Olympic Outrage

06 June 2007

branding marketing

It's with some humor I watch the outrage around the London 2012 Olympics logo. Back in the mid-nineties, I lived in Atlanta. They were ramping up for the Olympics they were hosting. And they came up with a "awesome" mascot which was announced with great fanfare.


Yeah, that's inspiring, patriotic, and definitely a gob of blue goo. The idea was that he could morph into lots of things. It, like the London 2012 logo, seems to have been designed to be open-ended, to encourage "participation" by us random folks or some such, so we could imaging the abstract possibilities of what the mascot/logo could possibly represent.

Logos and mascots are not necessarily group sports. "Hey honey, let's go look at the logo and imagine what it might be" is not something I say on date night. They can be witty. They can be creative. They can be unexpected. But they should probably also be straight-forward and not involve any user-serviceable parts.

Retro = Quality = Brand

14 February 2007

branding marketing retro

jourdier_bottle.gifTonight, since my wife had a fever, I went wandering around the house in search of aspirin. Of course I find the huge freaking tub of ibuprofen we picked up at Target a while ago. But I'm looking for aspirin. I finally open the right cabinet and find that distinctive aspirin-bottle-shaped bottle of aspirin. While returning to her, I started thinking about the packaging of aspirin.

Aspirin is certainly a commodity. The entire contents of the bottle (250 tablets) probably cost someone a dime to manufacture in Malaysia. There's no licensing fee for the formula and it's not very exotic. At one point, you would've had to license the Aspirin trademark, but that's no longer the case. Sure, Bufferin(R) has overcome some technical issues, effectively creating a better mouse-trap. But that probably means it costs a nickel more to manufacture.

How do you differentiate your aspirin from everyone else's? By making people feel good about taking good ol' old-fashioned aspirin. Like your grandmother used to use take. Ultimately, aspirin is a pretty good pain reliever. Newer doesn't necessarily mean better. Just ask anyone who's now having to take Sudafed PE.

bronner.jpgAn adventurous aspirin marketer could go retro. The good old days remind us of hand-crafted quality. Our forefathers didn't put up with no guff or fancy crap. Back in their day, aspirin worked and was all they needed (nevermind that BC Powder upstart). Since the contents of the bottle cost a dime, spend a tad more on a bottle and labeling that reflects the good ol' days before these new-fangled pain relievers confused the scene.

grooming-lounge_1936_324373.jpegIt's worked for Doctor Bronner and their fantastic soap. It's worked for Crew and their pomades and tonics. Why not for aspirin? Tell a story of a simpler time! Pepperidge Farm remembers!

Of course, most folks would just refill the nifty bottle from the Mongo-Sized 50,000 tablet barrel they picked up at Costco.