Canadian Packaging

Pepsi-Cola scores big with catchy flexo-printed cans


November 19, 2010
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Football, aka soccer in North America, has always been a team game, and it was a superb team effort earlier this year that enabled the famed Pepsi-Cola soft-drink brand score big-time during the FIFA 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa—capturing its highest-ever share of cola sales during the month-long tournament.

As part of the beverage giant’s promotional campaign, aluminum canmaker Ball Packaging Europe utilized the cutting-edge flexo printing technology developed by EskoArtwork of Gent, Belgium, to print pin-sharp images of some of the world’s most renowned soccer stars—including England’s Frank Lampard, Frenchman Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast—right onto the label surfaces with outstanding, ultra-fine detail that resulted in spectacular shelf impact.

According to Gary Brown, graphic manager for the U.K. business of Ball Packaging Europe, the innovative letterpress process—utilizing hi-res optics on the CDI Spark computer-to-plate device—enabled the images to be applied directly to the flexible printing plates at full production speeds.

“The differentiation we achieved on the flesh tones and the fine text detail for the nutritional information was very impressive,” Brown states. “Producing work of this caliber requires input from all areas of the business, but the result was clearly worth the effort.
“It means we can offer our customers exceptional quality and at the same time a competitive value-added solution to the market.”

Jon Ellis, activity marketing manager for PepsiCo’s U.K. bottler Britvic plc, says the company sold 1.4 million specially-labeled Pepsi-Cola cans—helping the brand achieve it’s highest-ever share of cola sales during the World Cup period.

“The key to the success of a promotion like this is being able to produce a stand-out design that engages consumers and ensures Pepsi’s brand identity remains clearly visible, and high-quality, sharply defined print is an essential element in that process,” Ellis remarks. “We have been working with EskoArtwork and Ball Packaging Europe to make the most of the innovative solutions available and maximise our product design potential.”

Brown adds that Ball Packaging Europe will continue to employ EskoArtwork technologies for similar high-end, short-run work in the future.

“Their hi-res CDI device lets us offer brand-owners premium print that stands out on the shelf and grabs consumers’ attention,” Brown says. “We are very impressed by how EskoArtwork technology enhances promotional campaigns by delivering incredibly sharp graphics that fully support a brand’s image and ensure effective product differentiation.”