We The Makers Of This Product…

Tim Nudd at Adfreak rightly questions the packaging trend whereby humorous quips are placed on the product label.


About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Can’t say I agree with AdFreak on this one. Like all ad creative, if it’s funny or cool, I’m for it. If it sucks, I’m against it.
    Also, I wouldn’t call it a trend. I’ve seen that kind of packaging copy for at least the last twenty years or so, and I’m sure Howard Gossage got into the act back in his day, and I’m willing to bet Bill Bernbach, Ed McCabe, George Lois and plenty of others were responsible for something along those lines from time to time as well. A quick look through some CA design annuals from the 80s will probably reveal many more examples, too. I’ve even seen funny (for lack of a better word) copy on bottles and boxes dating from the turn of the century at antique shows. So, call it what you want, but a trend it’s not.
    Next, while the desire to be witty is no excuse for poorly written copy (or stuff that just ain’t funny), seeing a company or agency at least make an attempt to acknowledge their customers as thinking beings capable of processing concepts beyond “what’s on sale today” is fine by me. Sure some of it is lame and doesn’t really hit the mark, but isn’t that true about all of advertising?
    Hey, you can’t please everyone. Then again, maybe if getting three sentences of packaging copy approved by the client didn’t take six months, twelve conference calls, sixteen account people, an ECD, A GCD, a CD and an ACD, the shit would be funnier.

  2. Carl LaFong says:

    I don’t have much to add other than to say I agree completely with Wade. Witty packaging copy is nothing even. I’ve written one or two myself – and I work at a crappy agency. With all the truly troubling trends out there – such as marketing that is deceptive or manipulative – why Adfreak is agonizing over copy on a bottle of lemonade is beyond me.

  3. Carl LaFong says:

    Um, wait. That second sentence should read “Witty packaging copy is nothing new.” My bad.

  4. Hey, if it works, go with it. I personally seek out the funniest Heintz ketchup labels when shopping for condiments. It may not affect my brand choice – I am not a brand hopper, and would not likely change my consumer habits for a sale price or catchy ad, but it does enhance my relationship with the brand every time I open the fridge.