Today’s brand owners rely more than ever on packaging to entice consumers to purchase their products — so much so that the package itself often serves as a keystone of  integrated marketing campaigns built out with print, electronic and social media components.

An early pioneer of this strategy was Absolut Vodka, whose iconic advertising campaign continues to be a textbook example of successful marketing. The campaign, which began in 1980, made the distinctive Absolut bottle the star, or “the hero,” and was often the only thing shown in the advertisement along with a two-word tagline. More than 30 years and 1,000 ads later, the campaign has become an integral part of modern culture and been recognized with hundreds of awards.

Brand owners continue to make unique packaging structures, new materials, eye-catching colors and first-in-category graphics the stars of the show and the catalyst for brand awareness. Nowhere will this trend be more evident than in The Brand Zone at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011, taking place Sept. 26-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Brand Zone is a special pavilion that will help brand owners discover innovative materials and containers to increase visual impact, enhance convenience, maximize shelf life, add functionality and improve sustainability scores.

Let’s take a look at a few recent examples of brands that are using packaging as the platform for their advertising and marketing strategy.


Diet Pepsi slims down and shows off a new, trim silhouette

Diet Pepsi recently rolled out a taller, sassier new skinny can. The new packaging, available to consumers nationwide, launched in conjunction with a series of fashion events and celebrations during New York's Fall 2011 Fashion Week, which took place in February. According to Advertising Age magazine, PepsiCo built a major marketing campaign for 2011 around the new package. Plans include print, out-of-home, TV and digital buys, and of course, the package itself is front and center in renderings and copy calls out the new design. In addition to promoting the can, ads support the concept of "getting the skinny" — i.e., the inside scoop — on the latest in culture, fashion, style and design.

"Diet Pepsi has a long history of celebrating women through iconic fashion imagery seen in our infamous and historical advertising campaigns, and we're proud to continue that tradition," says Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo. "Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today's most stylish looks." In response to concerns that the can glorified a thinner body image, PepsiCo clarified that the campaign is focused on celebrating innovation and style.

The company also features the new package in the Diet Pepsi social media strategy, incorporating it into the brand’s Twitter feed (@dietpepsi) and Facebook page ( In addition, several “behind the scenes” videos are posted on the PepsiCo YouTube channel (, with celebrities like Sofia Vergara from ABC’s “Modern Family” discussing the campaign as well as what they like about the new packaging.


Sunshine state welcomes party in a pouch

Ready-to-drink cocktails in 200-ml. aluminum pouches are starting to make waves in Florida thanks to the launch of Gasolina Urban Blends. Developed by Pan American properties, a Puerto Rican food and beverage company, the innovative packaging comes with a straw in the package, making it ideal for outdoor consumption.

Gasolina is available in six flavors with varying alcohol content (7.5 to 11 percent) and is sold individually or in convenient five-packs at select liquor stores and bars.

The package’s portability and ease of use are reflected in the brand’s tagline, “Party in a Pouch,” and promoted through print ads that show consumers enjoying the beverage in locations such as tailgate parties, nightclubs and the beach. The marketing strategy also includes an extensive off- and on-premises tasting program in key outdoor events throughout Florida, such as Miami, Gainesville, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Panama City and other markets. The marketing and creative campaign was developed and is being executed by Miami-based Agency C-Com Group Inc.


Get in The Brand Zone

Innovative packaging is an effective, powerful path to break through the sea of choices consumers face and distinguish a brand at the point of sale. Brand owners who are looking for that breakthrough need only look to The Brand Zone at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011.

The Brand Zone will feature more than 150 exhibitors providing attendees with opportunities to create the next great packaging innovation — whether they’re looking for stand-out materials and containers, or ingenious labeling and decorating concepts.

Beyond the aisles of The Brand Zone, the more than 1,200 exhibitors at Pack Expo Las Vegas will provide brand owners with critical tools for accelerating time-to-market and increasing chances for success. By showcasing all of these solutions under one roof, Pack Expo Las Vegas makes it easy for attendees to examine how advanced materials and machinery can work in concert together. This approach has a strong impact on the bottom line and enables brands to stay competitive in today’s ― and tomorrow’s ― marketplace.

For more information about Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011 or to register, visit or contact PMMI’s Show Department at 703/243-8555 or