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Promotional labels: Are you playing into a stunt or just plain lying?

Hoaxes and big promotional stunts can be a huge boon to your company and its newest line of material, but there needs to be a line between a clever trick and straight-up lying to your target audience. Wine labels need to be made that don’t confuse but don’t necessarily give the game away either. That’s a hard balancing act, but color label printers can make it easier than other systems might, especially with the right supporting equipment.

Think about the “Miracle Machine,” a device that reportedly allowed users to convert water into wine with minimal effort. The item was “demonstrated” in a video that appeared to give interested audiences the chance to make these beverages simply in one dispenser. It was a relatively elaborate clip that included CG and a seemingly operational “Miracle Machine” with flashing lights.

But in a new video called “The True Miracle” and posted on Mashable, the whole project was revealed to be fake, a campaign designed to raise awareness for a program that brings water to the underprivileged. 

“It would be amazing if we truly could turn water into wine with a minimal amount of effort and just a few ingredients,” Kevin Boyer, one of the project’s founders, said in the new video. “The reality is, the Miracle Machine does not exist. This is just a lump of wood.”

While CNet’s Amanda Kooser calls the campaign “a lesson in getting too excited about a product,” doesn’t it also show the problems inherent in display and marketing? While some may appreciate the gag for cleverness and its viral sophistication, others might feel confused and betrayed.

Prime labels have all sorts of functions to fulfill, and one of those chief responsibilities should be honesty to the consumer.

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