Last week AdAge reported that Tropicana’s sales shrank 20% at the start of the year before rebranded packaging was pulled. Designs by Arnell Group were kicked before they hit the shelves and heartily jeered on their exit. Hence it joined the list for bad rebranding.
Although recession squeeze must have played a role, it doesn’t seem to account for the whole story. Sales of refrigerated orange juice across the board only dipped 5% in the same period – 1 January to 22 February 2009.
Unsurprising that Peter Arnell’s looked strained, and unfortunate that the Tropicana debacle followed criticism for his Pepsi rebrand.
Some remiss comments to a Newsweek reporter can’t have helped:
“I can’t believe that for the rest of my life I’m going to be known as Peter ‘Tropicana’ Arnell.” He says Tropicana overreacted to complaints. “I have my own perspective on it. But it’s not my brand. It’s not my company. So what the hell? I got paid a lot of money, and I have 30 other projects. You move on.”
So why did he “move on”? What was wrong with the straw-in-an-orange?
Arnell clearly thought it could be improved.
Watch how animated he grows in the press conference [above] once he gets onto the “interesting little squeeze cap” that “implies squeezing ergonomically”.
Was his best insight executed with too much subtlety?
Strange that in the same week Arnell gets cussed all over the blogosphere there’s massive acclaim for another fruit juice packaging design.
Naoto Fukasawa’s inspiration for these lovely designs doesn’t sound so different to the revelation that got Arnell’s eyes glinting:
“I imagined that if the surface of the package imitated the colour and texture of the fruit skin, then the object would reproduce the feeling of the real skin.”
For me, Fukasawa’s work is a delight. Hope it’s as tactile as it looks.
And either way, the idea behind the skin is eminently clear.
Consumers didn’t find that with Tropicana. They couldn’t even find their rebranded juice in the supermarket. So they didn’t buy it.