Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A Brand Dilemma

Are brands, brand names etcetera always created or do the products themselves have an influence over all of this?

It is very much the chicken and the egg debate: what came first Hula Hoop® or the crisp with the hole? Or in another way did the brand name determine the design, specification and production of the crunchy snack, or did they just bake-do you even bake crisps?-some crisps which came out hoop shaped and they said ‘well ya know what we’re goin’ to ’ave to call ’em?’

Unfortunately the Hula Hoop® example fails to answer this age old paradox. But, I have an opinion on the matter! Take the hot cross bun
[1] for example: according to the ever reliable resources of Wikipedia the hot cross bun has been knocking around for ages[2], but perhaps has not always been designated specifically as a hot cross bun, nor has there necessarily been a mention of the words hot, cross, or even bun. So what am I trying to say? Well, the bun existed in its current design prior to the nominal term hot cross bun, I suggest therefore that it took some smart advertising tycoon to come along see it and deem the bun hot and cross.

My argument is reaffirmed further if we consider that the bun may not necessarily have always been heated up in the past and thus the same advertising entrepreneur had a dilemma: if the sweet doughy product was not heated up then the advertising mogul had a clear and negative brand identity; because with no hot it’s just a cross bun and nobody wants that!

[1] In this instance I will use hot cross bun as a hypothetical brand name.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

I propose a 'Top 11' as a 'Top 10' is just too exclusive

I promise this will be short; it is just to get something down on paper so if anyone does stumble across this it is more than just a commandeered domain name.

What better time to start my independent advertising ’blog than after Campaign’s 2009 annual (and the special decade edition too)? Earlier, obviously, but nonetheless it is started.

Thumbing through Campaign’s glossy pages and rundown of all the highs and lows of in particular the year 2009
[1] I would have to say I agree with most of the top 10s, perhaps not the order but certainly the content.

My only complaint is the omission of Fallon’s ‘The Good Times They’re Out There’ poster print (see below) for Budweiser. This image displays the highest in art direction, whilst the copy is far from ground breaking it doesn’t need to be, as the image itself is quite so capturing. For me essentially the tranquil beauty and juxtaposition of the ‘rundown’ suburbs and the high rise offices or flats, suggests to me that Budweiser is a simple pleasure that can be enjoyed by all; thus the copy need not be extravagant; it only serves to reaffirm what I believe the art direction intended to convey.

I must admit that I did not catch all the top 10 posters that were featured, but on seeing them now I think they are all worthy of their accolade. So, the big question: which one do I drop to make way for my personal favourite? And my answer: hmmm……. How about Campaign have a top 11 next year? They all deserve to be up there for myriad reasons: wit (Dixons’ ‘Middle England’), media innovation (Virgin Trains’ ‘Liverpool Trains Liverpool Wall’), art direction (Land Rover’s ‘Goggles’), copy (VW’s ‘Efficiency’), copy and art Direction (The Times’ ‘Helicopter’), and finally for environment interaction or innovation (Sudafed’s ‘Breathe Clearly’.

In conclusion I cannot decide and am really sorry for sitting on the fence.

[1] I refer specifically to 2009 as it is only really within the past year that I have begun to take a vested interest in advertising – this owes itself to the fact that I was close to graduating from university and had to think where and what to do next.