For some products temperature is of key importance. Some specific drugs, for example, must be continuously refrigerated and the cold chain in the food segment should not be interrupted for too long either when frozen and chilled products are involved. Specific sensors on the packaging can provide both the distributor and the seller of the goods with information on the constant product temperature during transport and storage.
Whether a product is cold enough, however, also plays an important role with less temperature-sensitive foodstuffs such as beverages, for example. Who really wants to drink lukewarm soda or beer? Needless to say, one touch of the can or bottle reveals immediately whether its contents are cold enough. But isn’t it a lot more convenient to see right away which cans or bottles are cold enough when opening the fridge? Apart from that, packaging design elements that appear – or disappear again – depending on a certain temperature are real eye-catchers.
Elements concealed in the design only become visible through pressure or temperature change in multi-sensory labels. Photo: AB In Bev
Breathing Life into Packaging
Advertising and marketing specialists know about the impact of such gimmicks for promoting sales. Several years ago beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev for example, designed a multi-sensory label for their beer brand Oculto in cooperation with Constantia Flexibles Labels Division.
And this packaging really lived up to its name when it launched in 2015. In keeping with its name “Oculto” (Spanish for concealed/mysterious) the new beer brand was launched on a Friday the 13th. To breathe life into the brand the packaging featured not one but various multi-sensory labels. The brand-building skull-like mask only becomes visible under ultraviolet light and/or when pressure is applied to the front label. On the back label the colour of elements changes thanks to thermochromic ink: at room temperature the blue agave leaves are visible; in a chilled state the previously invisible eyes are revealed.
For the European market a comparable label was used for the rum-flavoured beer brand ‘Cubanisto’ a little later – combined with optical brighteners and foil effects.
Coca-Cola already used thermochromic effects back in 2013 and received the coveted Red Dot Award for it. Photo: Red Dot
Summer Look for Coca-Cola
Sporting a very special summer “dress” this year are the Coke Red and Coke Zero beverage cans in Turkey. Thanks to thermochromic ink technology they change their looks depending on the temperature. The various summer motifs on the packaging only become visible when the can is cooled. At room temperature the images are colourless.
The idea as such, however, is anything but new. As early as 2013 Coca-Cola already launched the Chill Active Can and received the renowned ‘Red Dot Award’ for it one year later. At room temperature the red can only featured a white glass shape with the red Coca-Cola logo. When cooled bluish ice cubes appeared as if by magic.
Three years later, in summer 2016, the group extended the concept to include Western Europe. This time the special ink was used on bottles. As soon as the soda was cooled down to four degrees Celsius the white Coca-Cola logo on the label turned blue or pink. Unlike before, Coca-Cola not only combines one or two thermochromic inks for the current campaign in Turkey but uses an integrated thermochromic ink technology instead.
The striking marketing effect is not only handy but also encourages the consumer to interact with the brand at the Point of Sale and during consumption. What more can a marketing department and advertising agency – here the creative idea came care of Olgivy Istanbul – wish for...?
Packaging with multi-sensory features appeals to shoppers above all emotionally addressing all of their senses. Thanks to special extra features and technical applications from the fields of printed electronics, which can react to temperature or pressure, packaging can speak, emit light or exude a special fragrance.
Many FMCG groups are already capitalising on this type of smart packaging so as to give their products a unique selling point at the POS, to encourage their target group to interact with the brand, and, hence, incite consumers’ desire and/or build a lasting shopper-product relationship.
Multi-sensory packaging is really successful though especially when it is smartly combined and gives shoppers genuine value added for use in addition to just a unique packaging appearance.