Campbell’s is redesigning their iconic red-and-white soup packaging. Why? The answer’s in your brain – or so they think:
Campbell’s said traditional customer feedback wasn’t telling the company why soup sales weren’t doing so hot. “A 2005 Campbell analysis revealed that, overall, ads deemed more effective in surveys had little relation to changes in sales,” the WSJ says.
So they turned to “science.” Campbell’s hired Innerscope Research Inc. to conduct tests on a whopping 40-person sample to see what design elements produced the most “emotional engagement.”
The team clipped small video cameras to the testers at eye level and had them later watch tape of themselves shopping for soup. Special vests captured skin-moisture levels, heart rate, depth and pace of breathing, and posture. Sensors tracked eye movements and pupil width.
The result? The bright red logo made the soups blend together. The spoon was not emotional. Steam was.
Fast Company has the full story; they don’t sound too impressed with the biological basis for the testing. Without more detail in the methodology, I really can’t weigh in, except to say that good design is anything but an exact. . . .science. Given the value of instant recognition in the saturated grocery business, I’d be hesitant to abandon such an iconic design. It was good enough for Andy Warhol, after all.
Campbell’s Soup Cans
Andy Warhol, 1962.
Displayed in Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Cambell’s will be leaving a few of their soups old-style. See Fast Company for the details.