Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

Peter Arnell defends Tropicana rebrand

At a Pepsi press conference, Peter Arnell, of Arnell Group, defends the new, but recently dumped, Tropicana rebrand.

According to Peter, it’s about squeezing, giving eachother hugs, and “the power of love.” Unfortunately for him, there just wasn’t enough love to go round, but it does seem like the orange-coloured boobie is here to stay.

Tropicana rebrand

The image above shows the old, but re-instated design on the left, and the new, but dumped design on the right (minus the specially engineered cap, which we’ll get to squeeze every morning).

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74 appreciated comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the video. I heard about it but hadn’t seen it yet. Mike Brown did a nice writeup over on his blog yesterday about this story, worth a read.
    http://thingsthatarebrown.com/blog/2009/02/drinking-the-orange-juice/

  2. You’re welcome, Brad. Mike’s piece (and the discussion that follows) is worth a read. Thanks for the link.

  3. I thought it was the straw design that got dumped by the consumers, not the other way round!

    I simply can’t understand why people are mad about the new packing, its taking a design that yells cheap, cocky, unhealthy to a more refined state of the opposite.

    Its just to much, I can’t bare it

  4. All this fuss — it’s only orange juice, FFS!

  5. The older packaging may not be a brilliant piece of design, but it is visually distinctive, and clear in its message.

    The new package is very nice, but that’s about it. Taking a premium brand name and making the logo play second fiddle to “100% Orange” was not a smart move – it looks like a generic store brand. A well designed one, but generic nonetheless.

  6. Gráinne

    I love the squeezy cap, but I think that’s the only redeeming element on the new packaging. Although I am a fan of the original packaging, a redesign could have worked of course, but not one that gets the product lost amongst the supermarket own brand juices.

  7. Panasit

    Oh I don’t think it’s bad at all, I just think it looks more fitting for Tang.

    There are plenty of design reference books that focus on packaging, and there are tons of examples in juices category. But despite all of them being good, to me, none of them say “fresh” just like the old Tropicana’s design. Just looking at those packaging I felt like they would all taste more like Sunny-D than Tropicana.

    Look, Paul Rand’s international typographic style, the ones that use pictures and sans serif typeface is a safe bet for all designs. And the Tropicana rebrand design didn’t break any rule at all.

    But just because it’s safe, doesn’t mean it’s the best… and the right choice for the product. To me, this says the designers lack idea. There are no creativity here. And to me, the overall design feels a bit lazy.

    Wrong style for wrong product. It happens.This design would make a great cover for a book about orange juice, not as a packaging for the orange juice itself.

  8. Anonymous

    “Look, Paul Rand’s international typographic style,…”

    Uhh, you might want to read some books about Graphic Design Theory.

  9. Julie

    Thanks for posting, this was really interesting.
    I understand the reasoning, but the brand concept is not so simple to grasp as the old brand idea- Tastes like it’s straight out of the orange! Good branding should never have to take that long to explain. They could always put their little squeeze cap on the old carton…

  10. Jon

    Although I can’t understand Tropicana yanking the packaging rather than say, revising it, I do have an issue with the new packaging:

    It’s not as easy to tell which type of juice you’re looking at. The old packaging has a very clear marker to tell you “No Pulp/Low Acid” when you’re facing down the wall of OJ boxes in the grocery store.

    But, like I said, this could have been easily remedied without unceremoniously and publicly yanked off shelves.

  11. Esben, at first i also found hard to understand why there’s such a fuss about the old design, but maybe i thought like that because i live in a country where Tropicana is not avaiable. Maybe if i lived in the US and if i grew up drinking Tropicana, and relating to that orange and straw image, i’d understand this issue better.
    I guess package design is more than boxes and type and pictures… it’s about the relationship between consumer and product, and all the things that come from there.

  12. I have to say, I was shopping for orange juice just the other day at 7-11 and nearly passed over Tropicana because, on the shelf, the new packaging has more of an off brand, or, store brand look than the old orange and straw look. I have to agree with Pepsi that, while the new packaging looks slick and modern sitting on the table at the design agency, it just doesn’t hold up on the store shelf. The orange shaped cap is a definite improvement. I nice memorable touch that brought a smile to my morning and definitely stuck in my head… one of those, “how great, why didnt anyone think of this before,” moments.

  13. The original packaging has a vernacular look and a witty image. The red and white striped straw has a nostalgic quality to it as well. The old packaging also has greater legibility in terms of the “pulp/some pulp” distinction. In an age of carbon footprints and obesity there is also that comforting “smart choices” logo that the original design shows clearly. Overall, what the old design lacks in chic it makes up for in authenticity. The new design is what I think of as “generic-chic”.

  14. What the hell was he taking about at the end? What about love and hugs? That man should stop doing things.

    For him to think that they needed to focus on the liquid rather than the actual fruit, is a crazy notion. We know what orange juice looks like, it’s not special to show it. What’s special is showing how this juice is directly from the fruit… that’s the unique selling point. It’s fresh – it’s original. For him to think that that generic design was making the product more modern and therefor more marketable, is ludicrous.

  15. Cheers. I’ve taken time out to lament this design on each trip to the grocery store. I saw the real thing before I read about the redesign, and I literally stopped for the purpose of checking out the price of the new generic OJ. The new identiy is attractive on other collateral, but on packaging, it’s weak and diminishes established confidence in the Tropicana brand.

  16. Design wise, I have to say I love the new package. It is very contemporary and falls into the new trends of today’s package designs… refreshing and young, when I look at it, it makes me thirsty, and plus there’s a little bobby I get to squeeze every morning, what a GREAT starting point for a campaign… I love it!!!!

    The only thing is this though (now it’s the communicator/branding guy that speaks); even if there’s a little orange shaped cap that I get to squeeze every morning and it is perfectly aligned with the glass of juice featured on the front, the package still fails to communicate the main benefit of the product (purity) as effectively as the old package was. The iconography of the old package, using the strong rhetoric figure of a fruit impaled by a straw cannot be beat (in terms of imagery). A squeezable booby cap is more of a cool gadget men and kids will love but will it really fulfill it’s purpose of effectively communicate the product’s USP…. I doubt it.

    On top of that, by taking off that “beyond words” powerful image, they would kill one of the most recognizable image in the industry. Knowing how much it costs to create that kind of association (image vs product) in the mind of consumers… it would be a mistake to take it off. Would it be a good idea to take off Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken branding? Why not asking Steve Jobs if he would get rid of its little apple. Anyway, I believe it’s (again) in the pure Pepsi tradition but this time, I am happy they listened to their buyers.

    Even if it is a little too much “Yoplait inspired”, as I mentioned in another comment, here is an example however of a successful re-branding exercise recently accomplished for Kraft Foods http://adage.com/article?article_id=134664

    Cheers!

  17. @Filipe

    I don’t live in the states either and perhaps because most US bloggers to some extend, thinks its a global well known brand and therefor don’t needs explaining – its not a critique of any kind to any bloggers :)

    But your right we don’t have the same sense of “old familiarity” as others and that might disqualify us for a opinion :)

  18. MadMan

    I immediately realized this guy is full of S&#% when he opened with “we began this journey…”. And what’s this about juice not being shown on the packaging? There is so much stuff you can actually display on the carton that would stand out in a sea of choices. Do these people actually visit supermarkets or do they send their housekeepers?

    These big ad firms are so out of touch that they focus on ridiculous theory that has no practical applications.

    I used to buy Tropicana once every 2 weeks from Ralphs. After the package redesign I stopped because the box looks exactly like the Ralphs house brand. Only after reading the NYT article I realized that it was the redesign that kept me away. I didn’t consciously avoid it because of the awful typography and the silly design that looks like yellow piss inside a champagne glass.

  19. Jon

    It’s interesting that for once design has such a huge audible influence amongst consumers. Generally consumers just accept it and move along, and pay more attention to the price point of the product.

    Glad to know we’ve not all gone blind.

    I would certainly be in agreement with the lack of personality that the new design personifies. Modern? Who cares about what is and what isn’t modern. The Tropicana brand has built a good reputation of being fresh, and very much being about a staple house brand. It was never about being the “hip” juice.

    On a personal note, the straw sticking out of the orange was and still is a brilliant idea. I remember being younger and seeing the animated straw just flying into the orange and thinking “damn, that is such a freakin awesome concept, why didn’t I think of that!”.

    You have to admit though that Peter Arnell has a huge set of balls to present such a weak concept to media expecting that people would just buy into it…

    Ah well, I’m sure like he said it was an extremely difficult decision to make and equally as difficult decision to change what works so well already.

  20. I like the new design but I suppose a lot of consumers liked the old straw in orange pic. As a kid, I used to think that the picture made the juice look more refreshing. I like that they kept the cap though. Can’t wait to squeeze it. AHAH. :D

  21. Nate

    “Ha, f*ck you Peter Arnell, all we’re keeping is your little orange screw cap. Now go find some Icelandic vodka to rebrand.”

    Love and hugs,
    Tropicana

  22. Although I agree with David, I like Arnell’s idea to show the inside of the orange for a change. But they could have kept the fruit and the straw and the basic circular shape but simply cut the orange in half and expose the juicy pulp in it.

  23. Karl

    I dunno Tropicana. I’m from Germany and I don’t have any connection to this brand or the juice at all. What I think is striking is that more and more people tend to go “meh” when something new is happening in their everyday life.
    Instead of going like, “Okay my Orange Juice looks a lot more fresh now… Yeaiiiiii” people tend to go “…meh…”. That’s not very surprising, that’s very normal talking about things of everday need. I just get the feeling that it’s getting very very hard to spread new ideas like, e.g. Pepsi (okay, that’s an ugly identity right there) or Tropicana would like to do it. Tropicana’s new old packaging was very appropriate in my belief.

  24. Conceptually the redesign is stronger than the original. The orange squeeze cap is clever, and as Arnell says, the actual juice is shown. Unfortunately the resulting design is too cerebral and not as visually rich as the original.

    The combination of the original and the new squeeze cap will probably lack the strengths of either. Too many ideas.

    The original looks dated, it’s got that typical over-design of traditional FMCG packaging. And the barber’s poll of the straw looks old fashioned. I say give Arnell another go to make the squeeze cap idea really work.

    A.

  25. @andrew I don’t understand how you could think the new concept is better. The only thing that relates to a concept, besides showing the juice, is the screw cap. The old concept is ‘strait from the orange.’ I agree it’s not the best design in the world, but when compared to the new generic packaging, it’s a hell of a lot better. Again, my point with the new packaging and the ‘concept’ is that – showing the orange juice is not special. All orange juice is orange. But, tell me, with the new packaging, what is it saying about this product – besides that it is orange juice?

    This is just another Arnell fail. There should be a failblog.org dedicated to him and his silly glasses.

  26. being from the states I can tell you that people’s attraction to the old packaging stems from their TV ad campaigns. Those ads were genius and gave a warm fuzzy feeling to everyone. No one wants to lose that feeling and the new packaging loses it for them. An orange depicts sun and growth where the juice just says refrigeration to most people here.

    Their demographic hates sudden changes. This has been proven over and over in the last 75 years. They should have done a gradual transfer to the new packaging. A tried and true approach (at least here in the states). Put the orange with the straw in it on the new packaging. Gradually make it smaller until one day it is gone. No one would have noticed and there would not have been the issues.

    Trish

  27. Panasit

    I live in Thailand, and Tropicana is well known here. So it is a global well known brand.

    Look, it’s not a case of people resisting change. To keep it simple, there’s nothing “fresh” about the new packaging.

  28. Exactly, why abandon the orange with straw image at all? It is beyond iconic and could certainly be worked into a more modern looking design.

  29. Mario

    If I had any objection to the new design, it was the fully circular circles, like the zeros on this package, the p‘s on the new Pepsi logo, etc.. I think they are the most hideous typographic trend today, and they are popping up everywhere. They are horrible and instantly dated.

  30. Nate

    Just listening to Peter Arnell speak makes me want to give him an atomic wedgie. Oh the horror.

    David Crawford took the words from my mouth. How can a glass of orange juice be labeled as a creative solution for an orange juice package? Seriously, that can’t even be construed as a concept.

  31. Me and Nate are secretly brothers, apparently. Go going :)

  32. Anna

    I was about to say that I like the new packaging a lot more than the old one because it looks more modern and up-to-date. But as I scrolled down, I saw that Mario said “instantly dated” and it really hit me in the face.

    The new style really does show that it’s a pepsi-co product because it matches the new minimalistic style, but it’s not going to last. The old style may not look like it belongs to its mother company, but it’s timeless and recognizable. I would never skip over it in the store. This new one, however, probably blends right in with the competition.

  33. PJ

    This is a step back for package designers and brand designers as well. This made so much news that it’ll have companies thinking twice now before rebranding. Unfortunate.

  34. Man he sounded like someone literally grabbed him from his office and said ‘quick dude, you need to come and present this concept’ without any preparation at all. Flogging a dead horse also comes to mind. I hate it when such a thin representation of an idea is over sold to make the idea sound even thinner, which is a shame really because I think the actual ‘idea’ was not represented at all in the new packaging.

    As he spoke I kind of imagined the squeeze cap on a completely orange carton, with some neat illi’d dimples all over so the entire carton was like an orange, with maybe a label with the old logo on there and the info. Real clean and I think that would have probably helped push the idea of the goodness within and the whole interaction between consumer and orange. Maybe even have the booby cap pull out with an attached red/white straw pourer or something, as though you really are pouring straight from the orange and maintaining the original image everyone seems to love. That would have been so much cooler and made more sense (to me) than the generic, clinical, bland and poor excuse for so-called modern styling they tried.

    Maybe the big design and ad guys are in the same club as the heads of the world’s banks. Epic fail club.

  35. I think the design with the orange and straw is way too strong-a-concept to be simply discarded, After watching the video, I can see their reasoning behind the change, but I’m glad it has been reverted.

  36. I really love the new design. Such idiots!

  37. Honestly, where did he learn to BS like that? It’s just sad. When you graduate from BS-U do you get glasses like that? The kinda glasses that say, I’m kinda a jerk.

  38. Jon

    It’s really funny reading some of the other responses here!

    I think if he was trying to go for the “let’s show the juice” approach, they should’ve developed some sort of clear design instead…oh wait..they have that already :p

    Most importantly, like some have already said, the design maybe fresh this instant, but the instance it hit the shelves, it’s already outlived it’s appeal.

    In fact, everything is going that route now and it disgusts me to see everything going insanely minimal. It’s almost no longer minimal, it’ just damn lazy.

  39. Akaisha

    I was so bummed about this. I thoroughly enjoyed the new modern look. I mean, why should they keep the same carton design for eternity? They shouldn’t.

  40. ashley

    thank god!

    im a student designer who works at a grocery store. im a huge huge nerd when it comes to packaging design. pepsi’s fairly new packaging was nice, but this, this was horrible. it was such a rebrand that it was unrecognizable on the shelves – which is bad considering tropicana is a leading brand, the coca cola of orange juice.

    i do wish they would keep the bottle cap though, i found it humorous.

  41. This is way, way too communist for me. To think a commercial endeavor were to profit from the human body’s artistic (yet unfortunately, guttural) anatomy!! Imagine!!
    It would appear they (ad men) are hitting them while young still. Yep, gotta’ show little people as soon as you can ,that the human body is, by all means mostly ethereal!
    Did they, like, forget they began with ORANGES?? (then there’s the whole “Sunkist” thing……………….yuck.

    qcbucki
    Cincinnati, OH

  42. David,et al
    Upon reading this post,I see I must work on my humor, which is the intent. yeah, haha Spent too much ttime on Current.com!!
    And I;m sorry
    Donna
    Not been well (honestly) but pull it please!!!

  43. Wow, some interesting comments, this will be sort and sweet!
    I think the new design is terrible – it looked generic and contrived with the Tropicana brand being stripped of its personality.

    I felt the new bottle top was a nice idea. – Definitely a keeper!

    Thanks

  44. @carl, wish I would have been shorter, sweeter…..needs pulp!
    Donna

  45. @carl, Perfectly put, a modern looking redesign is all well and good but, it has to keep in line with the brands personality to really be successful. Stripping away the straight from the orange feeling and focusing on just the juice? Terrible concept for a brand that has such a strong tradition.

  46. dVd

    They could have easily updated their packaging,but kept the well-recognized logotype and orange icon, which would have still popped on the shelf. Just do something with the background.

  47. Frank

    Geez, that presentation is so full of BS.The sad thing is, the more high profile the client is, the more this kind of “visionary” BS buzzword talk is what brings the main portion of the money in for the agency.I myself have had some higher profile clients in the past were i knew the big money wasn’t in my actual design but the presentations and buzzword speak.

    It worked, so i am guilty of that BS myself but i have stopped working for own clients a year ago for that very reason – i just couldn’t stand my own neccessary “visionary” presentations anymore but knew the clients loved them and wanted them to be assured they get a “high profile” product.So since then i only work for agencies but no own clients anymore which gives me the freedom to concentrate on the actual design work and let the agency the BS talk.

  48. Frank

    The last sentence is missing the word “do” of course – it should read “..and let the agencydo the BS talk.”

  49. Rebranding or not the fact remains that the new packs were not a great example of packaging design. There was an obvious confusion over whether the lead title should be Tropicana or 100% Orange and in the end both ended up stuck at opposite sides of the carton on top of what looks like any old stock shot of a glass of orange juice. Your eye doesn’t know where to rest and it’s all too confusing. It looks like a design that had to try and please different opinions and I suspect that there was disagreement among the marketing team, in the end it looks like they forgot one of the golden rules, ‘People buy brands!’ and the Tropicana brand got lost somewhere along the line.

  50. Ray Dennis

    i agree with dvd.

    The Tropicana title and logo type is much more recognizable on the shelf than the image of the straw in the orange.

  51. Destro

    @Akaisha:

    They shouldn’t keep the old packaging forever. However, any attempt at a redesign/rebrand should always take into consideration how much equity the current brand holds.

    The orange and straw logo has an immense amount of brand equity, and Arnell totally disregarded that with the attempted rebrand. You are essentially asking the customers who invested so much equity into the brand to spontaneously forget everything they thought they knew about it for the past few generations and replace it with this sleeker, hipper image. Yes, it does look good; but it doesn’t look distinctive, or memorable. So now, you’ve got a new brand with zero equity, and zero memorability. Sounds like a smashing success to me.

    They could have done a refresh of the old logo and logotype and packaging (which I still think is needed) without scrapping the old brand altogether. But it seems like Arnell has this unyielding compulsion to totally scrap established brands and identities and recreate them in his own image. They are good with advertising, maybe he/they should stick with that.

  52. I drink a lot of Tropicana OJ and I’ve noticed this change of brand over the past couple months. I must say, as a consumer of this product, the old package is way better. It’s an emotional attachment that’s hard to get over.

  53. Jay

    Sorry, but the new packaging stinks. Why? That design makes it look like a generic store brand of orange juice at first glance.

  54. Seth

    Isn’t that Bob Balaban?

  55. Sherrie

    There’s nothing distinct about it. It speaks stock image, no-brand product to be used in a tv show that wishes NOT to advertise for Tropicana.

    The only thing fresh is the fresh out of design school designer look. I lOVE text. typography is my friend. But will all old school art be lost in redesign? I BeLiEvE that the old font is from the tropics when I read it. And vintage is in. Nothing makes me feel like drinking old school orange juice than feeling the nostalgia of seeing an illustration of the Tropicana orange, even if it isn’t nostalgic to me, it looks historic and time-tested. Like vintage fruit crate labels that I love, and that stores such as Target have sold.
    http://www.thelabelman.com/

    I somewhat understand Arnell’s explanation (seems like he had an epiphany about it from his tone) regarding moving from the orange exterior to the interior, but in a world of factory and lab produced everything, seeing an actual orange highlights the importance of origins (like from the Tropics) and purity of the product. As in “While I may not fresh squeeze my own oranges, here is a reminder of where the juice originates.” Might be the same watered down, sugared up semblance of juice as before, but removing the real looking orange illustration removes the bliss of my ignorance, and places before me the harsh reality that Tropicana is not as healthy as the fresh squeezed stuff. “A cruel joke I tell you,” and I grant you that is how the public received it.

  56. I love the new simpler design but it is hard to find if you aren’t looking. It’s too bad that it was such a flop.

  57. Tara

    Arnell messed all the designs up. Tropicana,Pepsi,Gatorade, and Mountain Dew look like genric rip off of real Pepsi brands now. Somebody was doing somebody a favor by using the Arnell logos.

  58. wuchmee

    No matter how Arnell defends it, it was a crap redesign that tinkered with a beloved couple of the visuals. The typeface and the orange with straw are indelible. Makes you wonder whether anyone at Arnell Group conducted focus groups. Equally responsible are the marketing folks at Pepsi.

  59. Adam Flor

    I, for one, am quite glad that Tropicana got wise and dumped the new look. I can agree to some degree that the new packaging looks clean and refined(isolated on a white background), but it totally destroys any brand presence on the store shelf. The old straw and orange stood out and communicated that Tropicana was the freshest juice out there, whereas the redesign edges on a generic no-name brand that doesn’t instill any consumer trust. I think going about a middle ground between these two looks would have been a better approach, keeping what works well about the old branded look and updating it for the new century.

  60. E

    it’s not whether the redesign was good or bad. it’s all about branding. The old logo was established. it was what was familiar to consumers for a very long time. I buy Tropicana and when i saw the new packaging it made me question whether or not i had been buying tropicana all these years. i was so used to the old logo, that i never even paid attention anymore to the actual name of the brand, but just what my brain was used to recognizing when i saw the package. That’s what its about. I have worked in design and advertising for many years now, and i really don’t understand companies that think they need to jump on some rebranding bandwagon just because it seems to be a popular trend. It’s absurd. if your identity is strong and well-established then it will be timeless and it will become part of the subconscious of consumers.

    I think the redesign of the pepsi logo was absolutely unnecessary as well.

  61. I was shopping at Ralph and couldn’t find my orange juice when I realized that it was sitting in front of me in this new packing.
    My first impressions was like: oh crap this looks cheap, where is my good old expensive healthy orange juice that I feel it is made directly with fresh oranges.

    This new packaging was really impersonal and feels cold and industrial to me. The old one, not being perfect, had at least this healthy feeling to it.

    I really felt disappointed and start to be a little bit tired of this frenetic use of rounded sans-serif (like the new Pepsi bottle), overall for this particular product.

    However the first morning I was agreeably surprised by the feeling of the new cap that I had’t notice before. Now, 2 weeks after I am glad not to see this packaging anymore, which was irrelevant and poorly executed.

  62. Mark Fischer

    And just how many variations on additives for OJ do we need anyway?

    Going back to the original packaging was a wise choice. I think Pepsi should do the same.

  63. Whatever your feeling on the packaging, it’s interesting that they’re using both simultaneously now: the original for the regular juice and the new design for the low-calorie verison:

    http://brandculturetalk.com/2009/04/21/consistency-identity-brand-and-orange-juice/

  64. Brent

    A little orange-shaped cap? Gives the allusion of squeezing an orange?
    He was wearing a nice suite though.

  65. dave

    from a consumer perspective and one who buys Tropicana orange juice, when I first saw the redesign on the store shelf my first thought was wheres the Tropicana orange juice and whats this cheap imitation crap

  66. It’s like the O.J. trail all over again!
    Sorry could not help my self ;-)

  67. Just goes to show that CEOs should not be in charge of design issues. They simple have no taste (pun intended).

  68. Sorry, typo …. I meant – They simply have no taste (pun intended).

  69. Pepsi underrated the fact that Tropicana has consumers so attached to the old-‘Tropic’ packaging that they were unlikely to appreciate a younger looking futuristic design. We did an eye tracking study on the effectiveness of the ‘New’ pack in the UK where we have never had the straw graphic and the results predict a 13% loss of sales. Tropicana shoppers don’t see new packages at shelf and are drawn to Tesco’s own brand products that have some similarities to the UK Tropicana pack. The truth about the sales loss has little to do with that graphic, and everything to do with shoppers ‘ability to find the new packages at shelf. Consumers have to find the product at shelf before they can buy it. One eye tracking study and this could have been avoided!


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