Faux Pas of Advertising Products Without Labels

Faux Pas of Advertising Products Without Labels

Are there advertising faux pas worth avoiding when it comes to displaying the label? Or, for e-commerce, how much of the packaging needs to be shown on the item listing? What do shoppers expect in displaying products, especially food products, in promotional images?


Subway peel tab label - showing label faux pas

The Best Times to Advertise Products Without Their Labels

For food labels that work to cover up the product itself, it’s unhelpful to use it in product marketing materials. Customers want to see the subway sandwich, not the pull tab label on the wrap. Or, at the very least, the packaging should be displayed alongside the sandwich itself.


Labeling 101 Resource Center blog button Great Lakes Label - high quality


When You Need to Show How it Works

For some items, the label is completely irrelevant. Say, tires. Nobody needs to see what the packaging looks like, they just need to see the tires in action on icy roads. How the product works is far more significant than how it looks when it’s initially purchased.

Same goes when the product’s emotional response is a key part of the appeal. For example, how essential is a label for a mascara ad? The product creates such an emotional response that it’s far better to highlight how the lashes look. While it’s helpful to show what the packaging looks like so customers are able to identify it in-store, it’s not fully necessary.


Shenandoah double sided label - Great Lakes Label

Reasons Why Hiding The Label is a Faux Pas

Often, customers want to be able to easily identify the advertised product when they go shopping. Or, if they order something online, it’s nice to know what to expect. It creates a transparent sense of authenticity.



Recognition is a huge part of why avoiding label promotion is a faux pas. Customers want to easily find your product online or in-store. So, while branding is communicated through logo incorporation, seeing the packaging itself is the best way to show shoppers what they’re looking for. The packaging also re-enforces branding and brand values, which communicates quite a lot to viewers.


Guava transparent label clamshell container - Great Lakes Label


As we’ve mentioned, showing the label offers customers a sense of transparency. On the other hand, showing transparent labels shows customers that authenticity is an important part of the brands’ values. Where fresh produce is concerned, it lets customers know that your brand empowers them to make decisions about the quality of the perishable item.


No Online Shoppers Want an Underwhelming Surprise

If shoppers have built up your product to be something in their mind (luxurious, handcrafted, or mainstream) they’ll be disappointed if the packaging doesn’t represent that when it arrives in the mail or when they find it in-store. You can’t control the implications of your marketing campaign, but you can at least communicate the essence of your brand by showing your packaging. So, if ordering online, they know exactly what’s coming in the mail.

If your label uses labeling techniques, this also means these techniques need to be on display. So, if the title has foiling over the letters, make sure it glistens in the light. Techniques completely change the feeling of the product overall, so it’s important to communicate clearly.

Also, with e-commerce, a major part of the experience is seeking specific answers about what to expect from the brand. Since shoppers can’t see the item in person, they want to know what to expect when it arrives. So, the packaging is part of that. When e-commerce isn’t an environmentally friendly option, they, at the very least, should have an idea on how much packaging is used. So, for example, if your product boasts sustainability, but the packaging negates that effort, customers will feel set up.


The Packaging is Part of the Product’s Appeal

As an example, beauty wipes may want the label shown as peeled open to highlight how to get into the packaging. There’s a more practical aspect to displaying the label. Plus, the packaging is part of the product’s appeal. The label keeps the wipes fresh and moist, so it becomes an important part of the reason why you’d buy the product. If the competition has faulty labels that won’t stick back down after being opened, that’s pretty crucial to the product’s success. So, by showing the label’s seal, it highlights the fact that it’s an important part of the product’s charm.

Michigan Bee Label by Great Lakes LabelThe Label Communicates Information That May Not Otherwise Be Offered

As mentioned, packaging design support branding. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and so is label design. So, it’s important to let it speak for itself when possible.

Plus there are elements of packaging that speaks volumes about the brand. These Michigan Bee labels use security labels (as seen at the back of the lid). So, this tells customers that while it’s a handcrafted product, they also take quality seriously. Each item is not just fresh, but secure. This is an important purchasing factor. So, if the marketing imagery just showed honey poured on toast, it wouldn’t quite communicate why Michigan Bee, specifically, is the ideal brand to buy. Placing the product inside the photograph, or digitally adding it to a bottom corner is a simple way to leave a major impact. It doesn’t take much, but the differences are substaintial.


Learn more about how we can bring your wildest label design concepts and durability requirements to life. While techniques are important and exciting, there’s so much more to your label. Download our Label Project Guide e-book.


Label Project Guide E-Book Download

Connect with us on social media!

social icons facebook new social icons twitter new linkedin copy social icons tumblr new 1468875238_Instagram social icons gplus new  social icons ytube new social icons pinterest


Comments are closed


Accent Color

Logo Position

Fixed Header Animation

Header Grid

Layout Style

Footer Style

Mobile Menu Style