**UPDATE** Tropicana has reversed streams and is back to the old package. NPR caught on to the story. At least they're gonna use the little boob caps.
I promised myself I would never post on the topic of marketing/advertising/media. It’s a pretty crowded space and frankly I get enough of it during the day. But my connection to this particular piece of communication is bigger than that. This isn’t a relationship built on a brand seducing me with enticing images. This long-standing relationship has been built on pure, unadulterated taste.
For the better part of my life, I’ve been a daily drinker of Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice – I became partial to the “Some Pulp” variety shortly after it was introduced. There was a dark period in the late 70s when my mother and I opted for Minute Maid. It was purely experimental. Not only does Tropicana taste far superior to Minute Maid, Tropicana always had a much more appealing package (I can’t find any record of the old black Minute Maid cartons online, but to a near-sighted 8-year-old at seven in the morning, that thing was an ominous sight on the top shelf of your fridge).
Like every giant brand, Tropicana worries that if they don’t update their image every so often, they're gonna go the way of aging Gen-Xers who die off from excessive tattoo-ing, losing all market share to some synthetic liquid that screams energy and genetic enhancements. This is a hip, bold new world we live in. No time for oranges pierced with candy-striped straws. Tropicana needed something that said… “oh, well.”
I get the whole minimalist thing. At first, I actually kind of liked it. But upon further inspection, this thing stands off the shelf like a package of Fleets Enemas.
But here’s the best part. I’ve been getting the new cartons for the last couple weeks, with the same old, flat orange twisty cap as before. But this week’s carton featured a bulbous, boob-like* twisty cap, meant to represent a real orange. Somebody in marketing screwed up and didn’t have his little plastic boobs ready in time for the big redesign launch. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that meeting...
“Johnson! Where are my 12 million little orange boobies?”
“Um, they were supposed to be shipped two months ago sir. I don-“
“How the hell can we launch a major new redesign that would lull a screaming child to sleep, without our little plastic boobie caps!?”
“Um, I don-“
“You’re fired Johnson!”
Despite all that, I’ll keep suckling at the newly introduced Tropicana teet. Everyday.
*The wife thought the new cap resembled more of the tip of a penis. Gender thing?