Assorted Canned Beverages (various Manufacturers)

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Assorted canned beverages (various manufacturers) Beverage marketers have long recognized the value of a proprietary bottle shape when forging a brand’s identity. Coca-Cola’s familiar contour glass bottle, the classic case in point, has become so synonymous with the brand that its communicative oomph rivals that of the product’s script lettering. But how does a company maintain that sense of package-driven equity when selling its product in aluminum cans, which don’t lend themselves to unique shapes? The answer for a growing number of beverage marketers is simple: Feature an illustration of the bottle on the can. The unusual thrust of this approach – depicting one packaging format on another packaging format – is appealing from a marketing standpoint because it boils down a package design to pure image, pure signifier, essentially transforming the entire package into a logotype. The idea appears to have first hit the American beverage market in 1993, when Coke began depicting its contour glass bottle on 12-ounce cans. The company went further in 1997, when it began featuring the bottle illustration on two-liter plastic bottles and on the cardboard soda cups used at many movie theaters and fast food outlets. So does a consumer drinking a can of Coke really connect more fully with the product if the can features an illustration of a glass bottle? Coke spokesman Bob Bertini thin...

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