The new Heat & Eat crisps from Fairfields Farm come with a warm glow of innovation as the pack is designed to be heated in the microwave, so that chip and dip can be enjoyed together at optimal temperatures. In promoting the project, Fairfields turned to pre-press specialists Reproflex 3 to help them engage crunchy potato enthusiasts across the nation.
What did you produce?
Taking the images designed for the promotion by Fairfields, Reproflex created a pack that can be scanned by customers using the Shazam mobile app to send users to a demonstration video.
What did the job entail?
Using innovation for what they dubbed Project Blue, Reproflex added a ‘digital watermark’ over Fairfields’ images that can then be scanned using Shazam. Invisible to the naked eye, this image does not affect the appearance of the package but can be ‘heard’ by a smartphone using the app, according to Reproflex managing director Andrew Hewitson. He described it as “a new way to interact with the consumer”. Once generated, the image with watermark can be applied using any flexo printer. The packaging print was managed by National Flexible in Bradford.
What challenges were overcome?
Reproflex was developing its own app to interact with the digital watermark but “people have enough apps and don’t want any more”, according to Hewitson, so the company entered into a deal with Shazam, a popular and long-standing music recognition app, to target an existing customer base.
Another issue with using digital watermarks is that they can affect the quality of the final image if “cruder” printing processes are used, according to Hewitson. Using Project Blue, Reproflex worked to develop technology that does not limit print quality.
What was the feedback?
“We are delighted with the final results and working with Reproflex has been a pleasure,” said Fairfields head of sales Ian Bates.
Reproflex’s work on Project Blue has won the company 20 international awards across 2016/17 and the crisps are now widely available in Tesco stores UK-wide.
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