“The animated, playful designs include one for California that includes images of surfboards and redwood trees. New York’s shows the Brooklyn Bridge and the Illinois bottle includes an illustration of Chicago’s public art sculpture known as the Bean,” AdAge reports in its article, Mtn Dew made 50 bottle designs, one for each state.
The ambitious campaign was supported by more than 450 unique creative assets, including 50 separate 15-second videos, in-store displays, social media ads, augmented/virtual reality experiences and more, customized for each state, as well as a national television ad from parent company PepsiCo. Mountain Dew also offered consumers a US$100 prepaid gift card to those who collected all 50 limited-edition bottles.
Agencies on the campaign include BBDO New York, which handled the TV and digital creative; and Motive, which oversaw label design and static creative, AdAge reports.
However as the beverage brand rolled out the campaign, consumers soon spotted a geography error in the creative assets — Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was incorrectly coloured in the same green and white pattern as the state of Wisconsin in a map of the United States. Unfortunately, the illustration had already begun appearing in the national commercial spot and in the introduction of each state-specific ad. About a month into the campaign, the error was called out publicly by the Upper Peninsula’s official Twitter handle, urging Mountain Dew to “fix this.” The Upper Peninsula tweeted, “@MountainDew do you want to gain a bunch of fans? I triple dog dare you to come out with an Upper Peninsula edition for your #DEWnited [campaign].”
“We saw that and immediately thought, ‘We have to fix this.’ We dishonoured the people of this place,” Nicole Portwood, VP Marketing for Mountain Dew, said in an interview with Adweek.
Mountain Dew responded swiftly and tweeted back, asking Yoopers (residents of the Upper Peninsula) to send in design ideas for a limited-edition bottle: “Hey, Upper Peninsula: we hear you, and we’re sorry for misplacing you on our #DEWnited map. Give us a chance to right our wrong. Help us fill this special-edition label by telling us all of the things you love about the Upper Peninsula (note to self: located in MICHIGAN).”
The brand was flooded with thousands of comments and suggestions about how the label should look, Portwood told Adweek, and soon there were several drafts for a bottle design.
“As luck would have it, the man who ran the Upper Peninsula handle, Bugsy Sailor, also has a background in graphic design and helped them arrive at a final iteration. Mountain Dew then worked with its bottlers in the region to print the labels and ultimately produce 906 bottles. Portwood estimates the whole process, from concept to finished product, took about a month,” writes Erik Oster in the Adweek article, How Mountain Dew turned a geography error into a source of love for the brand. Because the labels weren’t commercialized, Mountain Dew was able to expedite the creation and production of the specially-created bottles, and used them as giveaway prizes at the Upper Peninsula State Fair within weeks of the Twitter exchange.
“Behind brands are groups of people. We are fallible, we bring heart and energy to our work and if you have the right type of [moral] compass, I believe that shows to our fans,” continued Portwood, in her interview with Adweek. “It’s hard to put in an ROI model, but if you couple that kind of true north-guided behaviour with other table-stakes marketing fundamentals, I believe it has an amplification effect that shows its value well-beyond sales goals and things like that.”
In addition to delivering top-notch products and services, a business must create strong brand identity and positive customers experiences that resonate with audiences. In this case, Mountain Dew addressed the error promptly – turning “oops into opportunity,” as creative agency Motive puts it – and ultimately created an opportunity to build deeper bonds with existing consumers and expand its consumer base within the Upper Peninsula community.
This column was originally published in the October 2019 issue of PrintAction, now available online.
The Netherlands-based parent company of Vistaprint has changed its name to Cimpress N.V. In conjunction with the rebrand, Cimpress plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years to build what it calls a shared mass customization platform.
The Cimpress mass customization platform (MCP), combining proprietary software and production technology, will aggregate the printing infrastructure of the Cimpress portfolio of brands. It will also bring the company’s growing portfolio of purchased assets under the same fold, including well-known Web-to-print names like Vistaprint, Drukwerkdeal, AlbelliOpens and Pixartprinting.
The company states the MCP will increase its ability to mass customize personalized and unique physical products in small quantities at an affordable price.
“We have a two decade history during which we have started a major market transformation, yet the next 20 years promise to be even more exciting,” said Robert Keane, President and CEO, Cimpress. “Businesses and consumers are still too often forced to choose between the ease and flexibility of digital communications and a more enduring tangible connection with their audience. We are changing that…”
Founded as Vistaprint by Keane in January 1995, Cimpress and its subsidiaries have focused on redefining the online purchase of printed apparel, marketing products and photo merchandise. The company states its foundation is based on the belief that software and production technology can be harnessed to aggregate enormous numbers of small orders into a high-volume production flow. Cimpress today employs over 400 software and manufacturing engineers and more than 5,300 total employees in 16 countries.
Cimpress claims that every year since 1999 it has invested at least 10 percent of its revenues into technology and development, including $176 million in its last fiscal year. Over the past decade, the company states it has invested over $1.3 billion in technology, development and capital investments.
The company also announced that it has named Don Nelson as COO for Cimpress. In this role, Nelson will be directly responsible for building and advancing the mass customization platform.
“The future of mass customization is very promising for those companies that can combine world class capabilities in software and manufacturing,” stated Nelson. “The key is to have massive scale, yet produce in small quantities. The old paradigm of job-shop production of orders one at a time simply is not able to compete with technology-driven mass customization.”
Colour Innovations welcomed more than 150 people to its launch event for the inaugural issue of RE:flex, a large-format magazine highlighting the use of specialty printing techniques on high-end design and photography.
This inaugural issue of RE:flex centred around applying Colour Innovations’ CIX MetalFX print technology to the digital collages of designer, artist and illustrator Louis Fishauf, who has won more than 60 Gold and Silver ADCC (Advertising & Design Club of Canada) Awards, Gold and Silver National Magazine Awards, and the ADCC Les Usherwood Award.
Fishauf was the co-founder and Creative Director of Reactor Art & Design; served as Editorial Art Director for Chatelaine, City Woman, The City, Saturday Night and Toronto Life magazines; was the Senior Design Consultant for Sympatico Internet Service; and is an Apple Computer Applemaster. He currently serves as a Sessional Instructor at OCAD University.
Over the past few years, Fishauf has been creating digital collages using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and as an early adopter and enthusiastic proponent of digital imaging. Colour Innovations describes his work is an ideal medium for the application of CIX MetalFX technology.
The CIX MetalFX process uses Photoshop channels and proprietary software to combine a gold, silver or bronze base with the 4-colour CMYK process to create thousands of metallic shades and hues from only five colours. The process fit Fishauf’s approach of creating digital collages using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
“I took the opportunity to not only experiment with retrofitting my existing pieces, but also to create a number of new collages and the facing pattern pages, with the metallic ink process specifically in mind,” stated Fishauf. “This required developing a workflow in Adobe Photoshop which attempted to approximate on my computer monitor how the metallic colours would appear in print.”
RE:flex’ inaugural is a large-format 24-page publication printed on Sappi HannoArt gloss cover and text, provided by Ariva, with Metalstar Pantone silver ink, provided by Eckart Effect Pigments.
Hostmann-Steinberg North America, Canada’s long-standing ink manufacturer, completed its rebrand to hubergroup Canada Ltd., taking on the name of its powerful parent company – one of the world’s largest ink producers and chemical companies.
As part of its rebranding efforts, Hubergroup Canada launched a new Website, Hubergroup.ca, complete with a revamped product selection guide. In addition to inks, hubergroup produces and markets printing varnishes, coatings, dampening solutions, additives and printing auxiliaries.
hubergroup is an international holding group comprised of 40 companies, which amounts to 150 branch offices, sales offices, distributing warehouses and representatives worldwide. It has been a privately held company for over 240 years, with the founding family still involved. More than 3,600 employees contribute to hubergroup’s annual production capacity of over 340,000 tonnes of products.
Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, one of the world’s most powerful media companies, based in Hamburg, Germany, announced it will brand its printing operations under the name of Be Printers.
This printing division of Bertelsmann was formed a few months ago after the international media company merged most of its worldwide print operations. Now, 17 production sites in six countries on three continents will operate under the Be Printers umbrella.
The Be Printers group does business in what Bertelsmann describes as key markets in the Americas (U.S. and Colombia) and Europe (Germany, UK, Italy, and Spain). The Chief Executive Officer of Be Printers is Bertram Stausberg, who also leads the company’s Prinovis entity.
The individual Be Printer companies will continue to do business under their original names. Axel Springer is to remain a co-shareholder in Prinovis.
Be Printers generates annual revenues of €1.2 billion and employs approximately 6,800 people, working with gravure, web and sheetfed offset, and digital printing. Its plants produce magazines, catalogs, brochures, books and calendars for their clients.
After entering Greater Toronto’s printing community in December 2011, by setting up a 40,000-square-foot plant in Mississauga, Ontario, 4over Inc. is opening up its new facility for tours as part of a Canadian grand-opening ceremony.
4over announced it began producing work out of its Mississauga plant in early December, after hiring Tom Hogan as Plant Manager. Describing itself as North America’s largest trade printer, 4over is headquartered in Glendale, California, and lists a total of 440,000 square feet of office and production space in North America.
In conjunction with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for April 10, attendees will be given an opportunity to tour 4over Canada’s equipment and products housed in Mississauga.
“We are very excited for the level of support that we have seen from our Canadian customers,” said Zarik Megerdichian, CEO of 4over. “We would like to show our appreciation by inviting the print community to join us for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.”
For more details about the ceremony, please see the PrintAction Events Calendar
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DIA Christmas Luncheon & Annual General Meeting
December 4, 2019
Digital Textile Printing Conference 2019
December 11-12, 2019
June 16-26, 2020
Labelexpo Americas 2020
September 15-17, 2020