Private Brands Win Big At Cannes

The Cannes Lions 59th International Festival of Creativity was held this past week, June 17-23 in Cannes, France. The prestigious festival included the nearly 60 year old, the Cannes Lions Awards with a wide variety of Private Brand focused categories and entrants. All of the were on show around the venue, so that delegates have an opportunity to see what’s being produced by other industry professionals around the world. At locations around the Festival, digital kiosks offered delegates the opportunity to review the work, with full credits, entered into Film, Film Craft, Press, Outdoor, Direct, Media, Cyber, Promo, Radio, Design, PR, Mobile, Titanium and Integrated Lions.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications. As the most prestigious international creative communications awards, more than 28,000 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winners receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, presented at four award ceremonies throughout the week.

Exhibitions around the Festival showcased the shortlisted work as it was decided on throughout the week, giving delegates the chance to examine and be inspired by the pieces that are catching the judges’ attention.

Private Brand Winners included:


Ikea Skarpsill
Ikea Food Services
Tinned Herring
Stockholm Design Lab Stockholm, Sweden

Brief Explanation
To be immediate and creative within very strict boundaries: – Swedish headings are used worldwide, putting high demands on the design to be self-explanatory and inspirational at the same time. – only IKEA’s house font Verdana can be used, in set style and sizes.

Describe the brief from the client
IKEA is a worldwide Swedish home furnishing company with 267 stores attracting 590m visitors. IKEAs private food label was introduced in 2006, focusing on Swedish recipes made with quality products at a low price. The products are sold at IKEA stores all over the world. The product range is aimed at attracting food lovers who are interested and curious about different food cultures, particularly Swedish ones. The packaging should provoke interest in the product as well as present it in a clear, honest and appetizing way. The product should express the key values: reliability, quality, Swedishness.

Description of how you arrived at the final design
Making use of the classic tin’s characteristic features in order to create a direct and humorous piece of packaging that is easily understood by consumers all over the world. The product was first launched in April 2011.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market:
The product has gained a lot of publicity with numerous articles on blogs worldwide, drawing attention to the IKEA food range as well as strengthening the IKEA brand.


Design Nori (Seaweed)
Umino Seaweed Store
I&S Bbdo Tokyo, Japan

Brief Explanation
We needed to make NORI appealing among young urban audience – but how? It is nothing more than a black square of seaweed, with its primitive design that has not changed since its creation in the early 15th century. People perceived it as a commonplace product and paid little attention on the difference among the brands. A visible difference is needed for our brand.

Describe the brief from the client
Our client is a traditional manufacturer of NORI (seaweed) in North East Japan, who has struggled with the long declining category trend, and with damage from the tsunami that swept away their factories. The client wanted us to design new packaging that can reinforce its appeal to the modern urban audience.

Description of how you arrived at the final design
We decided to apply design thinking to the product itself, instead of focusing exclusively on packaging, Laser cutters are used to carve designs into our NORI – classic patterns from Japanese history called ‘Monyo’ which signify growth, beauty, luck, and so on. Themes we thought that could uplift people in the disastrous year. By combining authentic tradition with modern technology, we created an entirely new type of NORI, never seen before – one that conveys our hopes for the future, as well as our respect for the past.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market:
With great amount of viral and WOM generated among design-conscious urban audience, Design NORI is currently scheduled to be exhibited at National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, and 2 other famous museums in Tokyo and Mie Prefecture starting from April 6. The design not only helped refresh the static category image, but also remarkably boosted our client’s profile nationwide


M Savers
M Savers
Coley Porter Bell London, United Kingdom

Brief Explanation
Shoppers were embarrassed when buying value products. We needed to communicate value for money beyond being ‘cheap’.

The existing value design was cold and faceless. We needed to bring the brand values of ‘quality and humanity’ to life.

The value range is just one of many ranges. We needed to increase share of own-label through value without cannibalizing the sales of others. • No structural or substrate changes could be made, to avoid costs. We needed to create huge change via graphics alone.

The range includes 650 products. We needed to ensure standout across every category.

Describe the brief from the client
Morrisons, 1 of the UK’s ‘big 4’ retailers, asked us to redesign their value range as part of our strategic overhaul of their entire own brand offer. The objective across the brand was to move away from the tired ‘good, better, best’ system to one that better answered consumer needs and better reflected their brand ambition of delivering quality and humanity; bringing the people behind the brand to the fore.

Description of how you arrived at the final design
This is value for the times we live in. Value ranges tend to be somewhat utilitarian, using template designs and a cold, corporate approach. Our identity moves away from this, to one, which reflects the true values of the Morrisons, brand: quality and humanity. The individual hand-drawn illustrations and typography for each product dramatizes the care and attention to detail given by Morrisons even in their value offering. The result is something charming and optimistic, something that makes you smile. Finally, a value range that puts the ‘cheerful’ in ‘cheap’.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market:
Sales have increased by 48% since the January launch. Sales of other ranges have not been affected.

The public response to the range has been overwhelming. As well as praise from the design community, more importantly we have received numerous emails and tweets from food bloggers and consumers telling us how much they love the new design. Perhaps, best of all they are now questioning the value ranges offered by other supermarkets, ‘why is no-one else doing this’

The designs have made people positively re-evaluate the Morrisons brand: from just another supermarket, to one that actively understands and cares about its consumers.


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.