April 10, 2015

Woman shopping for shampooThink lotions and soaps. Now, think dark blue. Did a particular brand come to mind, say Dove or Nivea? The two brands spent a day in a German courtroom last week arguing over who had the right to use the shade on their packaging. Apparently, this battle has been going on for years.

Nivea’s manufacturer, Beiersdorf, planned to appeal a patent court directive that had been in place since 2013. The judge ruled that the dark blue could be labeled a registered identifying feature for Nivea only if 75% of the German public associated dark blue containers with the brand. However, only 57.9% of those surveyed did. This gave Dove and Unilever the okay to continue using dark blue in packaging and marketing materials. However, Beiersdorf had originally been given the right to use dark blue as an identifying feature back in 2007.

Who had it first?

Nivea’s cream moisturizer was first launched with its dark blue packaging in 1925. Its look has barely changed over the years. Last year, Beiersdorf redesigned its logo to match the Nivea packaging. The manufacturer eliminated the “BDF” initials and features rounded letters in “Nivea blue” to better promote the link between companies.

On the other hand, Dove has also been printing its name in the same shade of blue for quite some time.  Dove soap first launched with this packaging in 1957, although they did experiment with some lighter hues throughout the 1960’s. Additionally, other Unilever brands, such as Vaseline, have been utilizing dark blue packaging for decades. Be sure to see the article on Beauty Packaging for more information.

Where do you stand on the battle over blue? We want to know!


Posted In: Industry News