These are some notes and thoughts into some ted talks and readings I have gone through from last weeks lesson.
The writer takes an look at how the green giant logo has changes and how its use with exaggerated greens in its scene like logo can take the viewer away from the reality. The same is done in the example belowit where its talks about the re branding of Heinz ketchup by ‘eliminnating the negatives and highlighting the positives’.
The Green Giant logo reflects anthropologist Barbara Bender’s hypothesis from her essay ‘Landscape and Politics’, where she argues that Westerners think of landscapes in terms of views: ‘something seen, usually at a distance. Often beautiful, usually rural, or if not – then with a value judgment attached.’ Bender calls for Westerners to have a more holistic understanding of landscape and see it as more than just ‘views’, rather as something that we engage with and rely on. The landscape in the Green Giant logo is there for its aesthetic value, rather than because it represents the food the company provides.
The whole reason we had to do a redesign in the United Kingdom was that ketchup was one of the foods that was highlighted that had too much sugar and salt for kids, so mothers started to move away from the product.’ To detract from the negative publicity, Armes spearheaded a new brand strategy for Heinz in the UK that tried ‘to eliminate the negatives and highlight the positives,’ as well as ‘eliminate the perception of too much sugar and salt’
This actually reminds me of Jean Baudrilads theory of ‘hyper realities’ where the use of simulacra draws us away from reality and whats created here is this sub reality that the pretty branding that insinuates quality and health is actually the opposite.
This especially true when the writer talks about the warming artificial scenes that are created from these brand logos; in a way it creates nostalgia for times and places that one has not experienced but has a powerful allure, so marketers continue to mine the warm associations of the past to sell us their products.for example with the use of using rustic farm images of barns and green fields that can be seen on a lot of packaging. yet these images are a long way away from the the types of industrialised farming that was used to meet the massive demand for consumption. Fruits and veg are depicted and associated with the beauty of nature. yet all these positive but also ambiguous images can be used in misleading ways.
The best thing that and introspective quote that I took from this article was from Design director for Kellogg’s and Pringles, Matt Wickhert joked that, because packaging is wasteful, his role as a packaging designer means that ultimately he ‘decorates the landfills’. deeep
But yes this is very thought provoking topic as we can see that in the end all packaging does is capture attention and we’ve all done it- picked up a supermarket branded bottle of ketchup and feel as though something is a little off despite the fact that there may be no difference to the better branded choice. Choice is such a huge part of every day life and as the prettier colours and texts of branding screams for attention sometimes we forget how trivial packaging really is.
I mean could you imaging a supermarket with all item packaging showing only the name, its ingredients, and where its from in large text and nothing else (preferably helvetica. Just saying). just picture it a while… hmm some would say that would be pretty refreshing I guess others would be pretty distressed. The important question that comes out of this how much is really necessary?
Ted talks thoughts and understandings
The ted talks that were linked for me to watch was a unique way into understand the way that that we now consume. It’s also a great insight into how marketing began before a time where we are now almost to spoilt for choice.
The first talk I watched from a guy named Malcolm Gladwell he talked about revolutionary forms of market research that has pretty much shaped the kind of choice that we are now faced with in our local supermarket.
If you want to sell something to someone understanding what consumers want through research is particularly Important but the understanding of what is universally liable as a product is said to be an useless endeavour. what we have found that consumers never truly know what they want but with the research that Howard Moskowitz conducted allowed him to group together favourable changes which in turn allowed him to create something completely new and very popular.
I agree with this new sense that the way the research is conveyed can have a unique way of finding a new product. Yet this new kind of research brings with it its own set of problems, which is that the use of so many different tastes and and alteration of product leads us to be ignorant of any of these special qualities that these products may have.
This matter leads nicely into the next ted talk that I watched by Seth Godin where it talked about the problem with mass marketing and branding today. The average consumer has to much to choose from and because of this many thing ideas and product get forgotten or even unnoticed.
I then looked at a talk from Barry Schwartz where he spoke about the paradox of choice. The idea with the huge amount of options causes paralysis causing people to be pressured into wanting to make the right choice . Which, in many cases cause idleness in very large life decisions that require action straight away. I feel that this is a situation that I can relate to where I feel that the amount of choices I can make to do absolutely anything with my time, can sometimes revert me to a habit of sitting at home comfortably doing nothing. and this can cause unhappiness accroding to Barry
This theory shows the side effect of to many choices which causes a backfire, as the pressure on decision making causes higher expectations and misery when these expectations are not met – it can lead to depression and suicide rates increasing.
His theory for happiness is “don’t have high expectations as he concludes saying that that in order to live a happy life one must create their own fishbowl – a space that one can allow themselves to shield off the vast complexities and choices that would be available if the glass were to break. in Barry’s view this only leads to disaster and misery.
On the contrary, whilst agreeing with barry’s theory of decreasing expectation in life I see that these choices cannot be something that’s ignored every choice that is made holds some potential of learning something, but becomes more important when we are sifting through these choices is the values that we project on to these decisions. So yes it’s hard to decide between a pair of jeans or a mobile phone or 13 different styles of tomato sauce if the outcome is either good or bad we will learn from that – to either repeat that choice or to try something else. But if we refuse to endorse the value that is put on to things through identity and branding then we will learn that there are some decisions that are just more important and that beneath a brand is something that is only slightly different to its competition. In the end decisions are still all up to you but don’t feel bad, literally, welcome every new decision with open arms and you should be fine.
I mean what the hell is the difference between coke and pepsi. I know I definitely don’t know. And for the people that can tell, must have robotic tongues or be deluded by the scheme of brands colours.