Can you imagine a world with no brands, logos or differentiation? For the Australian cigarette industry, this could soon become a reality.
Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd is set to invoke the fury of tobacco companies with a world-first ‘plain packaging’ anti-smoking scheme.
With up to 20,000 people dying from smoking-related illnesses each year in Australia, the premier has banned all logos, colours and promotional text from cigarette packets from 2012.
However the government’s health warnings and graphic pictures depicting the dangers of smoking will remain on packets.
Under the new laws, “brand names and product names will have to be displayed in a standard colour, font style and position”.
I personally haven’t seen anything like this, in any industry so it will be interesting to see how it plays out, not just in terms of sales but also in the world of politics. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation claims “research has shown that industry branding and packaging design reduces the effectiveness of graphic health warnings about smoking”.
Can you imagine a world free from branding, advertising, logos or promotional text? Imagine that every blog you read, every website you visited, every item you bought, all being the same. It’s quite a thought… and many of us would be without a job.
On a similar note, Freshjive, a hip-hop streetwear clothing line recently decided to drop their logo all together which comes back to this “no brand / logo” approach… where can one draw the line of ‘what a logo is’ or ‘what a logo is not’? After enough exposure, even a simple text treatment (or a black rectangle) can become an identifiable mark and after all, isn’t that what a logo is for?