When it comes to marketing copy, product packaging is a roller coaster ride of supreme extremes. It can be a drearly, barren wasteland where words go to dry up and die a painful, dehydrating death, or a Dali-like playground where nouns, verbs and adjectives frolic in four dimensions of color and sound.
For marketers, it's an avenue to either impress or depress. Played correctly, and taken seriously, packages are an underrated blank canvas of selling Surprise.
Lemme show you what I mean. Here's some copy from a package of Chocolate Bowl, some high-end chocolate-covered cashews from B.C.'s Brookside Foods.
(Warning: DO NOT read if you are about to drive or operate heavy machinery!!)
"Everyone at Brookside is committed to using the finest, wholesome ingredients in the masterful preparation of our delicious delicacies to endure that they can be enjoyed with confidence and satisfaction. Chocolate Bowl, where goodness comes naturally."
Oy. Grey and lifeless. Spewed from the sludge of a rust-belt cliché factory. And if you think that's bad, check out their hellzapoppin' quality guarantee:
"Our products are produced with a commitment to excellence."
Snore. Too bad their packaging isn't.
Compare this to the back of the box of Merrick's Spring Fling (can't print it all, but this will give ya an idea):
"Our Spring Fling is a delightful tryst of the senses that pairs a lover of fine foods with an innocent bystander such as our gourmet can entrées and whirls them off into wedded bliss...
"At Merrick, we're suckers for the whole romance thing; maybe it's because we were the last ones asked to the spring dance or were never voted cutest couple. Whatever the method is that helped shape our soft spot, we are committed to love.
"So pack up the red gingham check blanket, a couple of champagne flutes, a lite lunch in your trusty old wooden picnic basket your mom gave you and let's head to the park."
Paints quite the picture doesn't it? Words indeed do matter.
Uh, and did I mention that Spring Fling is a six-pack sampler of DOG FOOD?
(Pardon the pun, but my only "beef" with the brilliant Spring Fling package is that it's rife with punctuation mistakes, word omissions and typos...which I've corrected above for a better experience for my faithful FOPs. But Merrick folks, if you can find the money for copy like this, you can surely spend a couple more bucks on a proofreader. A human one, preferably...)