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THE PACKAGE


Thinking myself immune to the seductive advertising campaigns that pop up daily as I browse through Facebook, I was quite surprised when I fell into the grasp of one.

It was probably because several of my “friends” were touting this product as the miracle of the 21st century. Yes, all I had to do was purchase one vial of this magic potion and my life would be changed forever.

So, against my better judgement, I ordered one just to judge for myself if I had been missing out on the newest and greatest enhancement for women of a certain age.

Of course, the ordering process was designed to entice the customer to purchase the product in multiples or to enroll in regular automatic shipments. Having made that mistake in the past, I resisted and ordered only one.

A few weeks later, a brown cardboard box arrived measuring 8 ¼” x 6 ½” x 3 ½”. When I broke through the obsessively secure taping with the use of a box cuter, I found several items. First there were full-color glossy promotional cards. Then a tightly wrapped bundle which turned out to be several sheets of heavy tissue paper revealing yet another box.

This inner box was 6” tall and 2” square and was a thing of beauty. The short lid was shiny white and was held intact with two decorative yet clear seals on two sides.

The longer bottom had a blue indigo background with a minimalist rendition of a city scape on two sides, the product name appeared in artful script in blue on white on a third.

The remaining side gave detailed ingredients and directions for use in such small lettering that most people would not bother.

I opened this second box with great care because I had now been convinced there would be something of great value inside.

The white lid was lined with black velvet and had a small round indentation into which the tube of lip gloss was inserted.

Finally reaching the main event, I found a tube 4 ½ ” in length and 5/8“ in diameter. The lid of the tube was glossy gold and the bottom portion was opalescent repeating the product name in gold writing.

By this time, my anticipation had been so pumped that I had to see for myself how my life was going to be improved. I will reserve my review for the manufacturer.

What I really want to talk about is packaging.

Packaging is an important part of marketing a product or a service to the public. The cost and design of packaging is predicted to have continued growth. As in most aspects of our economy, demographics, buying habits, and technology will affect the packaging industry,

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Published by Liam O'Connell, Dec 11, 2019

The statistic shows the total value of the packaging industry in the United States from 2016 to 2018. In 2018, the total value of the U.S. packaging industry amounted to 170 billion U.S. dollars.

According to research by Smithers in The Future of Packaging: Long-Term Strategic Forecast to 2028, between 2018 and 2028 the global packaging market is set to expand by almost 3% per annum, reaching over $1.2 trillion.

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In addition to the actual physical packaging of a product, potential consumers are inundated daily with virtual packaging.

Advertising in all forms of mass communication (printed, filmed, digital, social media, etc.) is constantly evolving, in pursuit of the competitive edge.

The professional marketers attempt to get our attention long enough to plant a seed. “I might need that.” “I might try that.” “I want that.”

Repetition is a proven technique which professionals use ad nauseum. They realize, of course, that the audience might eventually become bored and tune them out absent periodic updating of the presentation.

The 2.0 version of the same pitch may add drama, humor, man-on-the-street testimonials, a celebrity spokesperson, or something totally counter-intuitive designed to grab attention.

As a potential consumer, I can only hope that the manufacturers devote similar expenditures of resources in development and improvement of the product.

As consumers, we are affected by the constant exposure to the virtual side of packaging many more times than the physical. We may consider ourselves to be impervious to the visual and audio assaults to our psyche, but the images and suggestions implant at some level.

We may laugh at the attempts to convince us we are lacking in some respect if we do not rush to purchase said item. Our subconscious is nagging at us that we would be more beautiful, have more friends, and be happier if we only . . . . .

Somewhere in our childhood, we all heard the admonition, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Did we ever really learn that? The marketers and packagers are hoping we did not.


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