Product Features You Didn't Know Were There

I love being surprised and delighted by a they-thought-of-everything interaction with product packaging.

This new natural gum, Simply Gum, was a find for me, after having tried so many natural gum brands on the market. Then one day, long after purchase and having opened the packaging and using the gum several times over the course of a few weeks, I spotted a short line of copy that at first I mistook for a directive to post an update about the gum: "Post Chew Wraps."

It dawned on me that the company had built in tiny wrappers for discarding the chewed gum (we wouldn't it to sit in our stomach for 7 years, you know). What a cool product feature! It only made me love the product more.

As for the mildly confusing line of copy, I'd solve it with a simple hyphen: Post-Chew Wraps.

Tell me in the comments about a cool product packaging feature on one of your favorite products. 

P.S. Look what fun wordplay pops up when I visited the website! 

Wordplay + a 10% discount? I'm sold!

Wordplay + a 10% discount? I'm sold!

Emotional Response: Transported by Soda

I was handed one of these the other day and it instantly transported me to my childhood:

It's amazing how I could have gone my whole life without thinking of this product again. But the moment I spotted the "cartoon skyline and art deco font" making a comeback, I was suddenly running up to my dad as he was carrying a box of them, jumping up and down and grabbing at his jacket at the promise of a sugary refreshment. I texted my siblings to share the memory with them.

What's cool is that the soda is made with cane sugar, like they were back then, before high fructose corn syrup took over in nearly ever similar product.   

Can you remember a time when a product reboot evoked an emotional response for you? Please share in the comments!

Talking Story & Score with Top Librettists

Having lived in NY for 14 years, I knew my next move would need to be a city with a strong theatre scene. I found that in Seattle, where theatre — and musical theatre, in particular — is thriving. 

I had heard about the 5th Avenue Theatre's planned production of PAINT YOUR WAGON and was instantly intrigued by the idea of rewriting the book to a classic musical with a memorable score. While speaking to 5th Avenue Artistic Director David Armstrong, I got an idea to interview the production's librettist, Jon Marans, and pitched it later that day to The Dramatist Editor Joey Stocks via Twitter. Joey had the brilliant idea to make it a panel and bring Craig Lucas (AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA) on board. Then a colleague suggested I add GOOD NEWS! librettist Jeremy Desmon to the mix, and the panel was set. 

It was sheer joy talking shop with these brilliant writers and hearing their amusing and insightful anecdotes. Due to space, the magazine couldn't print the entire interview, but members of the Dramatists Guild can read the expanded version online. If you're not a member and you live in NYC, you can pick up a copy at Drama Book Shop; if you live in Boston, you can get it at Trident Booksellers and Cafe. You can also call the Guild to order a copy.

Chatting with some seriously funny storytellers.

Chatting with some seriously funny storytellers.