Mike Burns, Co-Founder of CanMuseum.com, returns to provide an update on a Halloween soda can tradition!
When the weather gets colder, the leaves turn colors and begin to fall from the trees. It's this time of year where I look forward to the Dr Pepper Snapple Group's 8 oz. Halloween cans. Last October, I discussed the 2011 cans in my first review at BevReview.com. This year, DPSG did not disappoint with their fourth installment of their Halloween can set.
Per their press release, 6 cans got the Halloween treatment: A&W, 7Up, Sunkist, Sun Drop, Canada Dry, and Welch's. Big Red was featured last year, but didn't make the cut for 2012. However, Welch's is a new addition. Also new this year is the use of color changing cans. In the words of DPSG, they feature "spooky outfits that change color when chilled." This is the same type of thermochromic ink technology that we saw earlier this summer on the Mountain Dew 16 oz Batman cans. I was fortunate to find 4 of these cans in my home area (7Up, A&W, Canada Dry, and Sunkist), while BevReview editor Steve Tanner was able to track down the Sun Drop can for me in the Chicago area. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this review, I haven't been able to hunt down the new Welch's can.
Let's start with the 7Up can, which features Frankenstein's Monster holding the 7Up logo in the sky. Lightning is striking the 7Up logo, showing that the monster is giving life to 7Up using the same method as he was brought to life by Dr. Frankenstein. In the background we see many lights on at Dr. Frankenstein's castle. There are also two ladders hanging down from opposite ends of the castle and a third curved ladder or spiral staircase in the middle of the castle. The only other artwork is a single bat flying over the "7" of the 7Up logo.
The A&W Root Beer can shows us a creepy forest scene with a howling werewolf, who is perhaps the famous Wolfman. There is a silver colored full moon in the sky partially hidden by a light brown cloud while another floats eerily nearby. In the background there are tall trees without leaves. Looking closer at the trees shows that their branches are holding black crows as if they had bony hands. It must be noted that the cartoonish, howling werewolf is sporting a silver and white plaid collared shirt.
The Canada Dry can has a Mummy holding the Canada Dry logo in front of him. His head is turned to the left and we see a profile view of his skeletal face sporting a sinister grin from behind the missing wrappings from his head. There are two silver scorpions, one below the mummy's chin and the other above his left shoulder. These scorpions look out of place and perhaps an afterthought to the design as I don't know any species of scorpion that flies through the air. In the background there are two black pyramids hinting that it is nighttime in Egypt.
Dracula is lurking from behind the Sunkist logo on the Sunkist can. He has eyes as green as the leaf in the Sunkist logo, a long black cape and a hand reaching for you (or the Sunkist logo). There are five bats flying in the orange night sky and there is some scenery in the distance. We see Dracula's castle below the "t" of the Sunkist logo with a bare autumn tree to the right of it.
There is another area on the can which looks like some kind of strange black scribble below Dracula's extended arm and the "S" of the Sunkist logo. It looks cut off and out of place. As I was wondering what it could be, I thought about the design on the A&W root beer can. On that can there are similar black trees. So I compared the two and sure enough, it appears to be a design flaw as it matches exactly to one of the trees on the A&W can. I would venture to guess that the partial tree graphic was never intended to be on the Sunkist can.
The last can of the set is the Sun Drop can. When Steve sent me the photo of this can, it immediately made me laugh. I love when companies can have a sense of humor and this can is my favorite from this set. This is why – the zombie who is featured on this can is wearing a red headband! Anyone who knows anything about Sun Drop knows the significance of the headband – The Sun Drop Girl and The Sun Drop Guy.
The crazy-eyed, red headband-wearing zombie is obviously the Sun Drop Guy who is holding the Sun Drop logo. Again, we have a night scene as the grass along the bottom is black and the white-eyed silhouette of another zombie is to the left of the logo. We also see a full moon and a few bats. It would have been even better to have incorporated the Sun Drop Girl on the can as the Sun Drop Guy is a new character this year as seen in Sun Drop's 2012 commercial. Perhaps Sun Drop isn't ready for her to be among the undead eating their customers' brains instead of "dropping" in her signature dance move.
Another Halloween and another great DPSG Halloween can set. This year we are visited by Frankenstein's monster, a werewolf, a mummy, Dracula, and a zombie. The only parts of the design that annoy me are the scorpions on the Canada Dry can and the misplaced tree section on the Sunkist can. However, I can overlook that for the remainder of the design work… and hope than next year they don't make the same mistakes and take a little more care before approving their artwork for printing. Happy Halloween!
Photos used by permission of CanMuseum.com