MARKET-DRIVEN INNOVATIONS

September 1, 2007
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HUNTING FOR THE HIGH LIFE
Now through October, Miller High Life will be packaged in blaze orange cans to celebrate the brand’s 100-year-plus association with hunting and the outdoors. Proceeds from the sale of the packaging, available in 24- and 30-pack cans, will benefit Miller High Life’s support of Whitetails Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and the National Wild Turkey Association. “This initiative is truly a reflection of many of our consumers, and a way to acknowledge their support,” said senior brand manager Kevin Oglesby. “Plus, now it will be even easier to spot a can of Miller High Life in a hunter’s crowded refrigerator.”
VIRGIN MOBILE USA REDESIGNS
Virgin Mobile USA pioneered U.S. pre-paid phones, but subsequent entries in the category by traditional wireless companies prompted Virgin to enact a redesign. The result is a racecar-shaped clamshell that balances product presentation with printed brand communication, a valuable combination in unassisted retail environments where the product sells. The simple shape of the package allows for compact shipping, minimizes die cut waste and incorporates one continuous lightweight label, while the inner PET tray organizes hardware accessories and printed collateral for a smooth “out of box” experience. Package design by SONIC Design (www.sonicny.com).
FIDO GOES GREEN
The Honest Kitchen, a line of natural and organic pet foods, has launched new packaging with food safety and the environment in mind. The box is made from 100 percent recycled, unbleached kraft paperboard and printed with soy-based inks, while the barrier bag is left unprinted to ease recyclability. “Sensitivity for the environment was absolutely paramount,” says Lucy Postins, the company’s director of marketing. The barrier bag is also fitted with a fold-down “coffee” tie to keep food fresh after opening. “Since our products are human food grade, it was important to highlight this with the packaging,” she says.
GRIPPING REDESIGN FOR COKE
New 20-ounce PET contour bottles will roll out in Coca-Cola brands, with added texture and grip enhancements that make them easier to hold and a shorter cap that makes them easier to open. “We’ve taken America’s favorite brand and interpreted its famous contour bottle in a fresh new way which we think is perfect for today’s active consumer,” said Katie Bayne, the company’s chief marketing officer. The new design uses five percent less PET than its predecessor, introduced in 1994, and is supported by an integrated marketing plan. The bottles will be available nationwide in early 2008.
HIP FLASK FOR HIPSTERS  
Packaged in a slim flask designed to fit in a purse or a back pocket, ICIO peppermint water was created to fit snugly in a unique marketing niche. “ICIO is not just a bottled water, it is a ‘social water,’ designed for consumption in settings such as parties, bars or dance floors,” says Alex Van Lang, founder and president of ICIO Inc. The patented 12-ounce PET container launched in dance clubs and bars in Los Angeles and has since moved into medical spas, fitness centers and specialty food stores. Three new flavors are pending for 2008.
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER!
Disney Consumer Products partnered with Gianna Rose Atelier, a high-end soap maker, to launch three soap sets inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The Alice’s Treasures set, for instance, features three triple-milled, sculpted and embossed soaps and a porcelain dish placed in a tented gift box featuring a French Damask pattern and hidden images of Alice, the White Rabbit and the Keys to Wonderland. The box is topped with an antique-style key charm and a vintage-inspired hang tag. Retail is $37.50. The Alice in Wonderland collection launches for holiday 2007 and is the first in the “Gianna Rose Atelier for Walt Disney” series.

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