It seems everyone is enjoying how Peter Arnell was tasked with rebranding Tropicana Orange Juice and came up with packaging that consumers hated so Tropicana killed it after potentially spending 35 million dollars on the effort (here). This is only the latest in what will surely be many public beatings for companies that spend money on stuff that doesn’t work and the snake oil salesmen who convince them to do so.
I’m a little conflicted about the whole deal because it signals a return to zero risk at a time when most companies need heaping dumpster loads of risk to discover new ways of doing things. On the other hand you can’t buy this level of brand awareness with 35 million dollars so maybe the effort really did pay off in the end for a company willing to take a huge risk and attempt a makeover but then when the people tell you they don’t like it one bit scrap the whole deal. That’s pretty effing risky.
The most painful part of the whole ordeal is this leaked video where you can watch the jazz hands routine of Mr. Arnell hisself as he blows an enormous column of smoke up the Tropicana/Pepsi executives asses while explaining how they arrived at the packaging. Some of you know that convincing people why one thing is better than another takes more than just saying it and you really need a little bit of smoke and mirrors to get the job done but this one seems to be all smoke and mirrors.
Here’s a couple choice quotes:
“Historically we always showed the outside of the orange. What was fascinating was that we had never shown the product called the juice.”
“We engineered this interesting little squeeze cap here (which you guys can come up and see after) so that the notion of squeezing the orange was implied ergonomically every day when you actually went to the actual carton. The skin of the orange is replicated on the cap, and tooled in to the cap. The idea, of course, is to have a consistency between the purity of the juice (which is coming directly from the orange), the cap (which you squeeze every day), and, of course, the carton.”
And the video:
It appears that Peter Arnell is the king of advertising hyperbole. Here’s more.