Rigid Plastics

Rings around the Label for Wisk

Posted: November 24, 2010

Wisk is a brand known by many for its long-running “Ring around the collar” television advertising campaigns. However, the once potent brand message of cleaning performance had become watered down over the years by unfocused strategic package design updates.
“Wisk had lost its brand voice over the years,” says John Nunziato, creative director of Little Big Brands in Nyack, NY. “The brand really lost its brand color. It was split 50% blue and 50% red. But Wisk is red.”

Cleaning up the look
The brand owner, Connecticut-based Sun Products Corporation, wanted a design that would retain the essence of this iconic brand while providing a canvas to highlight Wisk’s powerful new formula with “Stain Spectrum Technology.” Little Big Brands, partnering closely with Sun Products' Visual Branding team, developed a package design that embraces the brand's heritage while strengthening its presence with strong red color-coding and a dynamic new logo.
"Our design objective was to rediscover the stain-fighting technology and heritage of the brand in a contemporary and iconic way that captured both hearts and minds," says Vincent Masotta, Sun Products' Visual Branding director. Little Big Brands distilled the previous design and addressed each element for relevancy, equity, and impact. By stripping out the essences of the brand, the design team could discover what they had to maintain and what they needed to enhance. The design was stripped of unnecessary copy, drop shadows, in-lines, and fluorescent colors that made the previous design feel heavy and dated.
The result is a brand with renewed depth, dimension, and energy. Both bottle and label are rich reds, and the label itself uses several reds to integrate seamlessly into the structure. The addition of reflective foil adds to the premium appearance and strengthens cleaning cues.
The new bold, clean white logo was redrawn and maximized in perspective form. Like the previous logo, it is cropped on the 50-oz. bottle to make it appear too big for the label. The new logo is purposely not perfect in its dimensions. The perspective is off a touch, skewed at 2% angle, to give it action and energy. The effect is that the logo is coming off the bottle at the consumer, powerfully, and the dynamic dot above the “i” further supports the motion effect.

Reds on top of reds
With the red canvas, the die cut of the in-mold label disappears. The prototyping company Kaleidoscope in Chicago helped greatly in color-matching to achieve a strategic combination of four different reds. The swirls of red not only created vortexes down into the bottle but also lifted design elements further off the bottle. The foil flashes create an additional level “above” the label.
The rainbow effect of the foil fits perfectly with the Stain Spectrum Technology benefit statement. Melanie Edwards, manager of business development for Multi-Color Corporation, with headquarters outside Cincinnati, OH, explains that the quality of the foil effect in this application was not really possible five years ago.
“Having the opportunity to use cold foil on the in-mold label was exciting,” says Edwards. “But you have to make sure it can handle the heat.” The key factor is having the foil and label shrink at the same rate while limiting “crazing” that might detract from the brilliance.
The Multi-Color team conducted ideation sessions to generate possibilities for the Wisk brand, and they knew the foil direction would face some obstacles. One was a long-running perception among blow molders that the foil would cause issues in the regrind system. Multi-Color pushed for trials to prove that this was not the case and was thus able to get the buy-in from the blow molders.
Cap colors and product variety name are color-coded in a manner so that each variety can become familiar to consumers and align with their preferences. “We were able to achieve a clean, crisp system, but the typography is able to live on its own,” Nunziato explains.
Considerations of store lighting and brand blocking guided many of the color decisions as well as the proper application of the foil. On shelf, the design elements seem to float over the bottle without any of them becoming jarring or obvious violators. “We really saw this project as an exercise in control,” concludes Nunziato. “The graphics work synergistically with the structure.”
The colors came out of an extensive color study by Kaleidoscope, and a fluorescent element was added to the variant names. The type treatment of the variety name is immediately clean, contemporary, and readable without any adornment or drop shadow. Similarly, the effectiveness of the “32 Loads” indicator is a result of the designers respecting the typography and not over-designing typographic elements.
The new Wisk laundry detergent is hitting stores shelves this winter with a bold, dynamic new look that becomes the dramatic star in their new television advertising campaign. “The brand is now a standout in the category—screaming premium and performance while remaining relevant and approachable to the consumer,” concludes Nunziato.