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Brewers tap holographic effects

Two brewers are adding holographic effects to their packaging to entice consumers at retail: Miller Brewing, Milwaukee, WI, has redesigned its Magnum malt liquor to include a label with a psuedo-holographic look, and Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO, is launching a summer promotion for Coors Light that incorporates holographic packaging.

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Introduced in April, the redesign for Miller's Magnum incorporates a more lively label design with a prominent "M" that has a multidimensional appearance reminiscent of a hologram. The label material is Rexam Metallising's (Greenfield, IN) new CTH(TM) metallized paper. Though it's not actually a true hologram, the label is metallized in such a way as to create a repeating circular pattern that creates a holographic effect, but at a lower cost, according to the brewer.

"The design team looked at holographics originally and decided it wouldn't be cost-effective," says Scott Bussen, a spokesperson for Miller. "We then found out about this option with Rexam. It gives a similar effect but is much more cost-effective."

The new label, gravure-printed as was the one it replaces, will appear on all three Magnum sizes: 22-, 32- and 40-oz bottles sold primarily off-premise in grocery and c-stores. Secondary packaging remains the same. The price, which Miller says varies from market to market, will not change.

True holographics are being used on two package formats for Coors Light: body and neck labels on 12-oz bottles, and paperboard cartons for 12-, 18- and 24-packs of cans. Both the labels and cartons are supplied by Graphic Packaging (Golden, CO). The label material is a pre-embossed, metallized paper supplied by Van Leer (Franklin, MA) that GP prints and coats on a 10-station UV flexo press.

The cartons are produced via GP's patented Composipac(TM) process, which includes reverse printing of clear polyester film on a gravure press followed by vacuum-metallizing. The film is then extrusion-laminated to natural kraft paperboard in calipers from 18 to 21 pts, depending on the package.

The hologram comes from the clear polyester film, which is supplied by CFC Applied Holographics (Chicago Heights, IL). That firm employs a dot matrix process that provides a resolution of up to 90ꯠ dots per sq". The dots, when metallized, act as prisms that bend light rays to produce the familiar holographic effect.

Though Coors wouldn't comment on the economics of the holographic packaging, it did acknowledge that it's only being used for a six-week summer promotion that began last month.

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