A distinctive global campaign for DSM

Proving that ‘distinctive’
trumps ‘different’ every time

When wethepeople were tasked by DSM to create a new campaign idea for recyclable paper coatings (think spray tans for paper and cardboard), we put a lot of energy into creating a campaign that would really stand out from the competition and the traditional communication norms usually seen in the print and packaging industry.

First, we shifted our thinking away from the product and the end customers’ needs and met them somewhere in the middle. Here’s why.

Paper and card with non-recyclable coatings often can’t be recycled, despite the coating only accounting for around 5% of the overall packaging. But coatings play a vital role in protecting food products like tasty burgers and sandwiches (yum) and even boring old salads (hmmmm).

Packaging reincarnated!

Our campaign focused on how our client’s recyclable coatings could make all the packaging recyclable and would give it a second life. So we had lots of different packaging types describe how they would like to be reincarnated as slightly tongue-in-cheek versions of themselves.

A bucket for fried chicken wanted to come back as an egg carton. A pizza box wanted to come back as postcards from Italy. An ice cream carton wanted to come back as a diet planner and a burger box wanted to come back as a vegetarian cookbook.

There were many more in our minds, but you get the idea.

So how did we take the work from different to distinctive?

Three ways really:

  1. Our thinking and decision to shift from the usual product or customer focus
  2. The idea itself, which came out of this creative focus
  3. The way we executed each route, such as the imagery, the bold language and the unconventional typefaces

Latest figures show that the campaign delivered 200%+ more leads than we originally (and optimistically) forecast.

If we’d just been different with this campaign, we would probably have hit our targets. Shifting our thinking to make the work truly distinctive has clearly made a tangible difference.

We know that being distinctive in this way appeals to the side of the brain that loves new things and welcomes the different. So it can really help ideas and messages to stick in people’s minds. On top of that, it drives action and compels people to share what they’ve learnt. These are all things that ‘different’ alone often can’t achieve.

How could shifting to more distinctive communications help your brands?