Optimize Your Packaging

Packaging communicates a purpose—what your brand stands for and why your product is different. This Thanksgiving week, I am tipping my buckled hat to Pringles, because the idea and design behind their limited release Friendsgiving Turducken is nothing short of silly brilliance. For those living under a rock since John Madden made it famous in the 1980s, the turducken is a spectacular combination of a chicken stuffed inside of a duck inside of a turkey. I am told it is as extravagant and delicious as it is ridiculous and unnecessary. It’s a gift nobody asked for and everybody wants to try at least once, just to say that they did. It’s crazy stuff like this that makes me proud to be an American.

Pringles first announced the Thanksgiving Dinner packaging in 2017, which featured eight new holiday-themed flavors: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, creamed corn, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and macaroni and cheese. This was a pilot taste test not available for retail sale, but it was cleverly packaged in a tray like a classic TV dinner. The following year, they rolled out Thanksgiving In a Can; a trio of turkey, stuffing, and pie-flavored chips in individual cannisters, together in one box and helpfully labeled, “No cooking required!” Sampling “Pumpkin Pie In a Can” sounds funny enough, but in 2019, they really outdid themselves.

Pringles Friendsgiving Feast proudly boasts three classic sides and three poultry flavors, one for each level of this monstrous bird. Stack the three meat flavors together for the full turducken experience. Setting the bird aside for a moment, let’s focus on the packaging and what it tells us about the brand.  The checked red and white tablecloth background has been consistent through all iterations of this themed release. The bird itself has been photoshopped together in an intentionally ad hoc style. The blending of capital case print and cursive is quite popular now in advertising, and even the move to use the term “Friendsgiving” could be considered progressive. Bold red and yellow colors dominate the front label, colors which are known for making the buyer hungry. Last, but certainly not least, the detail of the “As Never Seen on TV” is a perfect homage to unusual gadgets on infomercials. Every aspect of this packaging was thought-out, and it shouts loud and clear who they are—bold, silly, self-aware and unique. If this product wasn’t sold out, they’d have my $15.99. God Bless America.

– Crystal Skipworth