Digital print has entered the mainstream. For many years, companies such as Heinz, Kleenex, and Kellogg’s offered personalized branding on their iconic products. More notably, the recent Share-a-Coke campaign promoted soda and non-soda drinkers alike to comb their local grocer’s shelves in search of bottles branded with their names and those of loved ones. This Summer, Lays jumped into the mix, inviting the public to upload their favorite Summer graphics for a digital rendering of their personalized bag. Selected entries were then printed and shipped to uploaders.
The power of personalization enables big, multi-national brands to connect with consumers on a new level. There are also the social media benefits to consider, as many of the mass media campaigns feature a predetermined hashtag that consumers are encouraged to share across their favorite social media avenues. As technology limitations are lifted with advancements in digital printing, innovation in the form of personalized, mass branding campaigns will surely continue.
“Customization on a global scale is the next frontier for brands,” says Doris Brown-McNally, worldwide brands business development manager, HP.
Recently, another major brand, Bud Light, collaborated with Hewlett-Packard (HP) in a campaign that transformed 31 different designs into 200,000 unique, limited edition cans. The popular Anheuser-Busch beer adopted HP digital print technology to make an impression at the 2015 Mad Decent Block Party music festival events. Bud Light commissioned four Mad Decent custom labels and 27 artist-designed labels meant to capture the energy of the Summer music scene.
Valerie Toothman, VP of innovation, Anheuser-Busch, sees that today’s consumer is looking for a unique, customized experience. She says consumer reactions to the Mad Decent Block parties prove that these custom graphics provide an impactful and relevant way to elevate a consumer’s experience with a brand.
To create the custom cans, HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press technology, along with HP SmartStream Mosaic were utilized. The solution enables the automatic creation of millions of designs based on core patterns to offer a fast turnaround of customized campaigns. Targeting print providers that utilize HP Indigo digital presses, the personalization application is available free of charge as a new feature in HP SmartStream Designer.
Mosaic enabled the 31 label designs to transform into more than 31 million possible graphics. The application created 200,000 can designs, with no two exactly alike.
The HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press is a narrow-web printing solution that enables mainstream production of labels and packaging.
To create the labels, Prime Package & Label managed the shrink sleeve production for all of the Bud Light Mad Decent Block Party cans. The shop used one HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press utilizing six colors to print shrink sleeves used for the project.
The Range of Personalization
There is no limit to the possibilities the combination of digital print and variable data technologies provide. From one-off to short-run offerings to mass customization campaigns, print providers and brand owners are able to cost effectively offer unique products that make an impression without translating the cost down to the consumer. dps
Mar2016, DPS Magazine