Gum In Grenades And Burberry Plaid. A Great Idea In Need of Better Branding – Paul Stiven Luxury Chewing Gum.

paul stiven luxury chewing gum

I love the idea of a luxury chewing gum brand. And there is one. Italian designer and entrepreneur Paul Stiven  (Paolo Stevan) is the creator and brand name of a Luxury Chewing Gum being touted as an innovative new product in the field of fashion, food, fashion and lifestyle.

Paul Stiven Chewing Gum

2019 Update: This post was written many years ago and the website is no longer nor can the gum be purchased online. But read on for some clever and inspirational package design (followed by some really bad print ads).

Luxury Branded Chewing Gum

The gum is not about a particular flavor, but about the unusual packaging, which comes in a A Fashion Collection (wrapped in famous luxury brand and trendy imagery) and An Army Collection (packed into hand grenades, bullets and brass knuckles).

Luxury Branded Chewing Gum
grenade packaging for gum

Initially, the Paul Stiven luxury chewing gum was packaged in well known luxury branded packaging such as CHANEL, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Dolce and Gabbana, as shown below:

chewing gum packaging

However he must have been violating copyright laws because now the gum is packaged in fashion iconography, patterns and colors reminiscent of and alluding to the famous brand labels. See the revised packaging below.

Paul Stiven Luxury Chewing Gum Fashion Collection Colored and printed tin boxes with interior mirrors:

luxury chewing gum packaging
Padlock gum (a reference to Hermes)
paul stiven chewing gum
Eye See You gum (this features a Krink-like dripping Double C Chanel logo)
paul stiven
Blanc Neve (or Snow White) gum. The name is supposed to hint at cocaine

Blanc Neve chewing gum

Printed boxes emulating Fendi and Burberry checks and plaids respectively:

paul stiven fendi gum
Plot of Chess gum
paul stiven burberry gum
Tartan gum

Printed Flip-top containers:

chewing gum branding
Skulls gum (originally branded as Alexander McQueen)
paul stiven chewing gum
Camouflage gum
paul stiven gum
Newspaper gum

Packaged Sets:

luxury chewing gum
Five different packages in Luxury Gift Box – LUBA (feminine version)

package design

Five different packages in Luxury Gift Box – LUBO (masculine version)

As part of the Fashion Collection, Stiven also offers miniature “Jane” handbags (a knockoff of a Birkin) filled with gum, made of leather in various colors that comes in an orange box – like its real namesake from Hermes:
paul stiven mini birken
mini birkin bags

And now, what seems like it should be an entirely separate concept/website/brand…

Paul Stiven Luxury Chewing Gum Army Collection
Army gum

In addition to the Fashion Collection, Stiven has an “Army” collection (Paul has served in the Army). This consists of the MK2 hand grenades of various colors filled with gum, AK 47 bullets and Brass Knuckles, both filled with gum. The hook here, apparently, is that the metal used in casting the grenades and bullets is actually taken from the Military.

MK2 Grenades filled with gum in various colors:
MK2 Grenades filled with gum in various colors
MK2 Grenades filled with gum in various colors
AK 47 Bullets Filled With Gum (expected this year):
bullets filled with gum
Body To Body (brass knuckles packaging expected this year):
brass knuckles tin for chewing gum

Stiven’s site, which is like three sites in one, also offers milk and dark chocolate versions of the Birkin handbag on a stick, the Lolliciok, and says he’ll soon be offering actual leather handbags, but I’m not even going to address those because they are not relevant to the gum.

The chewing gum comes in one flavor (mint-licorice), but it’s the unique packaging that will appeal to fashionable chewers.

Not at all a bad idea, but with their oddly disparate items, a poorly designed e-commerce web site (he also needs to replace all the CGI with actual photos), lousy print ads, and terrible product videos, the product’s potential is being hurt by the branding.

Their newest ad campaign (just launched this month in various Italian publications) is attempting to be sexy, but is simply confusing and inconsistent and looks like weird ads for slutty lingerie or sex toys. That may be purposeful, but perhaps premature. It might behoove them to first make it clear what the product is if they wish to introduce it internationally.

Some of the inconsistent and confusing ads for the gum:
bad advertising
bad ads for chewing gum

And although the gum is sold in their online store (smart), you have to register just to browse (dumb). A few of Paul Stiven’s luxury chewing gums are offered online and in New York’s Maison 24

If only they’d narrow it down to either the Fashion Collection or the Army Collection and hire a good Creative Director and Brand Strategist, they could be a huge success internationally.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I love the idea of a luxury gum. But with this one, the branding is hurting the product. If there’s ever been a client whose communications I’d like to overhaul, this is it.

Paul Stiven
Paolo Stevan