News round-up 07.03.11


JD, Coca-Cola, Virgin, Stella Artois, kids’ cheese and cheesy boxers: The Big Picture’s News Round-Up has it all

Cup of tea in hand? Link-clicking finger warmed and primed? Facebook checked? Then you’re focussed and ready for The Big Picture’s monthly(ish) round-up – your slightly tongue-in-cheek guide to the world of design, marketing and packaging with just a hint of ‘the other’.

The Cogs of Industry

It’s awards season! And excitingly, we’re sponsoring the Design Week Awards. Our category is the Consumer Product Award – we’ll reveal the winners after the glitzy awards ‘do’ tomorrow night…

Bacardi Originals Mojito & Cuba Libre

Bacardi is looking to capitalise on the growing cocktail culture here in Blighty with Bacardi Originals, a ready-to-drink range aimed at men as an alternative to a mid-evening beer. Design agency JKR were responsible for the packs.

The JDRTD bar call might not roll off the tongue after a few

And Jack Daniel’s are getting in on the act too, announcing a new ready-to-drink product which is being rolled out in the US. Served in a black aluminium bottle, the JD & coke/diet coke/ginger mixer is set to provide people with “a refreshing, convenient way to enjoy their favorite Jack Daniel’s mixed drinks on more occasions”. But never mind all that product lark, the packaging is really quite lovely, a great blend of JD heritage with contemporary, funky style.

Chedds for the memories

Dairy Crest have barged into the kids’ cheese party with Chedds, a new cheese product aimed at children. The move intensifies its rivalry with Kraft (Dairy Lea) and Kerry Foods (Cheesestrings), and it remains a distinct possibility that someone may end up going home crying.


Delightfully soft, fluffy and all-round loveable brand Innocent is fighting a nasty, filthy, dirty war with PepsiCo. After the soft drinks giant began to muscle in on Innocent’s turf with Tropicana smoothies, so Innocent have returned the favour by launching an orange juice. Incidentally, Innocent are crowd-sourcing their next ad.

Whisper it: recession over?

It’s profits all round for FMCG big-hitters Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser who this month posted profits of £3.95bn and £2.13bn respectively. To put that in context, in total that’s around 6.08bn times the anticipated record sales from Blue’s foray into Eurovision.

Commentary Corner

Shame about the typo

Anheuser-Busch InBev brand Stella Artois’s move into cider doesn’t sit well with Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson, who argues, “would you drink a lager from Strongbow? How about a whisky from Guinness? Or a Bailey’s gin? These are brands, like Stella Artois, that have a clear and strong heritage but one also inextricably linked to a totally distinct and therefore inappropriate origin.”

Absolutly great ads

Truly Deeply looks at Absolut’s fine advertising heritage and looks forward to where they might go next.

2012, or Zion?

Wolff Olins‘ poor, beleaguered London 2012 logo is under attack again – this time from Iran. We’ve blogged on this interesting one here.

Mmm, 7X flavour

Design Bridge blog on the ‘revelation’ that the secret Coke recipe has been found, and how we’re living in an age where the romance and mystery of such secrets no longer exists.

High five, low 5?

While we’re on identities, you might have spotted that Channel 5 has rebranded recently following its purchase by Television X owner Richard Desmond. Brand New has a typically insightful assessment of the change. Meanwhile reaction has been more pronounced to OK! TV, a programme that’s been described as “colossally vapid”.

Virgin: a brand that's grown protecting and exploiting its IP

Jonathan Ford of Pearlfisher urges designers to protect their creativity in a column on The Dieline. “To build a successful brand identity, IP needs to be front of mind from the start of the brand design process. It’s part of the creative and problem solving challenge and not a distraction from it”, he argues.

Pretty Packaging

Coca-Cola: harder, faster, better, stronger (than Pepsi)?

These slick limited edition bottles are the result of a tie-in between French dance geniuii Daft Punk and Coca-Cola. By the way if you’ve never seen the insane feat of memory and co-ordination that is the ‘hands’ video of their song Harder Faster, it’s a must-watch (begins to kick off about 50 seconds in).

Better Half ale

Beautiful and cheeky ‘Better Half‘, a bespoke ale by VSA Partners.

The Agent Provocateur of wine

Dark, brooding, sexy wine here by Saint and Sinner.

Freedom! Cereal!

Lo-fi loveliness of Freedom Foods cereals by Yello. To see just how far the pack has moved on, this was the pack before

Nothing says organic like a wrapping your wine in a leaf

I don’t want to overdo the wine, but this package, by The Creative Method, is pretty incredible.

Design can be a sticky business (sorry)

Back down to earth with these simple but effective designs for a range of adhesives.

Vintage olives

Anyone still in doubt that vintage is back with a bang? These olives might help convince you.

The man from Del Monte had come up with a brilliant way of making fruit shipping more efficient

Not packaging per se, but this fruit scented wrapping paper by Happy F&B is a kind of genius.

And Finally…

iPad 2: making millions of iPad 1 owners cry

Apple have unveiled the iPad 2 – it’s a little bit faster, a little bit slimmer and a little bit lighter, and it makes the old one look a little bit cruddy. $25b man Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance after announcing he was to take medical leave again in January. There’s a brilliant cartoon on ‘life as an Apple devotee’ here.

Plumen: category winner in product design

The category winners for the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year have been announced, including the natty energy-efficient ‘Plumen’ light bulb (pictured), which will no doubt be in every gastro pub and boutique hotel before the year is out. An overall winner will be chosen on 15th March, and the exhibition runs at the Design Museum until 7th August.

Style-Rite felt a pack change was required to inject some contemporaneity

Since vintage packaging is back, check out these retro packs on Flickr.

Go awn, Ted

TED2011 is kicking off over in California and as a result the scheme generally is getting some well-earned press. TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to “ideas worth spreading” – what that means is that its website (and iPad app, if you’re a techno-dweeb like myself) has loads of short, punchy, thought-provoking lectures on topics ranging from “how to make work-life balance work” to “the technology of the heart” to “why not eat insects?”. As you might have noticed if you’re a regular reader, I’m a bit obsessed with David McCandless‘ visualisations, and he did a talk at TED too.

iFart: I bet they didn't imagine that on Tomorrow's World

While there’s been plenty of brilliant apps made for the new breed of smartphones and tablets, there’s also been plenty of puerile ones too. King of the Crop is iFart, which depressingly is up for sale priced at $1m.

David Cameron was embarrassed to hear his pants had found their way online

On a not entirely unconnected topic, illustration geniuses Airside have contributed to the Collabopants scheme which sees prominent designers create some beautiful boxers.

Hadid's bonkers opera house in Guangzhou

Space-age Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid has recently completed a new opera house in Guangzhou and, like most of her work, it’s completely mind-bending. She’s also the architect for the London 2012 Aquatics Centre.

W Hotel's lighting reflects the colour of its surroundings and updates 24 hours a day

And while we’re on architecture, the recently completed W Hotel in Leicester Square, by Jason Bruges Studio is wrapped in a constantly changing veil of light that mimics and reinterprets the colours of the surrounding buildings and skyline 24 hours a day, thanks to eight cameras mounted on the roof, or, as the architects put it, “observes and participates in the life of Leicester Square”.

Georgina Luck's Marmite

Georgina Luck does really cool illustrations of iconic packs, amongst other things.

Slumdog Millionaire as you've never seen it before

Here’s one for film nerds. Movie Barcode is a project which sees the frames of a film distilled down to bands of colour that make up a unique fingerprint of a film. For example, you can compare say, The Matrix’s barcode to, for example, that of Inception.

Name That Brand!

Everyone’s favourite bit, where we leverage the technological wonders of Photoshop’s crop tool to mask the identity of a well-known brand. The last one was Vogue.

This week’s…

Name that brand!

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Till next time!