Hey Ivory: You’re going the wrong way!

Posted on: October 4th | Filed under: Branding

You know that night scene in Planes, Trains and Automobiles when John Candy sleepily winds up driving on the wrong side of the highway? The panicked drivers on the RIGHT side of the road start screaming “YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!!” until it’s almost too late.

That’s how this rebranding makes me feel. I want to scream at the marketing director in as polite a way people like me are allowed to scream at marketing directors.

Look at this:

This reminds me of the Tropicana episode from a few years ago. Or, more recently, GAP.

Let’s start with a quote form the marketing director, Kevin Hochman, himself in a recent AP story:

“There’s never been a better time to relaunch this,” he said. “There is so much tail wind at our back: the economic environment, this trend of getting back to things that work, and reminding us of a time when things were a bit simpler.”

Okay. So then why did you choose contemporary and cheerful colors and light and modern typography? What part of your heritage is this from?

Now take a gander at this:

Notice its weathered, yellowing wrapper. The dark blue, wood-cut lettering. That creepy old P&G logo.

This should have been your inspiration.

Funny, I don’t recall hearing about process cyan, grape purple and lime green product package coloring back in the olden days.

P&G’s right about one thing: These are ‘back-to-basics’ times. That means a return to authenticity. To things that do what they say they will do, sold at a reasonable price. Now they look like a generic soap that could have been sold by supermarkets anytime between now and 1983.

There’s a line between simple and ordinary. And the new packaging is just, well, ordinary. You can easily substitute the name IVORY with the word CLEAN or SOAP and you’d have no idea what company made this is product.

What a wasted opportunity.

P.S. I know it’s bad form to publicly criticize other agency’s work. But I think it’s worse to not speak out when something’s gone terribly wrong.

Link to this article: http://bit.ly/o95GkN