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Tinplate Packaging go to Hollywood

10 November 2008

From last year, movie-theatre attendance has been cooling off by around 7% on previous years, in favour of an increase in DVD sales.

In this climate, the movie industry is relying heavily on DVD sales and the protection of the perceived value of DVDs. Studios have partly closed this gap by ensuring that DVD releases are loaded with additional disks of extended footage and extra features. Yet with steep competition from rental companies and movie download Web sites, the DVD has to present a value added format that encourages a physical sale.

The industry has long been aware that the standard plastic Amaray cases aren’t compatible with the ‘Collectors’ Edition’ feel they are increasingly looking to generate.  Studios are enhancing packaging and branding. When they hit our shelves, DVDs have to sell themselves. They have to say more than ‘watch me once’. The message needs to be: ‘keep me forever’. 

Media packaging has to add value to the DVD purchase. It needs to create an experience and make the product a must-have collector’s item. The humble mass-produced disk can be turned into a prize possession through impressive packaging.
Increasingly the market has recognised that tinplate is a dynamic packaging solution. Tinplate boxes and cases can provide very unusual DVD packaging. Tinplate is highly flexible so that designs can accommodate multiple disks or box sets, they can be dramatically over-printed and embossed. Tinplate products can be formed into a huge number of shapes, sizes and formats. This makes them ideal for the presentation of collections and special release box-sets which need to be functional, attractive and built to last. Tin has also deftly solved the other great issue facing media packaging: the environment.

As Hollywood has become more environmentally aware, studios have realised the pressing need to reduce the environmental cost of DVD packaging and transportation. Powerful retailers, such as Wal-Mart, are now marketing individual media in-store according to its carbon footprint and the industry is responding. At the time of writing, after two recent industry-wide summits on green media, standards for green DVD packaging are imminent.

The music industry has combated the issue by packaging CDs in edgy, grassroots styled cardboard, but card simply doesn’t have the longevity needed to market DVDs. The good news is that the industry is willing to invest in high quality, green packaging. Tinplate is often produced from recycled tin and can be recycled again when the product becomes redundant. Unlike plastics, tin isn’t compromised by the recycling process and so can be recycled again and again. The only problem is that people rarely part with impressive tin storage boxes, preferring to keep and reuse them at home.

Of course ‘the can’ is not a new concept in Hollywood. The use of ‘cans’ for its precious film reels is an indelible part of Hollywood history. The cans may now look different, and their contents have changed, but there is something appropriate in the industry’s return to its roots. Tinplate has come back to the fore and this time it provides cutting-edge solutions for today’s media packaging challenges. 

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