Thursday, November 20, 2008
Throughout my life, I have pursued a lot of pizza. And consequently, I have spent a great deal of time studying the tops of pizza boxes, usually in the first trance-like minute or so of gorging. Recently I found myself contemplating the curiosities of a particular box top, when I realized that the vast majority of them seem to be designed according to a small set of unspoken principles.
Let me demonstrate. Here we have a simple, unadorned box.
The first step towards turning this into a pizza box seems to be the addition of a cook.
Preferably an Italian cook.
He should be showing us the pizza we're about to eat...
...and he should be touting some of the chief virtues of this pizza.
And finally, this tasty scene should be conveyed to us in thoroughly Italian colors...
These are, in my opinion, the essential ingredients of the Pizza Box.
Having observed these rules, I couldn't help but wonder what makes this such an effective selling tool — what does this classic scene communicate to the consumer? Apparently, pizza purchasers find appeal in the suggestion that their pizza was prepared by an authentic Italian chef. Also, they seem to appreciate advance warning of what a pizza looks like, I suppose so they're not too surprised when they open the box. And lastly, they seem to take great comfort in the reassurance that the pizza has recently been in an oven, and will have a pleasant taste.
This formula obviously has worked for years. And yet, I can't help but wonder how it could be improved upon. In this modern advertising era, we recognize that not all consumers are created equal, and what appeals to one, doesn't always appeal to another. You need to target specific demographic groups, and send a message specifically tailored to make them open their wallets.
For instance, this message here:
...particularly resonates for the consumer concerned with limiting their consumption of filth and urine. A group which would probably also appreciate this design:
It really offers increased flexibility in pizza topping. Consumers will be much more willing to try something exotic-looking when they're absolutely sure it's meant to be on the pizza.
An increasingly-large portion of consumers are no longer just concerned with the quality of the product they buy. They want to give their business to companies they trust. Companies defined by their industry and integrity:
Definitely a box that feeds not only your body, but also your conscience. And for the consumer whose absolute highest priority is finding an honest vendor, this box certainly delivers more than just pizza:
Their pizza might not be refreshing, but their frankness sure is.
Lastly, I've designed a box that sort of throws a bone to those unsung heroes of the pizza parlor, the delivery boy:
This should increase tips by 4, maybe 5 percent. But it will probably reduce lonely-housewife seduction ratios. If Fatal Attraction taught us anything, it's that stalker behavior tends to squeeze all the romance out of an extra-marital affair.
So there you go... just a few examples to get you thinking about the unexplored territory of pizza box design. There are, of course, numerous other groups I didn't even get to speak towards, but that will have to wait for another day. All this pizza drawing has me craving a slice of hot, fresh, delicious, non-urine/filth/pest-topped, legitimate pizza.