Great moments in package design

The other night, while dining at home ‘neath the candle-light — as one does — my eye fell on the matchbox:

Did you see it?  No, not the ludicrous “Fueled by the Diamond™ Ignition System” thing.  The other thing.  The “NEW LOOK!” thing.

I mean to say, wot?

I have a few questions.  Number one, WHO DESIGNS SUCH A THING?  Number two, WHO ASKS FOR SUCH A THING TO BE DESIGNED?

I mean, here’s the old one:

The old one is actually a cleaner design!  I am reminded of the classic “Microsoft Designs the iPod Packaging” video, which if you haven’t seen, you really should.

So I guess the embedded question is WHY?  Why would someone do this?  Sometimes the NEW LOOK! thing is an indicator that the package now contains less Windex or fewer Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but that is clearly not the case here. The back of the new box gives us a clue:

There it is: The match tip in this product contains perchlorate materials.  Special handling may apply in California.  With a link. We had to redesign the box to include a hazardous waste warning so that we could continue selling the product in the world’s sixth largest economy.

That’s fine, but the fact remains that the NEW LOOK! blurb is stupendously ridiculous.  I know for a fact — because I know these kinds of things — that not a single soul on this planet of 7 billion people has ever walked down the aisle of a store and stopped, lured in by the promise of a NEW LOOK! on a box of Diamond™ matches, and said, “Hey, honey, come over here!  These matches have a NEW LOOK!  Imma buy me some of them.”  NOT ONE, KENNETH.

This is why the aliens won’t talk to us.

A quick side note:

“Flavor Protect™ Wrapper”?  Really, Land O’Lakes?  Really?  It’s just a wax paper wrapper.  You have to name it?  Market it?  Trademark it?

Now the aliens are just laughing at us.


2 thoughts on “Great moments in package design

  1. It’s my appropriation of the old catchphrase “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” as immortalized in the R.E.M. song, inspired by a bizarre incident in the life of Dan Rather. And no, neither the imaginary Kenneth nor the speaker of the phrase is very bright.

    Ironically—and completely coincidentally—my brother is named Kenneth.

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