IT STARTED LONG AGO
For thousands of years, cultures have honored their fallen soldiers with public displays like communal funerals, the decorating of graves, and even great feasts.
It wasn’t until after the American Civil War that an official day of remembrance was created.
THE BEGINNINGS OF AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY
In 1868, a decree was issued by General John Logan that encouraged all Americans to observe Decoration Day (as it was first known) by decorating and laying flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers.
Americans were quick to adopt the concept and over a century later, federal law gave the day of honor an official name change. Decoration Day became Memorial Day, and in 1971, President Richard Nixon made it an official federal holiday.
MEMORIAL DAY TODAY
In modern times, Memorial Day is still commemorated as it was long ago, but now brands have joined in by emblazoning their consumer touch points with patriotic designs and colors.
In fact, just the other day, a bag of patriotic M&M’s caught my eye as I was fulfilling the last-minute shopping list my sweet wife texted me (didn’t get the M&M’s—I stuck to the list—sort of).
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Certainly color and design play an important role in the world of packaging, but when another level of emotional connection can be achieved, it can be reflected in sales.
Do you think the notion for which Memorial Day first began should be kept—the solemn decoration of graves instead of the decorating of consumer goods?
Is this type of packaging a way to inspire the remembrance of soldiers who paid the highest price, or is it a way to inspire sales?
Whatever your position on the role of packaging and this solemn holiday, all of us at the Packaging School encourage you to pause and reflect upon those that have given their lives for the country in which we live, work, and play. And package.