From the editor

DIYers at heart

I might not be the greatest at remodeling my own kitchen, or building my own table and chairs, but I’ll tell you one thing I am good at: making my own pizzas. And before you think I’ve gone way off tangent here, let me explain.

As a pre-teen or tween, as they’re calling them these days, I remember when Pizza Lunchables first came out and were the most exciting lunch experience ever! Why? Because you could create your own pizza – on a small scale of course. It’s a completely different experience from ordering a pizza or cooking a frozen one. The same kind of experience brands are bringing back through package design. (See? I told you I’d make a connection.)

People love making something with their own two hands. They just need the means in which to do it. Brands like Mountain Dew, Heinz, Heineken and Kleenex, to name a few, are using packaging and the web to connect consumers with their brands in a whole new way.

Mountain Dew, for instance, held a design contest in July 2009 called DEWmocracy where consumers could create the next Mountain Dew beverage from start to finish. That means they’d choose the flavor, variety name, package design and even advertising campaign. Three bottle designs have been chosen as finalists, and they’ll begin appearing on shelves in April, when consumers can begin voting. The chosen flavor will make its debut as a permanent Mountain Dew variety on Sept. 6, 2010.

In its fourth year, the Heinz Ketchup Creativity Contest asks children in grades K-1 through 12 to create a design for ketchup packets and bottles. The artwork will be voted upon online and 12 winners will be chosen (one from each grade level) and will appear on more than 200 million Heinz Ketchup packets and in an online winners gallery. Plus, the grand prize winner’s design will be printed on about 2.5 million Heinz Ketchup bottles.

But Mountain Dew and Heinz aren’t alone in this do-it-yourself movement. Many other brands are using the web, and even social media, to support their package design competitions (click here for more examples). Technology has come a long way. Why not use it to your advantage? After all, we’re all do-it-yourselfers at heart.

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