innocent danced onto the food and drink scene in 1999 and did more than just bring us a host of tasty fruit concoctions.
Prior to the launch of innocent, food packaging had been a fairly staid affair. You’d get the brief description, boasting “British beef” and “red wine gravy”, if they were being really inventive (I’m imagining a cottage pie, here, not a smoothie). There’d be a glossy photo on the box and then all the boring ingredients and bits and bobs on the back. And that would be it. How to market food the dull, predictable way.
Enter stage left, innocent.
I love innocent because they really know how to use copywriting to enhance their brand and connect with their customers.
Take exhibit A:
It doesn’t seem that revolutionary today, when even lipstick packaging uses the same friendly, informal tone, but it made copywriters like me go giddy, at the time. innocent is a company that understands the power of language to take a great product and make it desirable and aspirational. Let’s not forget, innocent is more expensive than its competitors, but the way it lists its ingredients makes us laugh, so the cheeky imps get away with it. We want to be in the innocent gang, where life is fun and healthy and pure without being puritan and that’s what we’re buying into.
The innocent logo is perfect, but it would have been so easy for the business to just stick to bog standard copy that we see every day. Instead, we’re treated to packaging we actually relish reading, giving us that unmistakeable innocent feel good factor, until we drain the last bit of juice and chuck the bottle in the recycling bin. Now that’s what us industry types like to call a customer experience.
Yup, it’s the copy that brings the innocent brand to life, helping to create the healthy, carey, sharey lovely Guardian reader, fervent recycler and lover of the planet product we know and love and are prepared to splash that little bit extra on.
Of course, now everyone’s using textured paper packaging (Dorset cereals, I’m looking at you) and singing about their natural, field-friendly credentials, but innocent is still the copy king, in my eyes.
See, I told you great copy works. Plus, anyone who uses pictures of startled otters on their packaging, is okay by me.