Fake Homespun at the Supermarket – The Latest Thing in Marketing

I was at the supermarket the other day and the display below caused me to stop dead in my tracks, so I decided to grab my trusty iPhone and snap this picture.

This is the latest thing in marketing — mass-produced foodstuff masquerading as something homemade or artisanal. Why? Because artisanal means high quality. Well. it doesn’t, of course, but that’s what the packaging gurus want you to think.

Vlasic has embraced homespun packaging for this new line of mass-produced pickles masquerading as small batch artisan snacks.

Vlasic has embraced homespun packaging for this new line of mass-produced pickles masquerading as small batch artisan snacks. You’ll notice no corporate logo nor their signature pickle-crunching stork found anywhere.

These Vlasic pickles — the “Farmer’s Garden” range — have a label that looks more handmade and are packed in a jar made to look very similar to old-fashioned Mason jars; down to the silver lid. Notice something else? The Vlasic logo is nowhere to be found.

Start looking around next time you’re in the shops. Duncan Hines has a range of muffin mixes packed in rough cardboard with very slick graphics masquerading as not slick at all. Several cake mixes and pancake mixes are doing this, too. Fascinating.

There’s an old exercise I used to use when teaching marketing called “Fresh Eggs and Flying Lessons” that encapsulates perfectly the basis of all branding theory. I didn’t develop it, but I used it a lot. A lot!

Suddenly corporate marketers are trying to turn everything on its head and make everything homespun/homemade/less corporate/”fresh eggs.”

Do not be fooled. This pickle example is the epitome of “flying lessons.”

“FRESH EGGS & FLYING LESSONS” – Download the PDF (link opens in new window)

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