. Michael Belisle says:

    The work of the late Paul Rand I think offers a much more convincing perspective on brand design. The NeXT document in particular highlights the development of an iconic logo.

  5. failurate says:

    The cap is definitely a/the only winner.

    • failurate says:

      @failurate: I was in our local Target last night and I saw the Tropicana with the generic carton. However, missing was the cool cap. It had the regular flat top cap. Why did they not follow through with the cap?

  6. Ryan Orman says:

    that dude sounds like a quak

  7. jblaze1 says:

    That’s 3 minutes of pure, wonderful BS.

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    These pieces that examine the marketing efforts that go on behind the scenes are fascinating. Thanks!

  9. narq says:

    Yes, the packaging is subconsciously telling me it’s vague and not self aware. I stand by what I said before. They abandoned the logo for plain type text. They removed the orange and now have a glass of orange liquid which a consumer could associate with any orange colored liquid. There is no direct marketing on the package. It’s vague. The marketing points of the packaging are orange liquid, “100% orange”, and “Tropicana”. That’s what a consumer will see while walking through the isle.

    I still think they are trying to copy apple’s minimalist marketing. As my joke said before you can’t compare apples to oranges. If you want to be minimal, making orange juice white is the wrong way to do it. White does not work for everything.

  10. metaled says:

    I saw the Tropicana name on your site and thought for sure you were posting the story of how people came in the middle of the night and chopped down 17 trees costing $1500 each, Belonging to the people of California (CALTRANS). All Because they thought you couldn’t see TROPICANA’s *ILLEGAL* billboard sign from the freeway!
    $42,000 dollars in damage to see tropicana’s Illegal sign!

  11. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Someone explain to me (with pictures if necessary) how the HELL this new redesign looks remotely “generic”?

    It looks sleek, well designed, and expensive to me – and I’m a designer. In my opinion, generic would just have “orange juice” plastered on it somewhere instead of an EXTREMELY NOTICABLE AND REPUTABLE brand name like TROPICANA!

    • Michael Belisle says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: It looks “generic” just like the new Pepsi logo is a “ripoff of the Obama logo.”

      (If anything, the Obama logo was a ripoff of the old Pepsi logo. One of them had blue and red semicircles long before the other.)

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @Michael Belisle: I don’t see how, just because its red white and blue, that its a ripoff of the Obama logo. Considering that their old logo also used the same colors, in the same order, they just modified the spacing of the white bit between.

        Come on. LOOK at it, it looks *nothing* like the obama logo at all.

    • Ryan Orman says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese:

      cuz all you see is a picture of orange juice. theres no personality in it whatsoever.

    • floraposte says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: I think orange juice isn’t a product that people want to be sleek. That’s like sleek and modern biscuits. Making it sleek and modern-looking and removing the visual association with an actual orange was, I think, a bad plan even without the generic confusion issue. This doesn’t suggest fresh and homey to people. Between the fact that the biggest print on the package says “100%” (seriously, who the hell thought that should be the one thing, rather than brand or product, that people should take away?) rather than the fruit or the brand, and that there’s no visual reminder of the actual fruit, to me strongly recalls power waters rather than evoking fresh-squeezed anything. The cap is adorable, but you see it after you’ve bought the juice. The irony is that that cap’s on a cold and uncuddly juice package. (Not that I’m personally bothered, just commenting on the effects.)

      So I think the package redesign basically failed at understanding what people like about orange juice, especially premium orange juice.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: @Oranges w/ Cheese: I can’t give you an industry-approved-jargon-filled explanation — but yeah, I saw this in the supermarket and thought that they must be having a sale on the store brand, to have so many shelves of the stuff. Maybe it’s just that from a distance I didn’t see the picture of a glass, just a blob of orange on a white carton.

      It looks generic.

  12. MrsLopsided says:

    Bitch about the new packaging at [] and you’ll get a free OJ coupon.

    [quote]Mrs Lopsided:

    Thanks for your email about Tropicana’s new label design. As our way of thanking you for your feedback, we’re mailing a coupon to you. It should arrive in the mail in about a week……[/quote]

  13. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    After seeing these posts on here about this packaging.. I have to admit that I’m tempted to buy it atleast once just to get that cute lil orange cap.

    I hope they don’t get rid of that if they go back to the old packaging.

  14. MonkeyMonk says:

    Is this the same design group that created the new Pepsi logo? If so, the Arnell Group is batting a solid ZERO as far as I’m concerned.

    That new Pepsi logo is U-G-L-Y.

  15. CoarseLive says:

    Where’s the video?

  16. Dan Kelley says:

    Arnell explains the “squeeze cap” in such detail; I hadn’t even noticed it in using the product. But what I did notice was difficulty finding the product in my grocery store without looking twice or three times.

    I think this was a case of over-analysis.

  17. RoswellMarten says:

    um how m does……this guy….um….ever um pitch….any….um…ideas?

    His presentation skills are beyond horrible. It’s obvious he’s reaching for some bullshit buzzwords to validate the design. Why does the cap work? Not really because of the experience of squeezabilty; it works because Hey! it looks like a cute little orange. They should have spent the extra $$$ to make it round instead of that weird half a pill shape.

    The carton doesn’t work because the orange juice glass is too abstract. It just looks like an orange ellipse on a white field…it doesn’t read as a glass of orange juice. Do I care to examine the carton closer to see what’s inside? Not really, I’ll just grab the carton of OJ next to it. Even when I realized it was a glass of OJ, it’s so abstract it associates more with “orange flavored drink” than OJ.

  18. savdavid says:

    Hey, ain’t nothing wrong with trying to give it a fresh design. However, why spend loads of money on a simplistic, boring design that hurts sells?

    BTW, does anyone remember NBC in mid-seventies and how they spent millions on a new logo that was just an “N”? Turned out it was the exact same logo Nebraska Public Broadcasting was already using! So NBC had to pay them a bunch of money and buy equipment for them. Funny thing, NBC ditched the new logo anyway!

  19. working class Zer0 says:

    They put way, way to much thought into this!
    Tropicana had a classic well recognized package,most companies would kill for the recognition you have.
    How could you possibly expect to benefit by changing it?
    And all this B.S. talk about emotions the new packaging
    is meant to evoke? SHUT THE HELL UP, IT’S FRIGGIN ORANGE JUICE! Either you like the taste and quality or you don’t.
    With priorities like these no wonder so many companies are in trouble!
    O.K I’m done….thanks for listening;)

    • failurate says:

      @working class Zer0: If they wanted to change the design, they could have just worked with what they had, keeping brand recognition and maybe catching some new eyes.
      Instead, we’re all looking at them as a case study in what not to do. They may get more sales via that also, but not from me because they don’t have the orange shaped cap here.

  20. FreeShaggy says:

    I always thought the advertising moves like this were done, not to change the current population’s opinion of the product, but to capture that next generation of buyers.

    So I guess in my opinion advertising is just like selling cigarettes. You get some kids hooked on a brand and hopefully they’ll stick with that brand for the rest of their lives.