So as I am eating my high fiber bran cereal with banana this morning, my regular news show was covering this story about how Tropicana was switching their carton design back to the old picture of a straw coming right out the orange. I also caught the same story here.
On the outset it seems like nothing special; alright, they went back to their old package...so what? But it is how Pepsi was forced back that is the interesting part. Apparently blogs, chatrooms, fan pages on facebook, and the whole realm of online Tropicana fans went ballistic about the packaging, flooding the internet with complaints. Well, Pepsi was listening and decided to tuck their tail and run back to the straw. Looks like Pepsi understands the Groundswell.
But I want to get back to the topic of this blog. Jennifer can cover the deeper branding implications, but is this really a step forward? On my morning program Linda Kaplan Thaler was on (and I never realized she was so...animated), and her take on the people's revolt was that:
"People can't control the state of the economy, they can't control the housing crisis, but they can control their carton of orange juice. They can go in there, blog about it, write it, and change it. They feel empowered."OK - maybe - but since when? I have never felt like I can control what companies do with their products. When something changes for the worse, I usually just switch brands or deal with it. But now, people CAN force companies to change. However, I am not convinced that this is moving forward. Is the carton really that important, or have we become so consumerized (is that a word?) that we are getting so caught up in superficial nonsense like our orange juice packaging? It seems to me that if people want to control the economy and the housing crisis, all of the tools they just used to passionately plea for a new picture (or, rather, reverting back to the old design) on the carton of their morning juice could be used to try and sway lawmakers and the powers that be about important things.
Maybe I just don't understand because I don't drink orange juice - it's possible. But I just can't believe that getting Pepsi to change Tropicana's packaging is really engaging people over anything that meaningful. But I do concede that it does demonstrate the power of the new tools consumers and ordinary folks have available.