The Mela team recently attended a thought-provoking Print21 and PKN LIVE conference held at Monkey Baa in Darling Harbour. We heard from industry specialists about the new frontiers in packaging including current trends in media content consumption, how packaging print engages consumers and finally bridging a connection between print and digital by using augmented reality technologies.

Keeping It Real

Despite the steep growth in consumption of digital media, data has shown that we are consuming media in general more than ever before, contrary to the belief that traditional media is dead and is replaced by digital.

According to Australian Roy Morgan research data:

  • We are consuming more digital media during the day than at night/morning
  • Traditional media frequency has dropped but reach is higher than digital
  • Sales volumes for print media has dropped only slightly
  • Reading hard copy magazines is preferred
  • Retailer-owned magazines are the most read in the country e.g. Coles
  • Instagram is the only social media platform with a steady growth in users

Consumers are returning to retail for the real shopping experience that online purchasing just does not offer. Now more than ever, packaging plays an important role as a brand voice rather than be just a protective, informative cover for consumer goods.

Mark Dingley CEO of Matthews Australasia speaking at Print21 PKN Packaging News LIVE
Print21 and PKN Live Conference

Engaging Consumers

Packaging has become a billboard for brands to tell their story and engage consumers.

We are spoilt for choice down the aisles so brands need to up their game:

  • People want to experience something new and unexpected
  • Consistency is trumped by surprise
  • Faster speed to market of start-ups is disrupting the market
  • Big brands are being forced to think small and change often
  • The average product life for fast-moving consumer goods is 6 months
  • Real, natural plant-based ingredients is the new “organic”
  • Consumers crave an authentic sustainability message

Introducing Augmented Reality

Closing the shopping experience loop with user-generated content online is the way of the future. Today’s connected and informed consumers have become a “me” generation where everyone wants to feel special and unique. Gamification (using game-design elements in non-game contexts) is a way to improve engagement with the audience. This can be cleverly linked to packaging with the use of augmented reality as demonstrated by the DreemAR app (See video demo below). Scanning products with a smart phone for a personal digital experience takes static print media to new and exciting levels of engagement.

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