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AIPIA Congress 2016

Digimarc: ‘Think about packaging as your own built-in media network’

By Jenny Eagle+

Last updated on 21-Nov-2016 at 13:17 GMT2016-11-21T13:17:29Z

Javier Gonzalez, senior director, international business development, Digimarc, at the AIPIA Congress.

Javier Gonzalez, senior director, international business development, Digimarc, at the AIPIA Congress.

Active, intelligent packaging is similar to the 1950s phenomenon of TV, according to Digimarc, which creates digital barcode scanners for products including ice cream tubs, biscuits and chips.

Speaking at the AIPIA (Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association) Congress in Amsterdam (November 14-25) Larry Logan, chief marketing officer, Digimarc, said we are still in the early days of educating consumers about intelligent packaging, which is a disruptive technology.

'Viewing' experience

When I was growing up, the disruptive technology at the time was television, but we can learn from this phenomenon by striking similarities between what challenges they had then and what we have now,” said Logan.

To operate a TV in the 1950s you needed a transmitter, it had to be affordable for the consumer, and led to multiple channels. We need to think about packaging as the most important thing in connecting with consumers - it’s the brands only-owned media, like your own media network or broadcasting channel,” he said.

If we don’t provide reasons to scan our packages consumers won’t. We live in a world of unlimited content and channels. We need to use this to drive readership, create awareness, like a weekly TV guide. There is nothing more valuable today than consumers' time, so manufacturers need to communicate to their audience and set the expectations for that ‘viewing’ experience.”

As an example of who ‘is doing it right’, Logan pointed to Shop Fetch, which makes grocery shopping fun, by collecting ‘Fetch points’ (exclusive deals) when you scan a product bar-code using your smartphone and Mondelez’s media campaign to vote for the next flavor of Oreo biscuits (Brownie Batter) to hit supermarket shelves in 2017. 

He also turned to Malibu’s ‘Spirit of Summer’ campaign, where 40,000 bottles were fitted with NFC tags across 1,600 Tesco stores in the UK for a limited timeframe to interact with consumers using a smartphone to access competitions; a prize draw; drinks recipes and a Malibu playlist. 

Shazam-enabled KitKat bars

Earlier this year, Logan said Nestlé partnered with Shazam to engage with consumers using a smartphone on Shazam-enabled KitKat bars to promote its 'Breakers Party' competition. 

He also talked about putting people at the front of media campaigns, such as Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke and a Song’ campaign where it swaps first names for song lyrics on packages of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Life.

More than 70 genre-spanning lyrics were featured on 8oz glass bottles, 7.5oz mini cans, 20oz bottles, 1.25 and 2-liter bottles, and 12oz cans of Trademark Coke brands. 

In the history of TV, there are many product spin-offs such as ‘TV dinners’ (microwave dinners), products featuring ‘as seen on TV’, fantasy team sports, videos such as Angry Birds, which are now franchised out into other products,” said Logan. “Manufacturers need to think of the potential of creating further opportunities for their brands.”

At the AIPIA event, Javier Gonzalez, senior director, international business development, Digimarc, demonstrated items, which embed barcode information into the final artwork of a product to improve efficiency at the checkout and consumer engagement, where customers can interact with packages to get more information.

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