Dieline’s Friday Wrap-Up: Sleepytime Cereal, Reusable Aluminum Cans, and BrewDog Fails
by Bill McCool on 01/13/2023 | 4 Minute Read
M&M’s remains one of the most popular candy brands in the world, but ever since the redesign fiasco of last year that saw less-sexualized versions of the characters rolled out in TV ads, the Mars Wrigley staple has been the punching bag of conservative media for going “woke” and has kept them the talk for millions of consumers—which is probably not the worst of brand strategies considering we live in a never-ending media outrage cycle
So, when M&M’s released the “flipping the status quo” bags featuring all of the female characters this past week, with proceeds going to two charities that support women in music, it got the usual rant from Fox talking heads that are horny for the candy-coated confection. There were also a few quips about how some of the candies are now lesbians, and Purple is plus-sized.
Thankfully, the culture wars quickly moved on to a new, unexpected target—gas stoves. I really didn't want to spend another year listening to people moaning about anthropomorphic candies.
Anywho, here are some links!
Hold My Resealable Beer
One of the only perks of a single-use plastic bottle is that you can reseal it and save it for later. Of course, there’s the downside of it taking 450 years to degrade, and that’s if it even decomposes at all.
Kudos to Rick Lingle of Packaging Digest for introducing me to Augusta Label + Packaging resealable aluminum cans. Developed over three years, the cans are leak-proof, keep beverages fresh, and promote multi-use for consumers, perfect for the folks that don’t really need a full dose of a canned THC beverage. The only downside is that the resealable mechanism is a black plastic insert. But in terms of plastic reduction, this one’s pretty tough to beat and could be a genuine plastic bottle killer.
OK, Now Hold My Wine Bottle
Speaking of aluminum cans, I just learned that three 250ml aluminum cans are similar to the size of your standard bottle of wine, and if you bought those instead of your usual bottle, you would cut down carbon emissions by 79%
So shout out to Francesca Carington for her piece in The Guardian about why more wine brands should switch to aluminum. It might even be a no-brainer, as the kids ™ prefer it.
This past week, I got to write about PlasticFree, the newly launched online tool that provides designers with—you guessed it—plastic-free alternatives. In addition to numerous case studies documenting sustainable use cases, you’ll also find a materials library worth salivating over.
One Size Fits None
We don’t have nearly enough space in this weekly column to document the numerous problems with the American education system and its forcing of all students through the same curriculum that prioritizes test scores over everything else.
Here’s a piece from animal behaviorist Temple Grandin in The New York Times on how schools are failing neurodivergent and visual thinkers and why students need more hands-on classes like art, cooking, and auto mechanics.
Sleepytime Cereal Bears, Unite
Saw a few folks dunking on the new bedtime cereal brand Sweet Dreams that would make the Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime Bear ashamed.
Granted, this seems like a night-time treat destined for historical preservation over at Discontinued Foods, but who among us hasn’t crushed a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch at midnight (and maybe sprinkled an Ambien over it in the process)? Laugh all you want, but bedtime cereal sounds enticing AF once I’ve had my “back medicine.”
Also, this design is peak Windham Hill / Yanni vibes. One designer I know likened it to the general Celestial Seasonings aesthetic, with an illustration of a sleeping woman dreaming of an IRL bowl of cereal with a crescent milk moon. I’m very, very down.
Smash Your Head On The Punk Rock
I’m grateful for our own Rudy Sanchez following the saga of Scottish brewery BrewDog (and if you haven’t, watch the BBC doc on the brewery’s toxic workplace and marketing misfires).
This past week, CEO James Watt announced that he paid out two and a half years’ worth of salary to “winners” from BrewDog’s Willy Wonka-inspired golden can stunt in a lengthy LinkedIn founder-porn post garnering the usual thirsty comments from sycophants and business leader alike.
Oh, and spoiler alert—the cans weren't made of gold.
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