Bold Persil Fairy Lenor Jungle Rescue outshone…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s old wrinkled black and white snapshot is the one of me shaking hands with Her Majesty the Queen in 1962 – a second after that she kicked me in the shin for saying something untoward and disloyal.

So, I was doing a spot of shopping in the big supermarket in town when my eye was caught. Yes, caught by a piece of advertising; that is to be expected in a supermarket I suppose, having one’s eye caught is what supermarkets are all about. I was down one of the long aisles poking amongst the old people’s vitamins in the display of pills when I happened to look up towards the opposite end of the aisle; that’s when my eye was caught.
There was a set of shelves with washing powders and such tawdry everyday things displayed; about five or six different products. But one product really jumped out, even from that distance – white and red, and the words, or rather the word, was very easy to read – it said ‘DAZ’…

I walked up to investigate…
Isn’t it funny how these retro-style packages jump out at you? The other products seem to be further away and more obscure than the simple and contrasty DAZ boxes. Even the three letter word with its cuddly round ‘D’, its foursquare sturdy ‘A’, and its unexpected spiky ‘Z’ works to attract attention, and of course it is a sneaky contraction of the word ‘dazzle’.
And what about that jumping red and white motif composed of concentric circles? (It looks a bit like one of my lino prints! click. That’s probably why it caught my eye!)
It would seem that the company are celebrating 65 years of this fine product and they appear to have gone back to an original package design to mark the event. (Does the work of Andy Warhol spring to mind here?)
See how simple this design is, compared with all the other products around it – they all look fiddly and over-complicated. From the far end of the aisle they had no impact at all – the DAZ even outshines the clever busy cute jungle scene on the right; I don’t even know what it is supposed to be advertising – please don’t tell me dear reader, I really don’t need to know…
Perhaps I should have gone into advertising years ago, rather than trying to be an artist and a bohemian? I could have been horribly rich by now – but hell, who would want that!…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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8 Responses to Bold Persil Fairy Lenor Jungle Rescue outshone…

  1. ktz2 says:

    That’s the first rule of advertising, isn’t it, to capture peoples’ attention ? One can’t help but notice bright colors like red, yellow or turquoise, especially when ‘constrast-y’ like the soap box.
    But – they are counting on the mindless response of ‘oh, I need to buy that now’. . but that’s not you, or me–it’s a wasted effort.
    It’s sort of like those flashy ads or rude pop-ups on the computer, aimed at people to think’ “I didn’t know I wanted that until they told me, now I must buy it’.

  2. Dana Doran says:

    Actually, the first thing I thought when looking at the bulls-eye WAS Andy….Brillo to be exact. Why did I think that? There’s no bulls-eye on a Brillo box….but my brain drew the connection anyway. Perhaps I spend too much time with cleaning products….or the fumes from oil painting…..or the people who design product logos and boxes have rebelled – packaging should look like fine art (which would remove the need to have something viable in the package!) But what’s up with everything being the same price? We do have stores like that in the US – the dollar store. You’d be surprised to find that there are so many things that aren’t actually worth a dollar!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      I reckon those concentric circles are like an eye – evolution has programmed us humans to be on the look out for eyes – (predators etc.) Here in the UK we had couple of products which exploited this – using two letter ‘O’s as a pair of eyes in their name – ‘OXO’ stock cubes, and ‘OMO’ washing powder.
      Oh yes, we have ‘Pound Shops’ here where, of course, everything is £1.

  3. The DAZ box was the first thing I noticed, purely because it was so different to the others in its simplicity. Also, having worked a bit in retail, I know that product placement is vital. They put things they want you to buy at eye level, and the more rubbishy things, down at the bottom. So they don’t really want you to buy the DAZ, but the little boxes of Bold. Reason being is that it might only still be £4, but you get less for your money. So you have to buy more……Sorry I’m digressing from your point. Soap Powder boxes are indeed works of art in themselves. 😀

    • Dave Whatt says:

      What surprised me was how well the old design worked in catching the eye, but then, perhaps people won’t buy the DAZ because the design is ‘too’ simple – the perhaps they would feel they are not getting the ‘value for money’ and the ‘status’ that a cool complicated modern box provides?…

      • That’s quite true as well. The plain design of “own brand” or “yellow label” products would testify to that. So…..plain & simple = cheap and yukky, whereas detailed bright design = luxury and posh. Fascinating how psychology works isn’t it? Oh how the advertisers must laugh at us silly consumers!

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