it doesn’t quite quench

Bah. Disappointed.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been noticing, repeatedly, the hyper-colourful, eyeball-searing pop-art posters around Town Hall train station.

They reminded me a little of computer desktop wallpaper – the tessellations, the flat colours, the digital shimmer of it all – and made me think, once again, about the power of colour.

So they certainly got my attention.

I’d noticed the fruit motifs in the artworks. I’d noticed the tagline ‘Another Refreshing Creation’. And I was hoping, hoping, hoping that there’d be some clever link, some reason commensurate with the beautiful execution, to link fruit with creativity with refreshment.

Well, damn.

Today, as I walked through the concourse, I noticed that additional media had been added explaining what the campaign was all about.

It’s for fruit juice. Specifically, the new range of Gen Y-targeted Berri Creations (in Apple Cranberry & Lime, Pineapple Passionfruit, Apple Pine & Lime and Citrus Fruits), which aims to “fill the gap between iced teas and juice in the petrol and convenience market.”

The work, we’re informed, is that of UK designer Ben The Illustrator, is currently featuring in installations in both Sydney’s Town Hall and Melbourne’s Flinders Street stations, and “was commissioned by Berri Creations because they wanted to do something really refreshing!”

There’s a token interactive element too – you can design your own “creation” using elements from Ben-the-Illustrator’s designs at the campaign microsite, and one winning entry from each state will feature on billboards from next February, plus win $5000.

But really I just want to ask: is that all?

Their official strategy, going by the website, seems to be “refreshment,” (same as in this current, much more sticky Spring Valley campaign) but what I really want to know is: how exactly is funky pop art “refreshing”? Is it just because it’s new and colourful?

Maybe I’m just being grumpy, but the reveal disappointed me because Town Hall station is one of the least refreshing places I can think of. The horrible sticky yellow tiles… the overheated tunnel-air… the fluorescent indicator boards – there would have been such a good opportunity to do something really refreshing with the station. (Like install a literal juice fountain, or like, subsidise every second train so they’re not so crowded in peak hour, or build a mini paddling-pool in the concourse. Anything.)

As it is, I’m just bummed.

It’s an interesting contrast with a another recent campaign in the “colourful brands” genre that I really liked, for Smarties, entitled ‘8 Colours of Fun’.

It similarly equates colour with creativity, and similarly involves professional artists, but in a way that just feels so much less laboured (and, dare I say, refreshing.)

Colour + creativity + play = Smarties.

The same way that colour + transformation + joy = Dulux here.

Whereas – well, maybe I’m just not thirsty enough – but I’m not sure that colour + creativity + refreshment = Berri.

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4 thoughts on “it doesn’t quite quench

  1. Write to them! Better yet, write to them with a picture of Town hall station, Photoshopped to include a juice fountain at the top of the stairs, and ads on the steps saying “Refreshment is just 37 steps away”.

    No, wait. Write to their COMPETITOR! Berri are already locked into a contract. 🙂

  2. Thanks Durand… but why 37 steps though? What if you’re a midget and actually need 54? Or what if you have no legs? What if you’re both lacking legs AND are really, really thirsty? Is that like discrimination?

    Another thought: what if they created pop-up Mix Your Own Creation juice bars, in stations and elsewhere, so you can really make your own Refreshing Creation (capitalisation optional) and taste it on the spot. Like, there’s apple juice, and lime juice, and pineapple, etc, and you can pick your flavours and blend it all together. Make your own juice cocktail. I’d totally do that. Even if I was a midget with no legs.

  3. I was thinking about advertising recently and in reading your post, I think whats missing (partially) with these ads is the buy-in. It’s just a lot of bright color pictures … I don’t tie bright color pictures to “gee, I’d like a juice now!” The link between the colors and the product is missing for me.

    Sidenote: looking at my friend in Iran’s poster project (http://anewsimplesomething.blogspot.com/2010/09/poster-design.html) gives me the buy-in I’m talking about, that connection between the words/images and the actual “product” (not a product in this case, but an idea).

  4. Totally agreed. There’s no link, and if I’m hot and tired and rushing for my train, I just can’t be bothered piecing it all together… let alone remembering the URL so i can go to the microsite and figure it all out from there.

    Shokoofeh’s work is beautiful by the way… offtopic, i can’t read the arabic, but in a weird way the calligraphic script makes me so much more aware of the presence of a writer than the roman alphabet does – like the words have been literally painted on the page…

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