headline press information

Date 30th November 2010 / www.procarton.com

Packaging and the Media Mix


The media landscape has changed considerably – as has the role of media consultants. It is no longer just a case of placing advertisements. In a seemingly endless world of classical and new media, the media consultant advances to become an indispensable partner who decides on weighting and use of the different communication channels. And one of these channels is packaging, except that not everyone is yet aware of this.

For download in print quality, please click on the photo.

Never before have there been so many different communication tools and channels: ranging from word of mouth (WOM) to TV channels, from Facebook to Twitter and to packaging, the opportunities for marketing communications are nearly limitless. They all need to be evaluated and compared to define their role within the media mix. And one medium that has so far hardly been viewed in this context, is packaging.


Although packaging has always played a major role in marketing, packaging has never really been regarded as part of the media mix. There are no parameters for comparing the role and effectiveness of packaging with other media. Both media planners and marketing managers need a new instrumentarium to implement their marketing communication.


Recently, Pointlogic, an internationally operating marketing solutions company, conducted a study in the UK. Using their planning tool Chorus+ packaging was used as a communication channel in its own right. For the very first time, numbers and features were collated which showed packaging in concert with other classic and digital media. There are first clues as to which communication tasks are supported by packaging and which objectives it can help to achieve.


Hans Georg Stolz, managing director of Pointlogic Germany and Chairman of the Association of the working group Media Analysis: ”The effect of packaging should be utilised more in Europe, a definition needs to be found which establishes packaging as a valuable element within the marketing mix. In the UK we have already examined packaging as a communication channel, we have initial results and numbers to compare packaging as a medium with other classical and digital contact points and to consider them accordingly in the planning process. These results are a starting point. The data can be made available to a group of experts to develop a specific research concept which focuses more on the requirements and expectations of the cartonboard and folded carton industries.“


“Of course, the determining of the media value of packaging would require some developmental work. And questions need to be answered, such as: how can we obtain valid contact data for packaging? How can we distinguish between static contact generation on the shelf and the dynamic component (transport/distribution)? Which monetary value can be attributed to placement-related coops and sponsorship? However, there are sufficient methods which can be utilised for developing contact conventions, such as technical observation via GPS or RFID signals, video observation, or consumer contact statistics via scanning. They need to be analysed and evaluated systematically with the aim of establishing a “hard packaging currency”. Valuable available contacts will otherwise not be evaluated and remain unused. Brands such as Mr. Proper or Cornflakes have already shown what cross media marketing with packaging as one of the main communication pillars can look like”.

Packaging needs to be integrated qualitatively and quantitatively into the media chorus, so that it can be given the task it already has in practice. Once the media value of packaging has been determined and is systematically integrated into marketing planning and media mix considerations, then packaging can play its role as a marketing instrument far more efficiently than today. This applies especially to carton packaging which is not only the most sustainable packaging with the highest level of consumer acceptance, but also provides the best opportunities for graphic design. And then it will be recognized for what it is: part of the media world.

Hans Georg Stolz

Hans Georg Stolz.

Suzanne McEwen +43 1 218 6918 mcewen@procarton.com
Background Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard to brand owners, the trade as well as designers, the media and politicians as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium.