Bad Product, Bad Placement

OXO cubesRemember the re-designed packaging for OXO bouillon cubes? No? Well I do. I thought they were brilliant. When they were placed side-by-side on the grocery shelf, they completely owned the aisle. The OXO’s completed each other and created a string of OXOXOXOXOXOXO for the length of the display, each letter behind a bold, solid colour representing it’s flavour.

Great package design must take multiples into account. How will these products look beside each other? On top of each other? Stacked, mixed, mingled, scattered?

Tom Cruise without a nose

I laughed out loud when I saw this book display at my local big box store. I was looking to buy myself a video game, a DVD, a book— anything new and personal (and cheap) for my birthday. I instantly groped around in my coat for the digital camera. Then I remembered almost getting my membership revoked for pulling out a PEN a few years back in the same store. They thought I was a cold-war box-store price-spy, as opposed to a guy who likes to write down his thoughts and ideas from time to time. Not wanting to create a scene, I deftly prepped the camera, one-handed, in my pocket. Then without any to-do, I matter-of-factly brought the camera to my eye as if scratching my brow. Click. No flash, no attention. And to prevent further litigation, I have respectfully disguised the book prices in the photo (which were far, far below the SRP).

When I was in high school I created a collage project called, “What Famous People Look Like When They Go Home and Take Their Noses Off.” This Tom Cruise picture would feel right at home in my old sketch book. Seeing any celebrity without a nose makes them look cartoonish and absurd. Perhaps that was the intent of this display, but somehow I doubt it. Unauthorized biography or not, this tabloid-pablum fodder makes pseudo-religious-cult-leader-crazed-heartthrob actor Tom Cruise look like an alien bug. And that’s funny.

Post Script: I didn’t buy this book. I bought The Little Book That Makes You Rich and Stock Investing for Canadians for Dummies.