September 1, 2007
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Vote Early and Often, says Dave
Dave’s Gourmet has launched a line of hot sauces with labels featuring caricatures of the 2008 presidential candidates (including a few “write-ins” like Dave himself). Each bottle sold registers as a vote, with results updated weekly at Not surprisingly, Dave is encouraging competition. Cheeky copy on the brand’s website reads, “No long polling lines, no confusing voting machines. Heck—you can even vote multiple times. Stuff the ballot all you like—we’re not picky here…” Polling continues through Election Day, November 4, 2008. Profits from the sale of the sauces benefit the American Cancer Society. We’ll vote for that!
Lifesaving Cans
An ordinary soda can plays a big role in Vietnamese designer Hân Pham’s Antivirus product concept, which was the “People’s Choice” in the Index: 2007 Awards in Denmark. A lightweight yellow plastic cap fastens to an empty soft drink can and isolates a used hypodermic needle for disposal in the container. The cap prevents the re-use of infectious needles, which is a common problem in developing countries; Doctors Without Borders is reportedly reviewing the concept. Have you fully considered every application of your packaging?
Aluminum-Inspired Art
The art of can. That’s what Red Bull is seeking in a nationwide search. There are few rules, but all art submissions must have a common inspiration: a Red Bull can. While the idea of “packaging as art” is not new (who can top Warhol’s Campbell’s soup prints?), Red Bull is taking what young hipsters have been doing for years—retooling packaging for alternate use—and owning it in a way they hope will connect with this group, who frequently favor progressive and “found” art.
Mystery Package
Quick. Name this brand. Ok, so it’s an easy one. It’s a Heinz ketchup bottle (the brand’s 64-ounce “fridge door fit” to be exact). But does your own packaging pass this same test? Try it. If you block out the brand name, does the rest of the package—the structure, graphics, closure, typography—have that same recognition factor? Is each element instantly identifiable as part of your brand? Simple exercise. Lots of food for thought.

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