Along with “FREE,” the words “NEW” and “IMPROVED,” separately or together, probably get the most attention from consumers. But it can be fraught with potential duplicity, as when a product claims, “New Packaging,” and neglects to mention that along with its new design, you are also getting a slightly smaller size at the same price point.
And though it is not strictly the use of the word “New” that is going on here, I am not certain what Procter & Gamble was trying to do with this claim for their Secret deodorant. Well, actually I think I do know.
Above is the old product, along with the new version on the left. The new package states, “Odor protection that outlasts your day. 48 Hours,” along with an icon of a clock. So it is implying, granted without actually stating it, that it is new, improved and lasts longer than their old product, which had no such claim on it.
Oh, but wait. Look at the images below. Each Secret, new and old, has exactly the same percentage and composition of its active ingredients.
I can “hear” the good folk at P&G saying to each other, “Well, we did further testing and found the product does indeed retain its efficacy for 48 hours, so why not let the consumer know? Let them infer what they want, we are stating facts, not implying improvement.” But if I am reading it correctly, even on their website they give customers a choice of extra protection, or basic, yet both have the identical active ingredients!
Now, in the scheme of things, consumers have a lot more problems to be concerned about. But for the six people who actually might notice the change, and the one or two who might actually blog about it, it somehow leaves an unpleasant taste.
What would I have done? Well, since this is one of many accounts P&G has not burdened my agency with, we’ll never know. More important, how would you have handled the new packaging?
Have a good idea?