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Branding

Designer Veggie Couture Spices up the Runway at Project SUBWAY’s Fashion Show

2014 Onion Runway FinalWhen an onion graced the runway at Nolcha Fashion Week in New York on Tuesday, those in the front row weren’t crying. Instead they broke into peals of laughter, since the onion was a novel dress and hat ensemble designed for the second Project SUBWAY contest.

This year ten up-and-coming designers and FIT students were challenged to create unique dresses inspired by vegetables found at SUBWAY® restaurants. Among the healthy fashion creations: spinach, banana pepper, tomato, jalapeno, lettuce, carrot, cucumber and green pepper. At last year’s show, designers created dresses made of non-edible materials from SUBWAY®, like sandwich wrappers, napkins and salad bowls.

Judging the contest was a tall order, and the panel included Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Russell Westbrook, Olympic gymnastic champion Nastia Liukin, TV personality Bella Thorne and celebrity stylist Johnny Wujek. They critiqued the designs based on creativity, originality, beauty, fit and best representation of the vegetables, and remarked about the green pepper’s ‘aggressive’ shoulders and hourglass shape, the lettuce’s see-through design and the red tomato’s sparkle.

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Anatomy of a Twitter Apology: DiGiorno

ICYMI, DiGiorno broke what looked like a long winning streak on Twitter late last night with this one:

DiGiorno

The hashtag marked a collection of statements from women who had been in abusive relationships explaining why they did not leave their significant others. The point of the trend was to counter the unfortunate narrative holding that Ray Rice’s wife was somehow responsible for the incident that got him fired yesterday.

DiGiorno rightfully got a lot of very negative attention for a painfully insensitive message, but the brand’s social media manager also did a very thorough job of apologizing after the jump.

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Enraged Little Girl Insists that ‘Hello Kitty’ Is Indeed a Cat

jjjjjjkitIn case you missed the recent Earth-shattering revelation that Hello Kitty is not, in fact, a feline, here’s a brief update to put the below video and its furious, ranting star in context: Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist who is currently curating a Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, was informed by Sanrio (Hello Kitty’s parent company) that despite her feline features and name, Ms. Kitty is, in fact, a member of the human race.

“I was corrected — very firmly,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat.”

Once this news broke, social media rants circled the web, and general pandemonium ensued. Among the shocked, confused and disbelieving fans was this little girl, who, despite being visibly and audibly distraught, makes a pretty clear-cut case as to why she just isn’t buying it.

“She LOOKS  like a CAT,” she sputters. She is a cat that acts like a human, like usual cartoons!”

We hear, ya, Honey. It’s enough to send a person spiraling into existential crisis. Isn’t Goofy a dog? Isn’t Winnie The Pooh a bear? Isn’t Sebastian a crab? We don’t even know what to believe anymore.

The Power of Packaging: Same Old Miller Lite ‘Tastes Better’ in Retro Cans

newmillerlitecan_fullsize_story1One way to revive sales of a product is to revamp the recipe, improve the taste, and bump up the quality. But why go to all that trouble when you can just change up the packaging and sell the same old swill in a shiny new — or in this case, old — can…and watch your profits climb?

It’s precisely this branding move that’s had Miller Lite patting itself on the back — the beer had been sold in blue cans since 2001, but as a promotional tie-in with “Anchorman 2” at the tail end of last year, the brand brought back its retro white labeling from the 80′s. As soon as the throwback cans hit store shelves, sales increased across the US.

Were people nostalgic for their drinking days of yore? Did the white can simply make Miller stand out in a sea of blue-labelled light beers? Maybe it was some combination of the two. One thing, though, is for certain: the label change caused a measurable shift in consumer opinion and demand.

“A lot of people said, ‘I think the beer even tastes better,’” Ryan Reis, senior director for Miller’s family of brands, told Bloomberg Businessweek.

That’s right — consumers even felt the resurrected can made Miller Lite, which hasn’t actually changed in the least, taste better. The power of packaging, people: don’t ever doubt it. Read more

Wallet App Changes Its Name From ‘Isis’ To Softcard

softcardA mobile wallet previously named “Isis” has announced a name change to “Softcard” in order to avoid any association whatsoever with the militant group currently committing horrific violent acts across Syria and Iraq.  Company CEO Michael Abbott had previously announced the company’s intent on rebranding.

“We have no interest in sharing a name with a group whose name has become synonymous with violence and our hearts go out to those who are suffering,” he told The Verge last month.

The renaming process began in July.

“Together with a simple and flexible visual system, the inherent simplicity of Softcard gives it the potential to become a category defining name,” Abbott said more recently to USA Today.

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Of Mice and Men: Disney Prevents Deadmau5 From Trademarking Two Peculiar Ears

mickey_mouse_vs_deadmau5

From the “What in the world took so long” department, today brings us some legal ruminations via one successful trance music prodigy named Deadmau5. To his parents, the rodent-monikered dance hall wunderkind is Joel Zimmerman of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. To the rest of us, he wears a mouse head and two digitally enhanced ears.

For more than a decade, this has been Zimmerman’s shtick — he shows up in concert, never to be seen sans mouse head, and plays his curly tail off. Oh sure, there is a stark similarity between his outfit and that of another notable mouse, but nothing has been said. Not once, until now.

Finally.

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CVS Health Changes Name, Kicks Tobacco for More Than #OneGoodReason

Go big or go home!

Cigarettes are notably absent on the shelves of 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores today — a month earlier than expected. In their stead comes a new name (CVS Health), a new tagline (“Health is Everything”) and a new raison d’être: changing the future health of Americans for the better. (And of course a new social media campaign, #OneGoodReason.)

And yes, smoking is still a problem: 18 percent of American adults do it, and 480,000 deaths a year may be directly attributed to the nasty habit.

For Larry Merlo, president and CEO, the sale of tobacco products became inconsistent with the purpose of the company, which now boasts 900 walk-in clinics and a large pharmacy benefit management company, known as CVS/Caremark.

“Changing the name catches up with what we have been doing,” Merlo told Forbes.

It also changes the bottom line. Read more

ALS Association Wants to Trademark ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

ice bucket

Can you blame them, really?

Yet some attorneys call the move “shameful”, comparing it to last year’s attempt to trademark the phrase “Boston Strong” in the wake of the bombing that shook that city.

Everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Anna Wintour, a robot and a smartphone poured water over themselves for advocacy this summer. Pamela Anderson and several big fashion names even sparked some ethics debates by co-opting the meme for their own purposes.

But this move undermines the campaign.

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Abercrombie Drops Logo from Clothing, Deprives Bros Everywhere of Identities

abercrombie-and-fitch-clothes-for-womenThanks to changing tastes of the teen demographic and the landslide of bad press the company has received over the past year, the Abercrombie & Fitch brand no longer wields the same power it once did. With sales continuing to flounder, the clothing retailer has decided to abandon its time-honored tradition of plastering its name and logo on virtually every piece of attire it sells, effectively robbing rich frat boy types of their identities.

“In the spring season, we are looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing,” Mark Jeffries, CEO of A&F told investors on a conference call.  And in a note to investors Thursday, Richard Jaffe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, noted that “it’s taking time to win back customers.” But he believes that the merchandise changes are “gaining traction.”

While much of the brand’s weakening can likely be attributed to the recent Abercrombie-only-wants-pretty-and-cool-kids-wearing-their-clothes controversy, this branding shift is also about keeping up with the changing preferences of teens, who are more interested in standing out as individuals (while all wearing the same trendy top from H&M or Forever 21) than fitting in under a universally-recognized logo. Read more

Anything Named ISIS is Due for a Rebrand

isis bandUntil recently, the word “Isis” didn’t mean much to many people. At least not here in the US. Then we started to hear about the terror they inflicted as they took control of area after area across Iraq and Syria. Then, of course, there was the horrifying news of James Foley’s beheading. Now, the word “ISIS” elicits nothing but fear, disgust and anger.

So it’s unfortunate if you’re a brand with the name Isis.

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