Six of the Best: Name appropriation edition ~ Brand Mix

Friday, February 27, 2009

Six of the Best: Name appropriation edition

Photo: susanlk74 (Flickr)

Here's my summary of interesting things I read (or saw) this last week. Including this story about my name once again being used without my specific consent:

1) Prime Minister's Brain Going Into Receivership: Daily Mash
What is with my name? First it was Sneakers where Martin Bishop was the alias for a computer hacker played by Robert Redford and now it's the UK's Daily Mash. So far, it's paired me with Gordon Brown twice, once as an Official Receiver (for his brain) and here, as the Head of pension rows at the Institute for Studies in a story about him refusing to give up his pension. I seem to going downhill, professionally speaking. Somehow I should be getting something for this. What's my angle?

2) Is your market soft, or has it shifted? - Newspaper failures: The Phoenix Principle
After 150 years, the Rocky Mountain News has closed down. Adam Hartung thinks a similar fate will come to many other papers as well. They just aren't figuring out how to stay relevant and how to make money in this digital world. For them, the recession is only accelerating what was going to happen anyway. In a different direction, Ben Kunz posts a video tracing the final, few days for the paper and the human cost.

3) Tropicana gets Squeezed: Ries' Pieces
Everyone was all abuzz this week about Tropicana's u-turn over its design, apparently driven by Twitter-seething loyalists. In addition to Laura's post, there was this one from David Kiley which was more targeted at Arnell (yes, the same Arnell at the center of the Pepsi logo document which caused an earlier blog storm).

4) The Dirtiest Hotels in the World: Made to Stick
I got the same email from TripAdvisor about its latest promotion and had exactly the same reaction as Dan Heath. Brilliant! I'm not going to be staying at the Hotel Carter in New York anytime soon, that's for sure.

5) Sir Humphrey teaches questionnaire design: Mind Hacks
"Classic British TV comedy Yes Prime Minister has important lessons for those who want to interpret questionnaire data. This clip shows two civil servants discussing a policy suggestion. Bernard Woolley, who we see first, thinks the public are in favour of the policy - the minister has had an opinion poll done. Luckily senior civil servant, Sir Humphrey Appleby is there to set him straight. Fans of cognitive biases, note that Sir Humphrey uses at least three in his illustration of a biased questionnaire: framing, priming, and acquiescence bias."

6) Wolves (and Likely Dogs) Poo in Prominent Places: Discovery Channel
"Wolves do not do their business in any old place, but they instead choose locations that maximize visual impact and odor distribution, according to a new study that may also help to explain why dogs frequently relieve themselves on fire hydrants and other prominent urban landscape features." And later: "Like a person pumping up their chest and muscles to look big and impressive, highly placed urine could suggest the individual may not be one to reckon with."

That's it. See you next week for more stories from the world of brand strategy.


Ben Kunz said...

Watching the video of the Rocky in its final month woke me up a bit. It's really easy to look at newspapers' decline as a natural evolution, perhaps unstoppable, for an industry out of touch with its readers. But -- man -- looking at the video you realize the amazing work, talent and resources that go in to collecting the news.

It think newspapers declines are driven by more than migration to the web. Americans have become disconnected from their home towns. Most of us commute more than 30 minutes, and the "local paper" is no longer as important as we have migrated away from cities.

My own bet is WSJ and NYT will survive as web-only entities, and tiny local weeklies will survive as continued print editions. But all the papers in the middle, the New Haven Registers and Rockies of the world, will be squeezed as consumers demand either top national content or hyperlocal news.

The positive side -- there is a wide open field for groups of former journalists to create web models for mid-tier reporting. If they can organize in a way to keep cost structures down, perhaps mid-tier reporting will be reborn.

Martin Bishop said...


I think that's right. All the talent that has been directed at putting out printed papers will eventually be redirected towards other (web) models. But it's going to be a painful adjustment.

I also agree that there will be very few printed papers left soon, perhaps none in the major metros in 10 years time. I'm a big fan of the idea of hyperlocal news by the way.

Anonymous said...

Just thought to make you feel better about number one - the Daily Mash use names of characters played by Robert Redford in the many films he's done over the years (see also: Tom Logan, Henry Brubaker, etc) so it's an indirect appropriation.

Not that this information is important in any way, but it's a nice-to-know.

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