How Companies Create Special Edition Plastic Packaging

Posted by Rob Helmke | Thursday, June 26, 2014 5 Comments

How Companies have Created Limited-Time Packaging

The World Cup has been taking the globe by storm this summer—and the packaging community has taken note. Companies like McDonald’s, Budweiser, Gillette and many others have branded their products for this worldwide event—and with good reason. Limited-edition packaging is an ideal way to reach both long-time and brand new consumers because it’s specifically targeted to their interests, or they may just be intrigued by the idea of a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime packaging design. Either way, special-release packaging can create a big impact for your company. See how some of the leading brands in various industries have been successful with limited-edition packaging—and how you can create your own plastic packaging for enhanced market performance.

Sporting Events


Creating Special Edition Plastic Packaging


The World Cup isn’t the only sporting event that companies have released limited packaging designs for. Olympics-inspired packaging remains one of the most common and universal ways for companies to develop promotional packaging. From the iconic Wheaties box designs featuring famous athletes to Tide’s American-flag bottle, companies of all kinds capitalize on sporting events. This occurs with other sporting events, too, such as the Super Bowl and March Madness. Companies even create team-specific packaging, as Muscle Milk did with its Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs bottles.



Starbucks Christmas Cups For Holiday Packaging source:


Holidays are a perfect—and simple—way for companies to release new packaging designs. The biggest holiday for packaging? Christmas. Companies both big and small produce packaging designs to fit in with this winter holiday. Take Starbucks’ specialty coffee cups, McTavish’s Handmade Holiday Shortbread clamshell packaging, Bath and Body Works’ seasonal body lotion and washes and, of course, Coca-Cola’s iconic polar bear designs. Companies also create packaging designs for other holidays, too. Think Svedka’s Fourth of July plastic bottle design, or Bath and Body Works’ Halloween Collection’s thermoformed bottles. Each of these packaging designs catches consumers’ eyes, inspire good feelings and, hopefully, make them more interested in purchasing the product.

Fashion Designers


Paul Smith for Evian Water Bottle Packaging source:


Design is universal, no matter if it’s for clothing or plastic packaging. That’s why fashion designers teaming with packaging companies is no surprise—especially for water bottle packaging. Evian has led the way as far as couture water bottle packaging has gone—they’ve reigned in designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Elie Saab, Paul Smith and more to put their spin on their bottle. Other companies, like San Pellegrino, have also collaborated with luxury companies, like Bulgari and Missoni, to create designer bottling for their beverages. While consumers may not be able to afford a designer’s clothing line, an everyday item, like a water bottle, may be more attainable for their budget—so they’ll be more interested in purchasing these “designer” pieces.

Regional Packaging


Absolut Chicago Bottle Packaging Design source:


Regional packaging is another highly coveted specialty-packaging design with consumers. Absolut Vodka excelled in this limited-time packaging idea with its release of the city-specific vodka series. These vodkas—which included U.S. cities like Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco and others, as well as international cities, such as London, Moscow and Berlin— each had a specific flavor and a specific packaging design. Each vodka design combined the most well-known elements of the city. Chicago’s bottle, for example, incorporated the Chicago flag and the Navy Pier ferris wheel. By using the iconic features of each city, combined with the bottles’ short-term availability, this packaging design was highly popular with consumers and deemed an overall success.

Why Promotional Packaging is Important


Sharpie Holiday Packaging source:


Whether consumers realize it or not, packaging inspires an emotional response within them. When they see a Sharpie enclosed in a blister packaging design with Santa or a snowman on the graphics card, they instantly think of filling out gift tags of presents for their loved ones. When they mix a drink from the Absolut city collection, they’re reminded of all the wonderful things about where they live. Packaging helps people connect with products, and that can be incredibly important to a product’s success.

How To Brand Your Promotional Plastic Packaging


Head & Shoulders World Cup Packaging source:


By releasing a limited edition packaging collection, your customers, especially those with longtime brand loyalty, will be rushing to pick up the new packaging while they can. If you’re considering creating a limited-release packaging design, keep the following ideas in mind:

  • Don’t stray too far from your normal packaging design: While you can change the design of your plastic packaging to match the particular event, holiday or other theme, strive to keep your actual packaging structure the same. For example, Method cleaning supplies released two limited-edition holiday collections. The bottle’s artwork was fresh and eye-catching, yet the actual bottle itself stayed true to its usual structure—creating the perfect balance necessary for successful special-release packaging.
  • Make your design noticeable:  Commit to the idea of this limited-time packaging. When consumers are in the store, they may expect to see your products on the shelves, but if the design on the packaging is different than what they’re used to, they’ll be more likely to take a second look. To truly grab the attention of consumers with your limited-time packaging, incorporate the elements of your theme into the design. Head and Shoulders did a great job with its World Cup packaging—the bottle structure remains the same as always, but the vibrant graphics really draw in consumers. After all, many people will buy a product in limited-time custom packaging for the sheer novelty of it. Make your packaging stand out, and consumers will follow.

How would you create limited-release plastic packaging? Let us know on our Facebook, or leave a comment below.

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Topics: Custom Packaging, Design, Food Packaging, Retail Packaging