Packaging is often used to communicate product attributes. ‘Fresh’ is written on packages, or ‘low calorie’ or ‘great taste’ – and consumers have to rely on the printed words to assess the claim. This approach clashes with the axiom of creative storytelling that says ‘show, don’t tell’. A team at the creative agency `Jack the Maker’ in Portugal has taken the storytelling advice literally.They partnered with Y&R Warsaw to develop frozen fish packaging that rattles to mimic the movement of recently caught fish. The packaging was developed for the Polish grocery brand Mila.


The scenes playing out in the supermarkets where the packaging was tested looked quite theatrical. As soon as shoppers approached the boxes with frozen fish, the boxes started to move as if the fish inside was still alive. The effect was achieved by incorporating a proximity sensor and connecting it via WiFi so that it could be activated when consumers reached for the boxes.


As a film from the supermarket shows, people were intrigued, amused or skeptical when they saw the movement of the white boxes that feature beautiful photos of mackerel, dorada and tilapia on the outside. And because the concept was immediately clear, there was no need to write ‘fresh’ on the packaging.


Online audiences could also engage with the campaign by controlling the boxes from the Mila website and watching grocers’ responses via real-time video, which made it feel like a prank. While the campaign is definitely humorous, it may shock some customers who choose frozen fish exactly because it is indisputably dead.


Still, interactive packaging gets customers engaged and talking about a brand. One of ‘Jack the Maker’s’ other packaging projects is a Nestlé yogurt bottle for the Portuguese market that takes photos. The creative team also developed a packaging solution for a kids’ fruit product that becomes animated when viewed through a smartphone or tablet.