In response to Lin Dickens’ letter (DW 11 November) where she suggests a new verb – ‘Jaffa’d’ – for the ‘design dictionary’. I’ve been biting my tongue hard over this debate, but that’s quite hard to say with a bleeding tongue.
At the risk of antagonising what appears to be the entire design industry, I’d like to point out a couple of facts supporting United Biscuits’ decision to ‘axe’ Williams Murray Hamm’s Jaffa Cakes design:
1. What WMH produced was a great piece of packaging.
2. What WMH produced was an awful piece of branding.
What almost everyone fails to understand is that McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes is a brand that has to live beyond what was, in essence, an ad campaign on a pack.
According to UB, that’s all it was ever supposed to be, a year-long ‘promotional’ campaign. While it was extremely successful, the difference between advertising and branding is that campaigns come and go, whereas branding has to go on forever.
If you build a brand identity on a creative ‘idea’, then what happens when consumers tire of that idea or it becomes irrelevant? The answer: you have to re-invent your identity and spend a fortune re-educating the consumer.
The indignant outrage expressed by the design business demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the difference between branding and packaging design and the distinct functions that each has to perform.
UB did exactly the right thing… and, after all, it is its brand.