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Marketing Roundup: Making Packaging Magical

Brands are tapping into young consumer-driven trends to take their packaging from everyday to magical…

When it comes to marketing to Millennials, certain topics tend to dominate the conversation. Social media, digital, tech, and mobile are, as we know, hugely important pieces of a Millennial marketing plan—but they aren’t the only things to think about. Traditional ads still matter, as do and of course, packaging.

We’ve seen brands appeal to Milennials with packaging that provides them a more personalized product experience (Coca Cola’s massively successful Share a Coke) and a taste of the brand’s heritage (Miller’s throwback campaign, which became a permanent design change). Packaging can be powerful, and even turn a brand around—as it did in both of those examples. Now we’re seeing brands tap into Millennial-driven trends to turn everyday product packaging into a magical experience. Here are two very recent examples: 

The Campaign: Oreo Colorfilled

The Trends: Personalization, Chasing Neverland

Today, Oreo unveiled their holiday campaign, and it plays off of several trends we’re seeing among young consumers. Starting this month, their “Colorfilled” Oreo packs turn the iconic cookie’s bags into digital coloring books. Customers can visit a new site to digitally color designs created exclusively for Oreo by artists Jeremyville and T.Goodman. Those who want to color at home can order the packages blank, or order shirts, which come with fabric markers for coloring. The packaging campaign isn’t just providing a personalized product experience—no two bags will be colored the same—it is also tapping into the massive trend of adult coloring that we’ve seen grow as Millennials look to recapture feelings of childhood, and escape, temporarily, from the pressures of being a grownup. 

The Packaging: Starbucks #RedCups

The Trend: Harnessing Hashtag Power

Starbucks has managed to become a seasonal juggernaut among young consumers with limited-time products and designs that celebrate autumn and winter. The brand’s red cups come out as the holidays approach, and for years, fans have been showing their excitement for the designs on social media. Starbucks says that in 2014 “a picture of the red cups uploaded every 14 seconds within the first two days of the campaign.” With that history surely in mind, this year the brand created a giant installation in Kings Cross Station for the week of their premiere. The tweet-powered installation lit up gradually as fans tweeted out #RedCups. The installation also smelled like the brand’s seasonal drink flavors, and distributed Startbucks gift cards. While many brands realize that hashtags are important, not as many know how to harness their power as well as young consumers themselves do. Tapping into an organic hashtag about you brand is one way to do hashtag campaigns right.