October 24, 2012
POM Wonderful Bottle
POM Wonderful, 2002
POM Wonderful, the name based on the "Wonderful" variety of pomegranate fruit, has single-handedly created the market for pomegranate juice in the United States. And the POM Wonderful juice bottle has played a significant role in establishing the brand as the premium provider in that market. Launched primarily with celebrity product placements, the brand has maintained its growth momentum with a simple advertising campaign reminiscent of the Absolut Vodka series, which prominently feature the bottle in a variety of playful contexts that highlight its beneficial qualities. The bottle at the time of its launch was unique in size and shape, and this differentiation was rewarded with sales. Fiona Posell, director of corporate communications for POM Wonderful, comments: "The bottle design was conceived and designed internally. The bottle represents our business — pomegranates — and the shape of the container was a crucial element to the design. It continues to leverage our brand differentiation goals."
The form is abstract and iconic, comprised of two stacked pomegranates. Highly differentiated relative to other juice bottles. The roundness of the form conveys a friendly affect, and the proportions are both snowman-like and feminine in nature — the waist-to-hip ratio of the bottle approximates 0.7, the aesthetically ideal proportion for a reproductively healthy female, and the chest-to-hip proportions are perfectly symmetrical, also a signature of health (e.g., assuming a waist of 24," the scaled measurements would be 34"-24"-34"). Originally available in glass, the company has since converted to plastic, a move to make the bottle lighter and more portable. The bottle affords secure gripping at both the neck and waist.
The head of the bottle is shaped to appear like the distinctive crown of a pomegranate, but in this purely abstracted form it looks like a monarchical crown, reinforcing the premium nature of the product. The bottle cap colors vary across the different flavors.
Type is screenprinted directly onto the transparent bottle, avoiding the concealment of paper labels and reinforcing the purity of the product — the bottle is transparent in the sense that it is see-through and that it has nothing to hide, conveying a sense of brand integrity. The red and white type contrasts strongly against the dark purple juice, and the branding is rich with meaning. The first term in the name, POM, is an abbreviation of the unwieldy pomegranate, a simplification that is also semihomonymous with the word palm — enabling the initial term to suggest both juice type and that the object is something to be held. The second term is a double entendre, describing the variety of fruit and conveying that the juice is something to be celebrated and savored. The primary typeface appears custom, echoes of Vag Rounded, with a heart substituting for the O. It, too, is friendly and playful. The heart, the most prominent element, emphasizes the core health claim — that is, pomegranate juice has heart-healthy benefits — and conveys a "love" affect. The last line of the messaging explicitly states the purity of the product at 100 percent, a key differentiator, distinguishing it from competitors who use less expensive filler juices. Although the labeling is minimalist, a tremendous amount of information is conveyed — every element in the label and bottle design conveys multiple synergistic propositions about the product, explicit and implicit, descriptive and affective, conscious and subconscious.
The POM Wonderful bottle has achieved the Goldilocks objective — it's just right. All the elements are in harmony with each other and add up to a unified, whimsical product presentation. The product name is fun, the logo is a playful representation of the product name, and the bottle is a playful container that houses the product and displays the logo (without an interruptive paper label). Using a heart in the POM logo could easily feel overly sweet, but in this context it seems sincere — it's easy to feel an emotional attachment to the chubby, anthropomorphic POM bottle.
Like the Venus of Willendorf, filled with blood and life. Appropriately so, the pomegranate gives a great vitality and represents life in so many ways … filled with seed, the heart-shaped fruit even bleeds.
The lovely ruby color of the POM Wondeful bottle, the curvy shape, and the cute heart in the name make for a very sensual combination — you can't not like this bottle! On the practical side, the cinched-in center makes it easy to hold with a simple pinch grip. Even the product subtitle proclaims it — "Wonderful!" This bottle is full of healthy ingredients and positive vibes!
Biomimicry. Although you never see two pomegranates right on top of each other in the store. Culturally, when a woman presents a man with a pomegranate … it is regarded as a love symbol. Antioxidants never had it so good! It is easy to tell when I take my half and leave the other half for my wife. Subliminally sexy. Put a bottle on your partner's nightstand and see if it has the same effect!
Source: DECONSTRUCTING PRODUCT DESIGN