Six of the Best: Real or Fake? edition ~ Brand Mix

Friday, February 13, 2009

Six of the Best: Real or Fake? edition

Here's my summary of interesting things I read (or saw) this last week. This week it's stories that, one way or another, fuzzy the boundaries between reality and fakery:

1) Breathtaking: Arnell Group (maybe)
Pretentious twaddle or window on creative genius? Who could not be amazed by this document supposedly from the Arnell Group outlining the design strategy behind the new Pepsi logo? I say "supposedly" because ownership has yet to be claimed and there's a chance that it's a spoof or a deliberately-planned viral campaign. It's been a red rag to the marketing and blogging world all week with the following just some of the many commentaries: (Ad Age, Fritinancy, brandXpress, brandflakesforbreakfast, Thought Gadgets)

2) India to launch cow urine as soft drink: TimesOnline
Meanwhile Pepsi is soon to have some new, highly differentiated competition in India. India's Hindu nationalist is planning to launch a new soft drink made from cow urine. Called "gau jal," the new drink's USP will be that: "It's going to be very healthy. It won't be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins," according to spokesman Om Prakash. Perfect for The Amazing Race (premieres Sunday, by the way).

3) Starbucks Poised to Launch 'Soluble' Coffee: AdvertisingAge
Scarcely more believable than the cow urine story is the news that Starbucks is going to launch a soluble coffee. As an ex-brand manager of Taster's Choice, I can only welcome the entry of Starbucks into this category where driving quality perception was, to say the least, an uphill battle. But which is the most likely result? The category will get a boost or Starbucks will take a hit? Or both?

4) A Chronology of Brands that got Punk'd by Social Media: Web Strategy
A list of brands that have been blind-sided by the internet. Jeremiah Owyang recalls many of the notorious ones. Remember the story about Kryponite locks that can be broken into with a Bic pen story (2004) or Dell Hell (2005)? Commenters to the post are adding even more. All real stories but some show the unreal influence that can be wielded by the well-connected.

5) Trader Joe's Ad: Carlsfinefilms

Not a real ad although some have suggested that Trader Joe's should adopt it as its own. Shows the good, the bad and the peculiar of the Trader Joe's experience (as well as some seemingly fake non co-operation from a store manager).

6) Evolutionists Flock To Darwin-Shaped Wall Stain: The Onion
OK. Obviously fake. Just included to recognize and celebrate Mr. Darwin's 200th. Happy Birthday!

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


Jeffry Pilcher said...

The Pepsi PDF is a flop no matter how you look at it.

If it's an attempt at viral, it succeeded... at drawing attention to the agency (wrong) instead of the client (right). Besides it didn't make either agency or client look good. If there is a "surprise payoff" coming in a second phase (which I don't think is coming), they waited too long to put it into action. The damage has been done. The topic is waning, so if any clarification comes from the client/agency later, only a fraction of the audience will return to hear it.

I don't think it's a viral effort though. I think it's a genuine document, something someone on the inside (agency or client) couldn't swallow because it's so full of bullshit that they felt compelled to leak it.

Regardless, it is a black eye for logo designers around the world.

Nancy Friedman said...

Trader Joe's sells steer pizzle? How did I miss that?

Tim Tyrell-Smith said...

I'm sorry . . . did you say cow urine? That's it. I will no longer be ordering groceries from India. Yeesh!

Blog Directory - Blogged