Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Your Picture Here

With so many products available online and in stores, how do manufactured goods stand out in the crowd? What if you could put your face on that product? Today's companies are doing just that, not only allowing consumers to customize items for gifts, celebrations, and fun, but also bringing people together by showcasing shoppers' personal experiences.

Jones Soda, the Seattle company known for its annual limited edition Thanksgiving turkey and gravy soda, created myJones in 2002. With myJones, customers have the opportunity to create their own personalized drinks and bottles, complete with soda flavor, label photo, and under-the-cap message. Buyers can use any of their own photos and choose from eight drink flavors, including blue bubblegum, cream soda, and fufu berry. The soft drink company prides itself on a "your photo, your soda" philosophy, and encourages fans to post their own pictures in the Jones Gallery for a chance to appear on a future bottle, which could be sent to grocery stores around the country.

Other popular items among consumers looking to personalize are "My M&M's." Shoppers can individualize the chocolate candies from Mars, Incorporated, with words, faces, logos, and colors to promote a business, celebrate a graduation, or announce the arrival of a new addition to the family.

Finally, potato chip maker Lay's recently launched the "Happiness Exhibit" to document happiness across America. The bags add a personal touch by displaying a photo submitted by a Lay's supporter. To date, enthusiasts have uploaded nearly 19,000 photos with one goal in mind: to prove that happiness is simple. The campaign, however, is multi-faceted. The chip's new theme, "Happiness is Simple" pays tribute to the brand and its ability to bring people together for simple pleasures while highlighting the product’s basic ingredients of potatoes, oil, and salt.

Tell me, have you ever purchased a personalized food favor or gift? How did you or your guests react? Also, have you seen bags featuring Lay's Happiness Exhibit in stores? Leave a message and share your thoughts.

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