Online Exclusives

Holograms for the Holidays

By Steve Katz, Editor | December 23, 2013

Eye-catching images help brands catch consumer attention during the retail market’s most profitable time of year.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

The classic, seasonal Andy Williams tune echoes the sentiment felt by many in the days leading up to Christmas and New Years. For brand owners and retailers, the season is not only their “most wonderful,” but also their most profitable. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), for some retailers the holiday season can represent as much as 20-40% of annual sales. In 2012, holiday sales represented 19.3% of total retail industry sales, and the NRF is projecting 2013 annual sales to rise 3.9% to $602.1 billion.

Along with feelings of goodwill and a festive atmosphere, the holiday season represents opportunity. Retailers and brand owners put a greater emphasis on advertising and branding during this time, and put forth efforts to get creative on how to make an impact with consumers. Brands have to do more, as they are competing against each other for the holiday shopper’s attention. Whether it’s on the shelf or with a point-of-purchase display, given the temporary nature of the holiday season, brands need to consider innovative, eye-catching packaging for their products.

Holographic labels
A prominent strategy implemented by brands to capture attention includes the use of specialty films. Sam Covello, product manager, product branding for FLEXcon, the Spencer, MA-based film supplier for the label industry, says that beyond paperstocks and traditional white or clear vinyl polyester and polypropylene, printers have a variety of substrate options to choose from, including holographic films, metalized films, metal flake films, phosphorescent films, or flocked films with the tactile feel of suede. “Any of these films can be used in conjunction with product packaging or POP displays to draw consumer attention while matching brand standards and delivering a customized look-and-feel upon every application,” he says.

According to Covello, a variety of new topcoats have allowed today’s printers to make use of holographic films in order to create bright, multi-dimensional decals capable of driving a purchase. As an example, he points to “Ice Breaker Mints," which uses holographic film to achieve the look of cracked ice. “By implementing such strategies, brand owners are actively joining the economies of high-volume processing and the wide-range of aesthetic and performance options that holographic films offer. The result is artistic, and displays a comprehensive understanding of pressure sensitive films,” he says.

“In addition to the eye-catching holographic images, graphic designers can use translucent and opaque inks to create unique graphic images when printing on the variety of patterns like rainbow, kaleidoscope, mosaic and water drops, which often deliver brilliant first impressions with consumers,” Covello explains. “The ability to provide customer-specific holographic images can provide a unique solution for any packaging project.”

Overall, Covello stresses that holographic film meets today’s marketplace demand for captivating esthetics. He concludes, “They offer economy and durability with visual appeal. In today’s ‘age of the consumer,’ providing a visual experience is one of the only true sources of competitive differentiation. Implementing such strategies helps promote brand awareness, strengthens customer relationships and increases sales.”
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