Tango goes back to black with Brandhouse rebrand

Brandhouse revisits Tango more than 20 years after it designed the iconic black can – and this time it’s looking to “grow up” the brand.

Tango_Range (2)

Brandhouse has redesigned the Tango can as it looks to “grow up” the brand and re-engage with young adults.

The new packaging uses a black can design while the new visual language is “a witty anatomical explanation of where the tang comes from” according to Brandhouse founder Mark Wickens. who worked on the first major Tango rebrand in 1992.

The 1992 rebrand saw Britvic’s Tango positioned as “a peculiarly British brand” according to Wickens who says it sought out a core target market of 13-14 year old boys. This rebrand was notable for its use of the black can.

“Research had shown us that those boys like to get stuff other people didn’t, like Vic and Bob. We put it in a black can against advice and sales went up by 50 per cent,” he says.

It was part of a strategy “to stand up against the big boys – like Coke, who own Fanta,” adds Wickens, who with Brandhouse, set out a positioning which was built upon by ad agency HHCL which created the Tango Man and the “You Know When You’ve Been Tango’d” campaign.

Can; Tango; Branhouse

Today, Wickens says the context has changed as carbonated drinks manufacturers concentrate their messaging on sugar content.

“Tango can’t really be an anarchic naughty schoolboy anymore. That message isn’t so relevant, so we needed to grow it up a bit,” says Wickens.

The new visual language is based on “flavour sensation” and is communicated through the “Anatomy of Tang” dissection diagrams on the cans, which show the source of Tango’s flavour.

“It always wins on blind taste tests – partly because it has whole fruit in it,” says Wickens, who wanted to play up the drink’s tangy properties and also make a tongue-in-cheek comment on the provenance of ingredients which are often shown on food packaging.

“The crude can printing process” means that Brandhouse had to communicate its idea within the manufacturing constraints, which means using only six to eight colours and a low resolution Wickens says.

Brandhouse will carry on working with Britvic on “other expressions of the Tango brand” says Wickens.

1992 tango
1992 Tango design by Brandhouse


Hide Comments (4)Show Comments (4)
  • Harrison Reed March 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    That old can was a design classic – it had an instant visual idea – real fizzy orange. Bang! You get it in one second. This new design just feels a bit flat and executional and I have to read the notes to get the ‘idea’… Sorry, but its like remaking Star Wars and ending up with The Phantom Menace and Jar-Jar Binks.

  • Alex Piercy March 4, 2015 at 10:06 am

    It feels ten years out of date already.

  • Gaston Ramirez March 4, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I applaud the brave and bold cleanliness of these packs, Its a shame the brave lack of embellishment has meant that other than a photoshop posterised filtered fruit, Brandhouse felt the need to shoehorn what can loosely be called an ‘idea’ into it with the, so called “witty anatomical explanations” Very Droll (Or should i say ‘Berry Droll”) to fill the dead space.

    Perhaps more work on a better and more memorable logotype/brandmark would have been time more wisely spent. Somebody bring back the banned Tango man to slap this design back into shape.

    Like most things from our youth that have been forced to ‘grow-up’; The original 1992 design is a classic, everything since has fallen short as a bad imitation of its former self. It’s just not the same as when I were a lad.

  • Ian Turner March 4, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Shame about the reflections in the visuals, otherwise nice design.

  • Post a comment

Latest articles