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Posts Tagged ‘rebranding projects’

A&E TV Goes All ‘E’ with Corporate Rebrand

warsBack in the day of non-reality, scripted-but-supposed-to-be-reality-television, there were these things called “made-for-TV” programs. This involved real script writing, trained actors and plot lines that involve more imagination than hitting the shower to recover from a weekend bender.

Now, we live in a day when every producer out there is coming up with a stranded island, chefs who hate each other, strangers living together or that certain “music television” network that forgot to make shows about music…or television for that matter.

In 1984, there was a network that embraced that nouveau original programming thingy. And for a decade, Arts & Entertainment TV became the commercial counterpart to PBS. Back then, it had Biography. It won Emmys. It was heralded for production. And after 10 years of all that fame, meh!

It was considered “Arts” was too elitist for ratings. So, A&E was born — the initialism was supposed to make people forget they gave a crap about content and was TV for the people. Ratings struggled. Audiences waned. And producers cried for something better. They created docudramas and seemed to be focused, until they stumbled upon a trailer park and tripped over “Dog the Bounty Hunter.”

And that, as they say, was that.

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Public Relations

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The New Yorker Refreshes Its Brand for the Digital Age

This short clip doesn’t reveal too many details of The New Yorker‘s brand “refresh” project. Still, it’s interesting for a very brief behind-the-scenes look at how an established magazine plans and executes a calculated rebranding.

For example, the slightest tweak to a classic typeface and the addition of avatars for each columnist can alter the public’s perception of the magazine as it shifts from a stodgy, old-world literary title to a source of news and essays for a wired generation that’s less and less likely to read The New Yorker in a recliner on a Sunday afternoon.

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Can the ‘Dell Dude’ Save the Brand?

How much influence does a brand spokesman really have? For example, would we still hate GEICO with a violent passion even if we’d never seen that stupid lizard? Maybe.

But sometimes struggling brands need to play up the nostalgia. We can all agree that Dell, famous maker of crappy computers, is on a bit of a downslide, but actor Ben Curtis–who made a name for himself as the brand’s slacker spokesman during the early 00′s before confirming all sorts of negative stereotypes by getting himself arrested for trying to buy marijuana while wearing a kilt–thinks he knows what the company needs to do: rehire the “Dell dude!”

In his own words, “American loves a comeback, and nothing would be better for Dell than to bring back the face of their company.”

His proposal: reposition Dell, long seen as the go-to option for kids entering college or companies that don’t want to spend too much on in-house tech, as a mature company making products for mature people. Create a series of ads that highlight the perpetual college student’s move into the corporate world, casting him as an outsider in a business suit and showing how he manages to succeed thanks to all his great Dell products.

Would this plan work? We can all joke about an actor reaching for 15 more minutes of fame, but seriously: How would you remake Dell?

One final, fitting note: Despite Curtis’s love for the brand that gave him a career, he identifies as a proud Mac user.

Microsoft Goes Retro with ‘Child of the 90′s’ Video

Microsoft, a company that desperately wants to be in the now, decided to use its massive budget to rebrand one of its signature outdated products: Internet Explorer. In order to do this, the masters of “cool” created a viral video ad called “Child of the 90′s.” Everybody’s been sending it around today, so we guess it’s working.

It does make us want to go read Goosebumps, listen to Smashing Pumpkins and watch My So-Called Life re-runs. But it doesn’t tell us anything about how Internet Explorer has changed–or why we should be interested in the first place.

So yeah, cute commercial. But we’re still not going to use Bing or buy a Surface.

Scotland’s Rebranding Campaign = PONIES!!

Yesterday we told you about an Irish politician’s unfortunate decision to confirm every relevant stereotype by proposing a change in local laws that would allow for a bit of “moderate” drunk driving. Today we examine a nearby country engaging in a legitimate rebranding campaign designed to promote tourism by highlighting the natural beauty of its landscape…

Oh, who are we kidding–it’s Friday! We just wanted to post these adorable Shetland ponies. Look at their big silly sweaters!

American Airlines Takes a Stab at Rebranding

In case you hadn’t heard, American Airlines faces a number of significant PR challenges. We would review the bankruptcy, the mass layoffs, the employee strikes and the customer service nightmares, but you’ve heard all that before–we’ll just say there are several reasons that American repeatedly finds itself among America’s “most hated” brands. And while the company reported a very small profit in the fourth quarter of 2012 thanks to the tax benefits of declaring bankruptcy, a rehabilitation is clearly in order.

So what can American do to redeem itself in the eyes of its public? How about a new logo?

Check out the official corporate video unveiling the “much-anticipated” redesign (and try not to gag on all the drama).

There are a few more bells and whistles involved, of course.

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‘Kentucky Kicks Ass’: Legitimate Campaign, PR Stunt, or Both?

Kentucky for KentuckyThe new year brought us a fun tale of a unique statewide rebranding campaign: According to PR Daily, the state of Kentucky no longer wants to rely on banjos, bourbon and fried chicken to drive tourist dollars. A group called Kentucky for Kentucky that claims to represent the commonwealth used the new year to unveil a brand-new slogan: “Kentucky Kicks Ass!”

While we got a chuckle out of this campaign, we were also skeptical. Would any state tourism board really approve such a ballsy tagline? Turns out we were right to wonder: While the project supposedly stemmed from an effort to crowdsource funding for a pro-Kentucky Super Bowl ad, state officials do not share the Internet’s enthusiasm for this PR stunt.

And now we learn (surprise, surprise) that Kentucky for Kentucky is the brainchild of three advertising executives who don’t mind making fun of themselves and don’t much care for their home state’s current slogan, the vaguely inspirational “Unbridled spirit”. They’d like everyone to know that they have no problem with the fact that Kentucky is best known for “KFC”, “horses”, “whiskey”, “marijuana”, George Clooney, Jonny Depp and “that chick in The Hunger Games“, because it’s still a great place to live, vacation and spend money. Oh, and they also have lots of fancy t-shirts for sale.

OK, so it was all a little prank. But it worked–and their video is kind of cool:

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Toyota Recovers from PR Stumbles with Hot Pink Re-Branding

2013 Toyota CrownWe’d be hard-pressed to think of a bigger PR disaster for an automotive brand than the largest car recall in history followed by a massive tsunami wreaking untold damage on international supply chains. Heck, we didn’t even mention this valuable lesson about the dangers of automated spam messaging or this misguided effort to raise brand awareness among toddlers.

And yet, 2012 sales numbers tell us that Toyota has already recovered from a wide-reaching scandal that started in 2009 with reports of “technical difficulties” in its vehicles and ended with the recall of more than seven million individual automobiles. In fact, the Japanese company ended the year by reclaiming its place as the world’s most successful car maker.

Toyota obviously wanted to get people talking in 2013, so it came out swinging with a re-branding initiative fronted by a hot pink “executive” sedan. Japanese CEOs and their teenage daughters now have one more thing in common…a favorite color! Did someone invite Hello Kitty reps to participate in creative strategy meetings?

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Why Is L’Oreal ‘Bored’ with Pinterest?

L’Oreal is a beauty company—a very visual brand with a heavy female demographic. This would make them a prime candidate for brand expansion via Pinterest, right?

Maybe not. Rachel Weiss, L’Oreal’s vp of digital strategy and marketing, recently told Business Insider that she had all but stopped using the white-hot social “pinning” service and re-focused her branding efforts on Facebook because she “got bored” with Pinterest. As evidence: this L’Oreal page definitely feels a little neglected.

Interestingly, Weiss emphasizes a shift in her company’s strategy from product-centric to brand-centric. Rather than promoting specific products, she says, L’Oreal wants to ensure that its brand is there at every potential touchpoint to guide the consumer—in the retail location, in the salon, online, or on mobile.

She claims that Pinterest is not ready to help facilitate this sort of branding strategy. Essentially, she argues that Pinterest is not yet as business-friendly as Facebook and says that L’Oreal is “waiting to see what Pinterest comes out [with] as a platform for brands”. She’s not sure exactly when this will happen but thinks that the service’s managers will have to “move into brand play” in order to expand its influence.

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Taco Bell Takes on Chipotle with ‘Cantina’ Rebranding

Let’s be frank—the Taco Bell chain has never been known for the quality of its food. It’s a reliable source for beer-fueled midnight snack runs that your stomach will regret in the morning, but Chipotle has been the recognized leader in “quality” Mexican-style fare for some time. Its “food with integrity” tagline couldn’t be clearer.

Of course, the folks behind the Chihuahua would love to change that equation—and it seems like they’ve had some success with the “Cantina Bell” rebranding project and its celebrity chef spokesperson, Lorena Garcia. The goal of this exercise was clearly to compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is something of a “cult favorite” despite being a big-money national chain once owned by McDonald’s.

Well, it worked–According to the YouGov Brand Index, Taco Bell’s quality perception among consumers rose throughout the summer after it debuted the Cantina brand—and its scores are now closer to those of its nemesis. The success of the Cantina project even inspired venture capitalist David Einhorn to warn investors about buying shares of Chipotle—and the company’s stock value quickly dropped in response.

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