How do you feel about brands? Whether it’s food, clothes, electronics or detergents, they’re all around us whether we like it or not. Some of us willingly embrace a brand, while others feel that brands are simply a cunning marketing ploy to fool us into paying more than the fair price.
I have to admit that I find some aspects of branding really interesting. I like the design elements of the packaging and find it interesting how these are involved in the way we (at least some of us) develop an affection for certain brands. Of course a lot of this brand indoctrination starts at a very early age so that by the time we’re old enough to be buying our own tomato ketchup we don’t even stop to think about why we always pick Heinz.
An interesting aspect of transplanting yourself into a new country is that you come to the market cold. Many of the brands from home are unavailable and so you find yourself adopting new favourites.
So I thought I’d start an occasional series looking at some of the brands and products I have discovered here in Brazil. Mrs Eat Rio just looked over my shoulder and said “Don’t you think this will look like you’re advertising?”. Well I hope it doesn’t, because I’m not! I’m not endorsing the products (like anyone would care about my endorsements anyway!) – in fact some of the products I’m going to look at are actually kind of crappy. I’m just giving you a peek at the shelves of an average Brazilian supermarket in the hope that some of you may be interested.
Description: Let’s start with the obvious, this is butter that comes in a can! Crazy right? The Aviação brand was established back in 1920 and in those days hardly anyone had a fridge, so these cans were a practical way to store butter. Today they suggest that you store the can in a cool, dark place – you only need to refrigerate it once it has been opened (or you could just eat it quickly!).
Verdict: I have to admit, I’m quite a big fan of Aviação. I like the weird, Arabic-looking font and the cool picture of the plane. Originally the image was one of those old bi-planes, but during the 1940s they decided to modernise to one we see today. The butter is pretty tasty too – they also make a normal block wrapped in foil which is what I usually get.
In recent times they have diversified their range to include various cheeses and spreads, but they are still best known for their iconic butter. On their website they even push the environmental benefits of their steel containers which are easily recyclable and “degrade harmlessly within 5 years” if they somehow make it to a water source (are they trying to give us ideas with that information?).
Ok, so that’s it for today’s Brazilian brand. I hope it wasn’t too dull. If anyone happens to see a lifetime supply of butter being delivered to Eat Rio HQ, that is purely coincidental…
If you’re into brands and packaging (etc) and you happen to be in London, you should check out the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising – it’s very cool!