Video: O-I’s Catalyst Collection is Shaped by Emotions

Jess Baker
 | Head of Content & Editorial Strategy, O-I Glass

O-I’s Catalyst Collection is taking science-backed principals behind behavioral and human emotions and applying it to glass packaging design to give brands a new authentic way to connect with consumers.

We partnered with Dr. Constantinos Pantidos, the founder of Brand Aviators. His research indicates all human emotions stem from 12 fundamental motives. Those motives create THE WHEEL OF MOTIVES™, a key tool to show how biology and neuroscience shape consumer behavior.

We took those principles of how neuroscience influences human behavior and designed glass packaging – the Catalyst Collection – that works on an unconscious level to connect with consumers to stand out from the competition and drive loyalty.

Catalyst Collection Takes Glass’s Transformative Power to New Levels

Glass already has a sense of magic to it. It plays with an array of senses, from sight to sound to touch. But the glass packaging that’s part of the Catalyst Collection builds on glass’s shape-shifting power.

the wheel of motives
THE WHEEL OF MOTIVES™: C. Pantidos, Living Brands: How Biology and Neuroscience Shape Consumer Behaviour and Brand Desirability, Lid Publishing, London, 2018, page 391

“Glass already transforms experiences into something amazing, but these new shapes can take your brand to the next level of being an icon that stands out from the shelf,” says Paul Harris, O-I Industrial Design Business Partner.

Harris was among O-I’s global designers that came together at the Perrysburg, Ohio, headquarters in 2019 to collaborate on the novel collection.

“We brought our entire global design team into our headquarters in Perrysburg,” explains Sarah Brennan, North America Beer Category Lead at O-I. “We gave them a deep dive into the 12 driving motivations Brand Aviators developed in terms of understanding how to connect with consumers on an emotional scale.”

“Using this technique really allowed us to align consumer needs states to specific categories,” Harris says. “That really influenced our thinking.”

COVID-19 Pandemic’s Innovation Pendulum Swing

The work for the collection that would eventually be named Catalyst started before the COVID-19 pandemic. But when lockdowns impacted people worldwide, and consumer behaviors changed overnight, there was a moment of pause for many food and beverage producers.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, our customers told us they weren’t interested in innovations,” Brennan explains. “They needed to understand what was happening in the market at a very unprecedented time.”

But as food and beverage analysts showed consumers were shopping differently and interacting with brands differently, the pendulum quickly swung the other way.

“We started hearing customers say ‘Give us all the innovation you have,’” Brennan says. “The Catalyst Collection was arriving right on time.”

The Misfit Bottle Fits the “Defy” Motive

The Misfit bottle from the Catalyst Collection is a clear example of how O-I’s designers infuse THE WHEEL OF MOTIVES into glass packaging design. The 12 oz. glass bottle has asymmetrical shoulders that visually make a 6-pack stand out on the shelf.

o-i catalyst collection
The first bottles from O-I’s new Catalyst Collection

“Our goal within the Catalyst Collection is giving a voice to the motives that are drawing people into a certain category,” Harris says. “One of our key motives, particularly for craft beer, was ‘to defy.’ We really wanted to embody the revolutionary spirit that aligns with craft brewers’ identity. We really wanted to bring a bottle that had more attitude to offer something special and unique.”

The Snifter is designed to “connect” motive. The glass bottle uses a Drinktainer™ wide-mouth finish, which unlocks the beverage’s aromatic potential straight from the packaging—no extra glass needed. The Snifter both recalls traditional barware while also signaling the future in size and sensory opportunity.

Catalyst Collection: More to Come

The current offerings, aimed at beer and adjacencies, are just the beginning. Motive-inspired designs for food producers and other beverage producers are expected to roll out later in 2021 and beyond.

“A customer is looking for a different experience when they go to pick up a beer or a handle of tequila or even a coffee. There are different biological needs they have in those moments” Harris says. “Through the Brand Aviators methodology, we were able to bring new ideas and new shapes to categories that may have been a little stagnant.”

For more than 100 years, O-I has transformed brands into icons through unforgettable glass packaging – packaging so recognizable, it doesn’t need a label for consumers to recognize it. Using principles backed by neuroscience to design the Catalyst Collection is just the latest way O-I is leading through innovation.

Jess Baker
Jess Baker
Head of Content & Editorial Strategy, O-I Glass
Jess Baker loves to tell a good story. You've seen her work on The Weather Channel,, and She's a runner, a mom, and a die-hard Springsteen fan.
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