3 x Culture-First Limited Editions

It might be tough for brands to hear, but even their most creative advertising campaigns might not be engaging enough for young consumers. According to YPulse’s advertising and marketing survey, 75% of 13-35-year-olds say advertisements usually bore them, and 70% say that brands rarely do something that surprises them.

In a world where the ability to cut through using traditional paid-for-media is an increasing struggle, we help brands rewire their approach and think about using the pack as the media itself.

Packaging is prime media real estate – and something you as brands have full control over. It’s your walking, talking POV on the world. Let’s consider something more than just shelf-science. Let’s consider if what we’re creating is actually interesting to our culture hungry consumers.

Whether you make a connection by celebrating an iconic moment in culture on pack, or collaborate with artists who use packaging as a canvas for storytelling, a culture-first approach is all about amplifying from the pack out, rather than comms in.

Is your packaging interesting enough for your consumers to take it home? And photograph it? Film it? Accessorise it? Share it? Repurpose it? Even resell it for a profit?

Here are three examples to get you inspired.

1. Chanel No. 5

For years and years, Chanel’s iconic No. 5 fragrance has remained an unchanged classic.

How does a brand like Chanel create desire and new news from an old product? Not through celebrity endorsement or big splash campaign, but through their pack.

The brand has given their signature packaging a mesmerising makeover with a limited-edition range of bottles. The simple, rectangular bottle gets to retain its shape but takes on a bold new colour for the upcoming festive season - red.

While the scent itself will stay the same, it will be available in three varying intensities: Parfum, Eau de Parfum, and L’Eau. The Parfum will be offered in a 900ml bottle made of red Baccarat crystal. Only 55 of these crystal bottles have been created.

Meanwhile, the L’Eau and Eau de Parfum versions will be presented in 100ml red glass bottles which will surely be much more affordable.

Look out for the Chanel No. 5 Red Editions hitting Instagram feeds from the 1st November. We’re sure this must-have bottle will be this year’s answer to Tom Ford's sell-out ‘Fucking Fabulous’ limited edition bottle.

2. Virgil Abloh x Moët & Chandon

Virgil Abloh's Midas touch will grace the world of wine this October. The artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and CEO of Off-White has teamed up with Moët & Chandon to launch Moët & Chandon c/o Virgil Abloh, a limited-edition exclusive collection of custom-designed bottles of Nectar Imperial Rosé - the top-selling rosé Champagne in the United States.

This is Abloh's first-ever alcohol brand collaboration, better known for his highly sought-after fashion and streetwear collaborations with Kith, Nike, Moncler – and more recently, IKEA.

In true drop-culture style, Abloh teased the collaboration with an Instagram post, revealing the custom bottle with a number of signature touches.

The phrase “Do Not Drop” appears on the bottle surrounded by Virgil’s trademark use of quotation marks, with the classic “c/o” branding also present. The accompanying white box features the words “For Display Only”.

The bottles will be available in a limited-edition 750ml size ($59.99) via LVMH’s online platform, Clos19. An ultra-limited-edition 3ltr Jeroboam size has also been created, but not for purchase. It will be gifted to friends and family of the designer (for hypebeasts, they will become the ultimate collectors' items).

We’re certain Moët & Chandon will have absolutely no problem selling out of this culture-first limited edition, with hypebeasts around the world already priming their dealers to secure a bottle. Now, that’s what we call the power of packaging.

3. Cîroc x Moschino

With the highly-anticipated H&M x Moschino collaboration due to hit stores in early November, Moschino creative director, Jeremy Scott, somehow managed to find time to squeeze in another collaboration – this time with French vodka brand Cîroc.

Launched at Milan Fashion Week, the limited edition Cîroc x Moschino bottle won’t disappoint fans of Scott’s wild creative – a homage to Moschino with their signature gold chains, dangling letters and iconic bold colourways.

What makes this limited-edition even more appealing to fashion-loving fans, is that they'll have the opportunity to personalise their bottles with graphic stickers and badges at the campaign’s events and dedicated pop-up spaces.

When discussing the collaboration, Jeremy Scott said, “I love the cheeky, playful nature of Cîroc. It connects perfectly with my approach to both life and fashion, so the partnership felt natural; there’s such synergy.”

Natalie Wills, global head of Cîroc vodka, said: “I’ve wanted to work with Jeremy Scott for a long time. He is the king of making low culture high culture; through his designs for Moschino he creates playful luxury fashion that makes people smile.”

“Just like Cîroc, the brand is luxury, but it never takes itself too seriously. The campaign takes this bold new stance on the luxury industry and puts customisation at its heart. The limited edition bottle exemplifies this; it’s an object of desire geared to the millennial consumer.”

When we talk about culture-first limited editions, we should be considering much more than just shelf science - let's consider the social science too. The bottle won’t be released until November, but with Scott’s army of creative and celebrity friends we’re already seeing the hype build around the bottle – from Instagram feeds to front-row at Fashion Week.

SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge? Get in touch - kattowers@lovecreative.com