How Brand Storytelling Can Inspire Positive Change

Fairytales have always captivated people with their enchanting narratives and moral lessons. They’re not just stories—they serve as powerful tools for communicating and connecting with individuals. Throughout generations, these stories have been passed down, and their longevity comes from their ability to elicit emotional responses—and brands have quickly recognized the power of storytelling and how they can use it to their advantage.

After all, consumers are more likely to buy products if they are emotionally drawn to them, and what better way to do that than through a well-crafted narrative? In fact, a survey conducted by OneSpot found that 55% of people are more likely to buy products that tell a story.

Packaging and label designs are often the first points of contact between a brand and its consumers, so to inspire businesses to adopt this storytelling mindset, we recently collaborated with Avery Dennison (label materials), Supperstudio (design agency), KURZ (embellishments and print tooling), ESTAL (glass bottles), Etiquel (label print), Amorim Top Series (stopper/caps), Etinsa (label print) and Favini (premium fine papers), to develop eight beauty prototypes based on classic fairytales with a twist—all putting a spotlight on a social sustainability issue.

“Once Upon A Time” was born to inspire brands to innovate both in the use of materials and in the development of new applications to achieve truly innovative proposals,” explains Paco Adín, Creative Director of Supperstudio.

The project was a challenge for all the collaborators, as they had to think outside the box. “We knew we needed a disruptive proposal capable of communicating our expertise and becoming a partner for brands when seeking materials and solutions, especially in the Beauty sector,” adds Miguel García, BDM Premium Solutions at Avery Dennison.

So let’s explore these eight prototypes and their accompanying narratives.

The first prototype, I’M PRETTY, was inspired by the fairytale ‘The Ugly Duckling,’ aimed to challenge conventional beauty standards and promote body positivity. It embraces the idea of being pretty as an attitude and encourages people to love themselves just the way they are. The prototype was developed with a unique approach called ‘Change everything without changing anything,’ which means shifting people’s perspective toward beauty without altering their physical appearance. In 2012, the ‘Body Positivity’ movement emerged, advocating for acceptance of all bodies, regardless of size, shape, skin tone, and physical abilities.

Printed on a coated material but with a very natural and uncoated look, this prototype reimagines The Ugly Duckling story to highlight the importance of raising awareness about ending social prejudices that can cause people to feel ashamed of their bodies.

LOVE ALWAYS WINS, on the other hand, is inspired by ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ It promotes the idea that love is a powerful force that can bring people together, heal wounds, and triumph over adversity. Love stories have always captivated audiences, and this prototype harnesses that force to inspire positive change, as living with love enriches relationships, builds trust, and creates a strong sense of unity.

In rethinking the story of Beauty and the Beast, LOVE ALWAYS WINS features an offset printing of 4 different pantones; a hot stamping of 4 different colours with a micro structure on one of them and finally embossing and stamping on different elements (rose, text, heart, colour blocks) of the folding carton. The message is clear: when we lead with love, we can overcome any obstacle, even in the most challenging circumstances.

The third prototype, MIRROR MIRROR, is based on the classic fairytale “Snow White”. It challenges aesthetic norms and promotes the idea that true beauty comes from within. Kindness, empathy, sincerity, and love are the values that ultimately matter and lie beyond a mirror’s reflection.

The message of MIRROR MIRROR is that when we focus on developing our inner selves and embracing our unique qualities, we can become our most beautiful selves.

Overall, it’s a powerful example of how brands can inspire positive change.

For the production of this packaging, we have opted for a sustainable material made from 100% recovered paper (PCW). This uncoated recycled paperboard has a highly textured and ultra-natural surface. The debossing of the material itself embellishes the folding carton, which is printed in hot stamping in 1 black colour on the facing + embossing on the name of the prototype. Finally, a few labels with a mirror effect were perfectly placed on the exterior of the packaging, in the spaces created for this purpose, in order to illustrate and reinforce the message that this prototype wants to deliver.

The fourth prototype, ANTIAGEISM, is inspired by “Rapunzel” and challenges age-related biases. It stresses that age is neither a defining characteristic nor a barrier to a fulfilling life, encouraging people to live without any complexes.

In rethinking Rapunzel, who, in some versions of the fairytale, has the power to reverse aging, the prototype highlights the importance of challenging age-related stereotypes.

The message of ANTIAGEISM, which is printed on an uncoated material with a textured and ultra-natural look, is that age should not define us, inspiring people to break free from societal expectations and live on their own terms, leading to a more accepting and inclusive society.

The packaging features a magnificent illustration printed in 4-colour offset + 1 pantone colour as well as a superb 4-colour hot stamping on the creasing, all enhanced by an embossing, a debossing, as well as a multi-level embossing on various elements of the hot stamping decoration. A beautiful technical exercise we are very proud of.

The HONEYSTY prototype draws influence from ‘Pinocchio’ and urges people to be true to themselves. It reinforces the idea that honesty and following your conscience can take you far and that we cannot be blinded by the constant stream of trends we’re fed on social media. Ultimately, HONEYSTY is a powerful example of how brands can inspire authenticity and how prototypes such as this can evoke self-acceptance and honesty.

The packaging created for this prototype is composed of two nesting pieces. A purple ribbon, matching the purple background colour of the pack, and woven in cotton, has been placed on the base of the inner box to make the pack easier to open. Inside is a beautiful handmade honey scented candle, crafted in premium glass and adorned with a custom made cork stopper. In terms of printing and finishing, this packaging is once again ultra complete as it features four-colour offset printing + a purple pantone (background) and matt varnish on a high-quality, uncoated 100% virgin fibre cardboard with a natural look. The superb illustrations of Pinocchio, created especially for this project, feature a multi-level embossing of the cardboard imitating the texture of wood, the result being a delight for the eyes and senses. The entire packaging has also been hot foil stamped with 3 different colours, highlighting the name of the prototype and details such as the stars and bee cells appearing throughout the pack. The final touch is Pinocchio’s nose: when the small purple cotton ribbon is pulled, the inner box opens and on one of its sides appears Pinocchio’s nose, which gets longer as the pack is opened, to finally reveal a bee on the tip of the nose, reminding us of the scent of the candle, and the name of our prototype “Honey-sty”.

With TWELVE O’CLOCK, we encounter a modern twist on the fairytale ‘Cinderella.’

The prototype conveys the idea that in this day and age, we have the freedom to decide when we get home, and we can take control of our lives. It symbolizes empowerment and the ability to take charge of your destiny and make your own decisions—unlike Cinderella, who had a strict curfew.

For this packaging we have opted for a high quality, midnight blue, mass dyed paper made from 100% cotton fibres. The pure cotton paper has a very soft look and feel and is ideal for deep embossing. This prototype, with its padded design & holographic hot stamping all over the folding box, emphasizes the importance of not waiting for someone else to make our dreams come true.

The second-to-last prototype, HUFF AND PUFF, is inspired by the fairytale “The Three Little Pigs” and addresses prejudiced beliefs.

It emphasizes that there is no single lifestyle or perspective, and it’s time to respect and stop judging others for living by their own rules.

The prototype’s slogan, “I’ll huff, and I’ll puff until your prejudice crumbles,” highlights the importance of breaking down preconceived notions and biases and promoting inclusivity.

By doing so, HUFF AND PUFF aims to evoke change and showcase how brands can use packaging and labels to promote a more tolerant and accepting society.

Printed on high-quality, mass-dyed, light pink material made from 100% virgin fibres, this series of 3 folding boxes -each personalised with a fresh and modern illustration of the three little pigs- features matt black hot stamping to state the name of the prototype and the series number, as well as covering white hot stamping on the folding zone, which is normally very delicate and not very suited to this type of finish. Smooth velvety Fasson® papers from Avery Dennison were used to illustrate and reproduce the three little pigs.

Stay tuned to discover next week our last protostory.