Big Picture - March 2018 - 28
R E FR I G E R AT O R
Avery Dennison's DirectLink interactive packaging
solutions use NFC sensors embedded in "smart labels," and
product tags. The technology can also be used with posters
and promotional materials.
Encouraging Brands and Designers
to Get Started
Campari America is
using Thinfilm's NFC
solution to enable
purchase its spirits
brand by tapping
their smartphone to
The magnets feature
tags and integrate
with its CNECT
platform. When the
magnet is tapped, the
consumers to the
Campari brand page
on the Drizly beer,
wine, and spirits
platform where they
can place an order.
(Photo: Thin Film
Linkz app can read QR codes, standard barcodes, Digimarc
digital watermarks (see Insight on page 2), physical triggers
such as NFC and RFID, and image-recognition technologies.
Print-service providers and marketing agencies can set up
customized Linkz portals for each customer and help them
execute their campaigns. Analytics, content creation and
management, and testing are included with the portals.
In the US, Linkz platforms can be set up through Rods
and Cones, a San Francisco-based color-management
company that has spent the last 20 years helping hundreds
of publishers, agencies, and print-service providers cope with
continuing changes in digital workflows.
Zappar specializes in AR-enabled products and infotainment experiences. They help companies create augmented
reality content that can turn almost any item into an interactive media channel. AR experiences are activated by Zapcodes that can be incorporated in the designs of packaging
and other printed products. A Zapcode lets users know that an
augmented reality experience is available and tells the app
which piece of AR content to download to augment the image.
To help make AR technology more accessible to everyone,
Zappar developed a ZapWorks content-authoring tool that
enables creative agencies to design their own augmented
Evrythng is a cloud-based Internet of Things datamanagement platform. Its founder believes that every
physical thing will eventually come to life through its own
unique, real-time digital identity. Evrythng enables companies
to develop new web services and experiences from the data
that flows from digitally connected objects. Brands use the
Evrythng platform to collect, manage, and apply real-time
data from smart products and smart packaging.
Last fall, Evrythng and Zappar announced a partnership
to bring augmented reality to smart products at scale.
Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm) uses scalable
printed electronics technology to make NFC mobile marketing
and smart packaging solutions. Their SpeedTap technology
gives each tag a unique digital ID for targeting marketing
campaigns and advanced analytics. The tags can be easily
integrated into product labels or bottle caps.
WestRock (westrock.com) is a global company that produces
billions of packages, in-store designs, and displays annually.
Last year, they launched an integrated connected packaging
solution that combines Digimarc's barcode technology with
Evrythng's Smart Products Platform.
But some brands remain skeptical that connected
packaging will generate a high level of consumer activations.
Some package designers question whether shoppers would
prefer using their smartphones to connect to online reviews
and price-comparison sites instead of brand-controlled
content. And some consumers may be leery of how much
information is being captured from their phones.
Because success will depend on the types of creative
strategies and content that are developed by brands and their
design teams, companies are striving to educate designers.
At the 2017 Adobe Max conference for creative professionals,
Zappar showcased their AR content-authoring tool, ZapWorks.
"With us, there is a big focus on the quality of the content
that is served to end users," says Jeff Ridgeway, SVP of
business development for Zappar, North America. "If there
isn't a payoff for the consumer, they won't be coming back."
HP and AIGA, the professional association for design, are
partnering to advance digital print technology and digital user
"AIGA designers represent a powerful group of visual
communicators, who serve every industry with design
excellence," says Julie Anixter, executive director, AIGA. "They
are committed to designing experiences that drive business
impact. They know that it's a digital and print world, and that
the best experiences marry both mediums seamlessly."
Anixter notes that "some brands have been using
connected packaging technologies fluently and with great
impact for years." The successful early adopters have been
design and marketing companies that value craft and
At the Dieline Conference at the 2018 How Design Live
conference in Boston in May, attendees will learn about the
future of packaging design and branding. According to
conference organizers, "Packaging is no longer just about
setting yourself apart on the shelf. It's now a medium for
brands to boldly stand out in our social media feeds and
create unique brand experiences."
One of the most successful applications of connected
packaging is the talking labels on bottles of 19 Crimes wine
produced by Treasury Wine Estates in Victoria, Australia.
19 Crimes wine celebrates the rebellious spirit of men and
women exiled from 18th- and 19th-century Britain to
Australia after being convicted of 1 of 19 crimes. As pioneers
of a frontier penal colony, they forged new lives and a new