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Once Upon a Time

How Brand Storytelling Can Inspire Positive Change


Design agency: Supperstudio
Creative Director: Paco Adín Oteiza
Label materials: Avery Dennison
Embellishments and print tooling: KURZ and H+M
Label Print: Etinsa
Label Print: Etiquel
Boxes: Egisa
Glass bottles: Estal
Stopper/caps: Amorim Top Series
Boxes papers: Favini

Fairytales have always captivated people with their enchanting narratives and moral lessons. They're not just stories—they serve as powerful tools for communicating and connecting with individuals. Throughout generations, these stories have been passed down, and their longevity comes from their ability to elicit emotional responses—and brands have quickly recognized the power of storytelling and how they can use it to their advantage. After all, consumers are more likely to buy products if they are emotionally drawn to them, and what better way to do that than through a well-crafted narrative? In fact, a survey conducted by OneSpot found that 55% of people are more likely to buy products that tell a story.


Packaging and label designs are often the first points of contact between a brand and its consumers, so to inspire businesses to adopt this storytelling mindset, we recently collaborated with Supperstudio, KURZ, ESTAL, Etiquel, Amorin, Etinsa, FAVINI, and EGISA, to develop ten beauty prototypes based on classic fairytales with a twist—all putting a spotlight on a social sustainability issue.

"Once Upon A Time" was born to inspire brands to innovate both in the use of materials and in the development of new applications to achieve truly innovative proposals," explains Paco Adín, Creative Director of Supperstudio. The project was a challenge for all the collaborators, as they had to think outside the box. "We knew we needed a disruptive proposal capable of communicating our expertise and becoming a partner for brands when seeking materials and solutions, especially in the Beauty sector," adds Miguel García, BDM Premium Solutions at Avery Dennison. So without further ado, let's explore these ten prototypes and their accompanying narratives.

The first prototype, I'M PRETTY, is inspired by the fairytale 'The Ugly Duckling,' aimed to challenge conventional beauty standards and promote body positivity. It embraces the idea of being pretty as an attitude and encourages people to love themselves just the way they are. The prototype was developed with a unique approach called 'Change everything without changing anything,' which means shifting people's perspective toward beauty without altering their physical appearance. In 2012, the 'Body Positivity' movement emerged, advocating for acceptance of all bodies, regardless of size, shape, skin tone, and physical abilities. Printed on Avery Dennison’s Fasson® Soft Touch Black FSC® and Fasson® rNoble Blanc FSC®, this prototype reimagines The Ugly Duckling story to highlight the importance of raising awareness about ending social prejudices that can cause people to feel ashamed of their bodies.

Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time

LOVE ALWAYS WINS, on the other hand, is inspired by 'Beauty and the Beast.' It promotes the idea that love is a powerful force that can bring people together, heal wounds, and triumph over adversity. Love stories have always captivated audiences, and this prototype harnesses that force to inspire positive change, as living with love enriches relationships, builds trust, and creates a strong sense of unity. In rethinking the story of Beauty and the Beast, LOVE ALWAYS WINS features our Fasson® rNoble Blanc FSC® paper, which is made of 100% recycled fibers. The message is clear: when we lead with love, we can overcome any obstacle, even in the most challenging circumstances. 

The third prototype, MIRROR MIRROR, is based on the classic fairytale 'Snow White.' It challenges aesthetic norms and promotes the idea that true beauty comes from within. Kindness, empathy, sincerity, and love are the values that ultimately matter and lie beyond a mirror's reflection. The message of MIRROR MIRROR, which is presented on our Fasson® Pet 100 Bright Top, is that when we focus on developing our inner selves and embracing our unique qualities, we can become our most beautiful selves. Overall, it's a powerful example of how brands can inspire positive change.

With TWELVE O'CLOCK, we encounter a modern twist on the fairytale 'Cinderella.' The prototype conveys the idea that in this day and age, we have the freedom to decide when we get home, and we can take control of our lives. It symbolizes empowerment and the ability to take charge of your destiny and make your own decisions—unlike Cinderella, who had a strict curfew. With its disco ball lid symbolizing a night of fun and using Embelex by Avery Dennison labeling solutions, the prototype emphasizes the importance of not waiting for someone else to make our dreams come true. 

Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time

The fifth prototype, ANTIAGEISM, is inspired by Rapunzel and challenges age-related biases. It stresses that age is neither a defining characteristic nor a barrier to a fulfilling life, encouraging people to live without any complexes. In rethinking Rapunzel, who, in some versions of the fairytale, has the power to reverse aging, the prototype highlights the importance of challenging age-related stereotypes. The message of ANTIAGEISM, which is printed on our Fasson® Cane Fiber paper (made from 95% sugarcane by-products and 5% hemp and linen), is that age should not define us, inspiring people to break free from societal expectations and live on their own terms, leading to a more accepting and inclusive society. 

The HONEYSTY prototype draws influence from 'Pinocchio' and urges people to be true to themselves. It reinforces the idea that honesty and following your conscience can take you far and that we cannot be blinded by the constant stream of trends we're fed on social media. Ultimately, HONEYSTY is a powerful example of how brands can inspire authenticity and how prototypes such as this can evoke self-acceptance and honesty. This story was told using Avery Dennison’s luxurious Fasson® Velvet Violet and Fasson® rCrush Citrus FSC®.

HUFF AND PUFF, is inspired by the fairytale 'The Three Little Pigs' and addresses prejudiced beliefs. It emphasizes that there is no single lifestyle or perspective, and it's time to respect and stop judging others for living by their own rules. The prototype's slogan, "I'll huff, and I'll puff until your prejudice crumbles," highlights the importance of breaking down preconceived notions and biases and promoting inclusivity. By doing so, HUFF AND PUFF aims to evoke change and showcase how brands can use packaging and labels to promote a more tolerant and accepting society. Our smooth velvety Fasson® Velvet Violet and Fasson® Velvet Black papers were used to tell this story.

Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time

Moving on, the PETER PUNK prototype embodies the rebellious spirit of Peter Pan. This daring concept encourages individuals to leave stereotypes and prejudices behind, embracing the world with an insatiable desire for new experiences, learning, and discovery. It combines the magic of Peter Pan's eternal youth with the punk ideology of challenging societal norms, inviting you to embark on your own journey of self-exploration and growth. Printed on our Fasson® High Gloss White and Fasson® Matt Wine Black FSC papers, the label showcases a vivid design and daring message, serving as a potent reminder that sometimes, the most memorable stories are those that stray from the path of tradition.

The ninth prototype, GREEDY, is a thought-provoking design inspired by The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs. This innovative concept challenges conventional perceptions of greed, highlighting that, when harnessed responsibly, it can drive determination, effort, and motivation. GREEDY encourages us to reconsider the power of ambition and its potential to propel us toward our objectives and goals. Crafted and printed on our Fasson® Silver Foil Embossed FSC paper, it captivates with its dazzling design and daring message. This prototype underscores the fact that when we learn to balance our desires and dreams, we can transform a typically negative trait into a force for positive change. 

To finish off this inspiring array of prototypes, we have FAIRY SHOWER, a captivating design reminiscent of the tale of Sleeping Beauty. This charming concept celebrates the unique gifts each of us possesses, encouraging us to discover and nurture these talents to live a truly extraordinary life. FAIRY SHOWER demonstrates that our innate abilities can be a powerful source of joy and fulfillment when embraced and cultivated with passion. Printed on our Brushed Silicone A-PS paper, the label enchants with its magical design and uplifting message. This prototype symbolizes that when we unlock our hidden potential and embrace our individuality, we can flourish and lead remarkable lives.

Talking about the importance of all of the stories behind these prototypes, Paco explains: "Every concept aims to improve society. Maybe the fairytales don't end as we've been told - maybe there was always more to these tales, and we have to rethink and adapt them to the 21st century". Moreover, Miguel discusses this opportunity for brands: "Today's consumers are looking for new experiences, so brands that delight them, align with their values, and are a reflection of our society, will succeed. Many brands want to be part of the real lives of their customers, so they need to listen to their concerns and find solutions that make their lives easier."


Once Upon a Time

But storytelling alone isn't enough for today's buyers. According to a survey conducted by Accenture, 60% of global consumers prefer to purchase products from eco-friendly and socially responsible companies. Additionally, it found that consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that come in sustainable packaging. "Sustainability and visual appeal are not mutually exclusive," adds Paco. "The concept of responsible consumption is becoming increasingly prevalent among consumers, so brands must facilitate this process by seeking solutions that meet their needs. Each choice, such as a type of material, for example, or print finish, must convey to the customer that every design component has a differentiating value that connects the brand authentically with its audience".

However, do brands nowadays genuinely understand the value of sustainability—particularly in the world of luxury? According to Miguel, luxury is not understood in the same way as it was in the past. "In Today's world, ethics are as important as aesthetics, and the luxury industry is no exception. New consumer types drive current luxury designs, and sustainability is a non-negotiable for them. It's critical to understand that sustainability doesn't mean giving up on design quality," he explains.

For Once Upon A Time, the use of sustainable materials was combined with the application of labels on unusual surfaces, a careful selection of printing techniques and finishes, and the use of specialized partners such as KURZ for the finishes, Egisa for the production of the cases, Etinsa and Etiquel for the printing of the labels, and Estal for glass containers. Each label was carefully selected to convey a message through its material, texture, color, and finish, reinforcing the brand's engagement with the consumer.

In conclusion, Once Upon A Time is a project that inspires brands to think differently about how they connect with their consumers through design. It serves as a reminder that sustainability and visually appealing products are not incompatible and that brands must be conscious of their impact on the environment and society. Fairytales offer valuable lessons for brands on how to connect with their consumers through design, and by creating a narrative around their products, they can differentiate themselves from their competitors, establish an emotional connection with their customers, and ultimately drive sales. So, if you're a brand or designer looking to create a lasting impression, take a page from the fairytale playbook and let your packaging and label designs tell a story that resonates with your target audience. Remember, a good story can capture the hearts and minds of customers and, in turn, boost brand loyalty.