Showstopping brand campaigns Mary and Paul would be proud of

* 4 min read

Just last week, new research ranked the most recognised packaging designs among British consumers. It’s great to see the findings endorse what we already know – that the pack is as important as the brand itself when it comes to consumer recognition. And of course, it was no surprise that Coca-Cola, the Holy Grail of iconic packs, took the top spot.

But how do you keep your brand fresh? We've picked out five recent brand campaigns that we think have real 'wow factor'.

1. Snickers – “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry”

Snickers has really stepped up its game in recent years. First off, the brand took a different spin on the personalised packaging trend, boldly replacing its brand name with the symptoms of hunger. Traditional Snickers bars became few and far between as convenience store shelves were filled with bars bearing terms such as “spacey”, “whiny” and “grouchy”.

In 2016 Snickers followed up with another brazen campaign. Taking advantage of its part in the wider family of Mars Inc., Snickers pulled off a trick that most brands wouldn’t dream of – it tried on other brands’ packaging designs. Finally customers could see what a Snickers would look like as Mars, Bounty or Twix. 


2. KFC – Extra Crispy Sunscreen

Colonel Sanders and his well-known bucket of fried chicken ranked fifth on Easy Fairs’ list of most recognisable packs. So by now, KFC obviously has no trouble on the brand recognition front. But that doesn’t mean it has rested on its laurels.

Instead, KFC has shown a similar fearlessness to Snickers, exemplified by its tongue-in-cheek Extra Crispy sun screen stunt.  We don’t know if we’d really want to smell like fried chicken, but it’s no doubt an excellent idea and importantly, one that has got people talking.

KFC tan

3. Budweiser – rebrand and reactive marketing

As craft beer continues to go from strength to strength, there’s a lot of pressure on the big brands to stay relevant. Fortunately navigating fast-changing territory is exactly what Budweiser does best. 

As Nick Robinson, Budweiser’s marketing director for the UK and Ireland says, “it’s all about reactive marketing”. From this year’s presidential election, where it rebranded to “America” to packaging inspired by Dutch DJ and producer Tiësto, Budweiser has shown itself to be a master of adaptability.

But if its smart rebrand from earlier this year is anything to go by, Budweiser still has a taste for the timeless too. In any case, we look forward to seeing what else the exciting beer brand has in-store.

budweiser beer america 2

4.   Hippeas – product launch

Hippeas, purveyors of organic chickpea puffs, arrived on the scene earlier this year. What really caught our attention about the brand’s launch campaign was its thoroughly modern approach.

With an integrated campaign that also encompassed OOH advertising and nifty tote bags, Hippeas managed to avoid the immediate connotations of the word “hippy”. With a bright, bold design to boot, the launch crafted a brand that was comfortably contemporary, with an appeal that reached beyond long-haired peace lovers.

hippeas min

5. McDonald’s – VR Happy Goggles

We could hardly explore packaging design without mentioning McDonald’s. It’s at the forefront of sustainability: as of last year, all McDonald’s centrally-purchased packaging in Europe is now sustainably sourced.

Most of all though, it’s innovating too. Its bike-friendly packaging design, “McBike”, was a masterclass in fit-for-purpose design. This year McDonald’s went the extra mile, creating a design in the same vein as Google Cardboard, which doubled as a virtual reality headset when paired with a mobile phone. Now that’s a showstopper.

mcd VR