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Jury

Jury

Comments from Allan Boyle – Chairman of the Jury

There were two topics that I found personally important in the 2005 Competition. Neither involved the record number of entries, although this could easily be a whole subject in itself!

The first is that board, amply demonstrated by the huge variety of entries in the Competition, has truly become a medium for competitive differentiation par excellence. My personal view is that, relative to other pack materials, board is the most creative and versatile of all. Secondly, and I’ll come back to this at the end of this report, were two words used by a jury member – “Judgement day” – which made me reflect on the implications of having to choose one winner out of many top quality entries.

Brand owners, and a number of major retailers have to be included in that broad definition, are in difficulty over media and channel fragmentation reducing the frequency of guaranteed contact points needed to maintain quality consumer communication. Worryingly, the trend seems to be carrying on. The great god TV is in global decline. New media channels are sprouting up like Spring grass – big growth in Internet, consumer relationship marketing, sponsorship, events, to mention a few. With all this, how are we going to reach mass audiences efficiently and cost effectively? More importantly, will marketers now finally accept that packaging, because it is a mass medium, with both richness and depth, is the answer to some of their prayers? The Competition is ample proof of this. And every year I can say it is getting even better. My fellow judges will agree with me 100% here!

As examples of what I mean, take the best-practice features of the winners. Starting with printing, a process that is the mainstay of all consumer packaging, we are seeing new techniques of all kinds – inks, coatings, laminations and so on – a veritable orchestra of instruments to persuade consumers to buy.

The 2005 Carton of the Year is a really astonishing piece of art and craft. The surface is a complex and compelling series of effects, well designed and equally well executed. These effects contributed at least half of its prize winning qualities. But then look at the other aspects of the winners (and, by the way, the runners-up were often excellent too):

  • Beautiful selection of board type across the entries
  • Wonderfully interesting shapes, with surprising transitions from the simple form to the functional (Innovative Design Award and Confectionery category winner)
  • This same magical transition was the power of the Beverages winner, showing two materials working in symbiosis. A really elegant solution
  • The ingenuity of the board designer never ceases to amaze the judges. The Swatch “stadium” pack is a little masterpiece of clever design and fabrication. For kids and Dads alike, a gift where the pack is just as much the point as the watch!
  • With mass-volume centralized production for Euro-brands, the effect of even simple changes to pack structure can be wide ranging, making a nightmare of project planning and management, and implying serious new investment. There has to be a conviction that the changes will bring certain ROI to justify them. The Unilever round-cornered multipack is a well thought-through, modern, differentiated pack in a world of “square” competition
  • Richard Dalgleish has already talked about the widely varied judging criteria in the pharmaceutical category, where the ethical and OTC packs require specific recognition of the job they have to do, and the users they’re designed for. That we have now separated them into two sections is a good step forward for fair play: The winners merited their awards differently but absolutely correctly
  • Countertop dispensing is a vital part in triggering sales. The Cosmetique Active unit worked absolutely every time and made it easy for consumers to select their product
  • Staying with point-of-purchase material, as a complementary medium it is too important to treat as “incidental”. The jury’s view is that we are not doing justice to those well-integrated displays where pack and support make one plus one equal three. We recommend a separate award category in the next competition.

I’d like to come back to my opening point on “Judgement Day”. It is an intimidating responsibility to undertake, particularly with growing entry numbers. Your creativity makes our job more difficult every year. High quality entries across the board means detail is often the only difference between an award or not. But that’s what the judging panel is there to do. We’re sorry not to be able to reward all of your efforts, but we’re equally delighted to celebrate outstanding board packaging! Brand owners, and a number of major retailers have to be included in that broad definition, are in difficulty over media and channel fragmentation reducing the frequency of guaranteed contact points needed to maintain quality consumer communication. Worryingly, the trend seems to be carrying on. The great god TV is in global decline. New media channels are sprouting up like Spring grass – big growth in Internet, consumer relationship marketing, sponsorship, events, to mention a few. With all this, how are we going to reach mass audiences efficiently and cost effectively? More importantly, will marketers now finally accept that packaging, because it is a mass medium, with both richness and depth, is the answer to some of their prayers? The Competition is ample proof of this. And every year I can say it is getting even better. My fellow judges will agree with me 100% here!

Could 2006 bring even more, better packs? What an exciting prospect! Brand owners, and a number of major retailers have to be included in that broad definition, are in difficulty over media and channel fragmentation reducing the frequency of guaranteed contact points needed to maintain quality consumer communication. Worryingly, the trend seems to be carrying on. The great god TV is in global decline. New media channels are sprouting up like Spring grass – big growth in Internet, consumer relationship marketing, sponsorship, events, to mention a few. With all this, how are we going to reach mass audiences efficiently and cost effectively? More importantly, will marketers now finally accept that packaging, because it is a mass medium, with both richness and depth, is the answer to some of their prayers? The Competition is ample proof of this. And every year I can say it is getting even better. My fellow judges will agree with me 100% here!

My personal thanks to the jury members for their time, their expertise, and their scrupulous objectivity. And my appreciation to all of those submitting entries. For the sake of your industry, keep up the support for the Competition. It’s a great way to make a difference. Next time, it could be your turn to be a star!