Launched in 1987 in France, Activia is a brand of yogurt with a significant serving of probiotic bacteria, which, apart from sounding horrible, are live cultures that contribute to the health of your gastrointestinal tract and immune system. Owned by Groupe Danone (“The Dannon Company” in the U.S.) Activia is available in more than 70 countries and is one of the leading probiotic products on the market. Last year, Activia introduced a new logo and packaging designed by Futurebrand.
We revisited the entire ACTIVIA ecosystem including a refreshed brand mark, a revised tone of their proprietary green color and new packaging structure and photographic style. The design visually recounts a story at the heart of the new ACTIVIA positioning: the synthesis of science and nature, mind and core, health and pleasure. One of the key elements we created is the new brand icon: a symbol of synergy and balance, key drivers of the new brand storyline. The icon serves as the keystone to the packaging design, creating the new structure for the entire range. All visual elements unite at the epicenter in the form of an upward radiant beam of light emanating from within, a beacon of assurance reflecting the brand’s expertise and promise.
The best thing I can say about the old logo is that it was yogurt-y. The way the letters were rounded off along with the stubby serifs and the slight gradient, it had a puffiness to it that looked like yogurt. But the actual lettering was far from interesting or engaging and the fairy dust too annoying. The new logo feels more like a health and active lifestyle brand, even a little bit like a vitamin product from GNC. I could have gotten more on board with the wordmark if the “T” weren’t so droopy and if the “C” wasn’t so FF Cocon-esque. All the other letters are nice and even the unconventional “IA” ligature at the end is convincingly done. The logo with all the stuff is not my cup of tea but it’s appropriate for mainstream consumer packaging, needing to stand out with flashier graphics to compete with the other products that have flashier-er graphics of their own.
The old packaging was fine; not great or inspiring but not offensive either. (Except for the fairy dust). The new packaging is very striking, with the “V” shape actively drawing your eye to the cup. The fruits inside the “V” are… intriguing. I like the simplicity of the product photography but there is something weird about fruit and gold, diagonal lines coming together. Like, it’s kinky in the wrong way. The one thing I really don’t like are the flavor bands… both how they are not really integrated and slapped on and the typography within that feels default, breaking from the overall elegance the rest of the graphics are aiming for.
Given the amount of shapes and sizes the new visuals have to adapt to (and still manage to include all the information and disclaimers needed in food packaging) this is a commendable solution with some ambition to look different on the shelf. At times, it gets too busy and hard to discern the information among all the lines.
Overall, in particular with how the TV spots are presented, there is a nice combination of warmth, care, science, and health that feel right for the product.
Thanks to Jack Wilcox for the tip.