When looking to rebrand its VAT 69 Scotch whisky, Diageo PLC strived to come up with a design that revitalized the look of the packaging while remaining true to the spirit's storied past. The end result: a reworked bottle and label with contemporary and heritage elements blended as artfully as the liquor inside.
Previously, the brand had departed from its longstanding identity in the 1980s, supplanting its historical look in favor of a light-green, straight-sided, high-shouldered sherry-shaped bottle and reworked label. The only visual element hearkening back to the original identity was a stencil-treatment font for the name and slightly canted placement; the old label was glue-applied. This latest redesign-first launched in India in the third quarter of 2010-seeks to impart a look that more artfully honors the VAT 69 history.
The new bottle-available in sizes from 60 ml to 1 L-is dark green, with a low, prominent shoulder and slight taper to the foot. The narrow, straight neck is designed to make pouring easy, controlled and elegant while adding visual strength to the shoulder and body taper, and to strike a masculine, sophisticated look and feel.
The label-aiming to convey tradition while providing modern updates-uses Fasson Bright Silver Foil facestock from Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials. The material is a white, woodfree printing paper laminated to a top-coated aluminum film; it enabled Diageo to enhance the old-world feel with modern features (such as embossing), and to partner with a company that could globally source the material, in order to maintain a consistent, quality appearance worldwide.
"This new VAT 69 label and bottle are a great example of the entire package being greater than the sum of its parts," says Malay Dikshit, marketing manager, Diageo India Pvt. Ltd. "The new VAT 69 label and bottle offer, and reinforce, the visual impression of the brand promise, which is delivered by the product itself. Of course, no single element is a sole operative. All work in concert."
In VAT 69's early days, the bottle was sealed with a red ribbon and a lacquer seal bearing founder William Sanderson's family insignia; on the redesigned labeling, sitting just below the cap is a modern adaptation of the original ribbon and seal-a design amenable to modern manufacturing that still evokes the spirit's long-standing tradition.