Fed up of brands being Innocent wanna-be's
As I waited in my local branch of Barclay's, I had plenty of time to read their new in-store signage. After the first 10 minutes the Barclay's branded pen "Take Me I'm Your's" was amusing. After the first 40 minutes and having spoken to three employees all of whom appeared me to be sharing one brain between them, none of whom could help me, the "nudge-nudge wink wink" chatty Barclay's packaging all around me really started to get annoying. I think that the worst had to be the sign by the ATM which told me that this was so much more than a cash dispenser, have a play " I love it when you touch my buttons." After an hour I was ready to physically destroy the "friendly" cash machine.
The idea that a bank thinks that in order to connect with its customers and encourage emotional proximity it needs to speak like Finbar Saunders blows my mind. Can't they just hire and train decent smart people at the branches and on the phone, have good interest rates and generally behave in a professional way? Maybe I'm just living in the past.
"Fuck Off Nice"
Marmalade magazine had an interesting called "Fuck Off Nice" which was all about the Innocent-induced rise of Chatty Packaging. They highlighted Burger King's new fries wrapper:
"You can eat these fries any way that you want. You can dip them in ketchup or your drink if that turns you on. You can stuff them in your sandwich or you can play pick up sticks with them if you really want. Or, hang on, here's a thought you can even eat them like a normal human being."
So I guess I have to blame Innocent.
Now I love the Innocent boys, who are old friends from college, and think that Innocent brand and the products that they have created are fantastic. The tone of voice that they use is a totally consistent one - used on packaging, advertising, the website and at events.
That tone of voice is the tone of voice of Adam, Richard and Jon, the Innocent founders. It's the way that they banter, it's the type of humour that they find amusing. And it revolutionised packaging not only in this country but around the world. You just have to look at the number of rip off products that know exist, this image is from a Brazilian set of smoothies that has nothing to do with Innocent!
The Innocent opinion
They are aware of the plethora of chatty packaging that is being created. In fact the Barclays brand manager even told them how proud he was of the fact that he had "Innocent-ized" Barclays....
Their own opinion is that maybe their next set of Innocent bottles should just have two words on it - "Fuck" and "Off"
Anyway, Innocent keep doing what you're doing - your tone and manner is spot-on and what you're all about. But for all those other brands out there playing at being chatty and zany, unless you can honestly say that this is a true reflection of your brand, please give it a rest!