Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sins of Sunsilk Pt. 1: Nope and Nope Redux

I have been meaning to write this for weeks, even if it be for my own good. I wrote in my notebook notes about what i hated about this ad and that stupid "X" on the Jaguar '08 ads that i will talk about later, but first let's talk about the consistent bad visual situation over at Sunsilk. We will start in the beginning with a little conversation with some people behind the ever interesting world of package design.

I actually had the pleasure to meet and talk with some of the lovely ladies that are in charge of the design team over at Nexxus (TRESemme, VO5, among others) at my restaurant. We talked about the endurance of TRESemme's classic top-shelf look and the recent redesign for VO5. They asked me what products i use, which at least in the shampoo department, is Sunsilk. They all began to laugh. They told me that although they are Nexxus' main competitor, their design is terrible. Now this was at the time that Sunsilk used these awful little duds:

Now, this silly looking little collection is actually fine in that it gets the prodcut across. The text, as terrible as it looks (Is that "K" gonna escape....?), is concise and to the point about what it does. Although "hydra TLC(tender loving care), is a bit to goofball for me. The only real problem is the unwieldy, and again I emphasize SILLY, picture of a very content Caucasian woman. In real life the image is literally a 4-color print and looks like utter dog garbage.

So all of that said, after my little run in with the lovely ladies, I ended needing some smoothing cream because i had run out. I went to the local Vons and made my way to the hair section. I was then greeted by the little line of bottles:

So I look at this little row, and try to make a decision. I had a hard time making out the assorted differences as there is literally 3 different ideas being presented in the central line of sight. You have the Brand name, the cute little product description, the exclamation point logo and the awful little "hairapy" tag line climbing up the side buried behind the Logo type.

Now, understand that this image is just that, an image. It is nothing like the real bottle with it's reflective glossy finish and different inks. The white "hairapy", due to its placement and color is very difficult to make out in a lighted area, which is again hindered by the cluster of text in that tiny space. It has no relation to any of the text elements and the message is unnecessary, as it is basically a tag line. So....why the hell is it here. I honestly thought these were ALL different kinds of hairsprays, because at first glance that is the white text seems to convey. All in all one should not have to double check and re-check a package to understand what the hell is going on.

What needs to happen here is:

A. Get rid of the vertical "White" text...NOW!
B. Use the ENTIRE space...let the eye scan from top to bottom in one stroke and know exactly what is going on here.
C. Don't fix a problem by making another problem (Stupid face image replaced with cluttered text...etc.)

Now, just when you think they will come back with something at least an iota better, the "lifecan'twait" ad campaign surfaces on TV, My semi-daily trek to work (in 2 forms!), and magazines. It's far more criminal than either of the aforementioned travesties and simply an eyesore in a city where billboards are as common as cigarette butts.

I'll save that for next time though.