Linking food and drink packs to social media

By Paul Gander

- Last updated on GMT

Calver: Video content can have real value
Calver: Video content can have real value

Related tags Social media Brand management

Drinks brands, and particularly premium brands, illustrate many of the ways in which packaging can interact more effectively with social media messaging and link with integrated marketing, according to one specialist.

Giles Calver, planning director at creative agency Sedley Place, said some sort of social media presence was increasingly seen as being obligatory. But, this could lead to examples of bad practice, he said: “It all depends how brands engage with the consumer, if they use it to create dialogue or just to send money-off vouchers. It can go wrong when consumers don't get what they’re expecting.”

Sedley Place has worked on high-profile marketing campaigns, including Coca-Cola’s Share A Coke, which centred on the pack and its branding and generated a lot of interest and chatter online.

With many spirits brands, interaction with the pack has so far largely been about product verification and anti-counterfeiting, said Calver. Johnny Walker has used quick response (QR)-style codes in this role, and Rémy Martin has incorporated Near Field Communication (NFC) into the caps on its bottles.

Holy Grail

“The thinking was that NFC would also allow consumers to download more information about the brand,”​ said Calver. “The Holy Grail is to get to the point where you know enough about the individual consumer to deliver tailored content.”

Even where content was not tailored in any way, social media campaigns could provide strong support for a brand, he said. He cited the campaign run by Scottish beer brand Tennent’s which consisted of numerous vignettes of two pub-goers in conversation. “It was very character-led, got a lot of views on YouTube and got people talking,” ​said Calver.

But video content could go beyond entertainment and simple brand positioning, Calver said. “How often do you go on to YouTube for explanations or information? It’s become a part of people’s lives.”

Learn from e-commerce

Food and drink brands could also learn from the e-commerce sector, and the incremental sales linked, for example, with videos of consumers unwrapping what they had ordered online, he said.

One of the biggest potential pitfalls was consumer cynicism, where brands missed the target in their attempts to engage with consumers. Enlisting the support of bloggers and video bloggers could give strong support to a brand, he suggested.

Calver will be speaking on packaging and social media at Easyfairs’ Luxury Packaging Conference, London Olympia, September 16.

Related news

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast