This hardly bears repeating since I am certain you saw the story in Label & Narrow Web (motto: “The Most Targeted Magazine in the Industry”) about food and beverage companies allowing customers to make customized labels. No? God, try to stay on top of things, will you?

Anyhoo, as the excitingly titled “Leveraging Digital Label Printing” breathlessly relates, three companies offer the personalized bottle-wraps: Jones Soda, Heinz, and Johnnie Walker. Of the trio, Jones’ myJones offering is definitely the coolest because you get to include a color photo on your bottles.

Aw, man, the possibilities. Here’s my thought: I want a series of bottles featuring controversial historical figures. Robert Oppenheimer Green Apple (it glows like mysterious atomic energy)! Pol Pot Fufu Berry! Catherine the Great Cream Soda! But really, you could put practically anything on there. Wouldn’t a nice cold bottle of Bea Arthur Berry Lemonade go down sweet?

Jones’ labels are the most expensive, at $29.99 for a case of 12 customized sodas. Heinz’s Talking Labels are cheaper since you can order a minimum of one bottle for $6. Those labels don’t have photos, though, just a few lines of text that still manage to look really cool because they’re in the classic Heinz font. Also, mysteriously, Heinz seemingly has pretty loose restrictions on what can appear on the bottles. I was allowed to create labels reading “I spat in this,” “Blow me, Doug,” and “Poo-poo neck.” A label containing the s-word (“Hello, shitbird!” if you must know) was summarily struck down, however.

Johnnie Walker’s labels are number three in coolness: You get a few lines of text—eh, it doesn’t look so great. But those labels are number one in freeness, because, well, they are free. If you join the Striding Man Society, that is, and give JW your email and snail mail addresses to receive fascinating and no doubt useful information about the products of Johnnie Walker’s “subsidiaries, affiliates, and parent companies and any of their related businesses.” Johnnie Walker, I’m sorry that I accidentally ordered my “I Know Kung-Fu” labels sent to Blowy Von Blowenstein of Blow Me Drive, Blowville. I didn’t mean to click that last button. If only I hadn’t drunk so much damned Scotch. You can see how it happens.

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