Using a brand’s own packaging as a forum for content is nothing new, of course. Ingredient-based food brands have been placing recipes for salads, sloppy joes, Slurpees, and salmon on labels, boxes and inserts for ages. This type of content typically addresses the next-closest level consumer need; in this case, nourishment — and how best to achieve it while utilizing the starring brand.
But what about when the consumer need is of a higher order, say the need for self-expression — can packaging provide the appropriate venue there?
Starbucks thought so, in 2007. Looking to extend the thought-provoking topics traditionally discussed in the local coffeeshop to the to-go cup of cappuccino (extra foam), they introduced “The Way I See It,” a series of statements and quotes from famous and not-so-famous folks and their views of the world, printed in green and black ink right on the cup.
Sometimes controversial, polarizing, or even just odd, the content did serve as an experience-extender of the higher order need of expression… something perhaps missing from our drive-through world and reminiscent of the sometimes controversial, polarizing, or even just odd discussions held in coffeehouses in days of yore.
Today, we have this from Domino’s : Pizza Proverbs. A combination promotion, user-generated content, and social media play, it invites consumers to slice up a traditional proverb (e.g. “A stitch in time saves nine”) to make it Domino’s and pizza-centric (e.g. “A pizza in time feeds nine”). As of this writing, there are 568 pizza proverbs appearing on pizzaproverbs.com – at least those that Domino’s feel make the ‘cut.’ (Note: author submitted two pizza proverbs that should have risen to the top, yet were rejected by website curators. Ah, such is the life of a user generating content).
Eight consumers with the sauciest snippets of sage advice will receive their proverb printed on an empty, grease-free Domino’s box (suitable for framing, I’m guessing), with the chance (not promise) to appear for real on certain quantities of Domino’s delivery boxes…seems Domino’s isn’t yet 100% sold that any could become the phrase that pays.
I, for one, hope Domino’s does allow on-box, mass distribution of the winning proverbs – they’d clearly be a hit (and maybe collector’s item) in the regions where the winners call home, or could play to other vertical promotions focusing on featured offerings.
Moreover, it will offer an opening lob into the bull-sessions frequently enjoyed by those gathered around a ‘za. Just as Starbucks wished for the thought-provoking, coffeehouse vibe in its “The Way I See It,’ Domino’s similarly hopes for the irreverent, after-hours munchies mob with “Pizza Proverbs.” Both using their own iconic packaging to deliver an expanded experience.
Question: who’s the next major marketer to leverage its own packaging as a venue for content marketing (user- or brand-generated)?
I’ll post all answers (within reason), even if in questionable ‘taste!’