Notes

New Stella Artois “Chalice Can” Full of Hot Air


The Brief: Stella Artois, a very popular Belgium Beer has announced what the company refers to as its “Chalice Can.” The big benefit? You can now have Stella Artois in a can.

The Blunder? Stella insults its customers by falsely creating a brand attribute. Specifically, giving the impression that something is special when it is without question completely ordinary. This is not Pet Rock brilliance, this is not Lucky Strike creativity, the Chalice Can is marketing pablum of the most grotesque kind.

Coke’s shapely new aluminum can is exotic and fun, Guinness’s new can has a feature that activates on opening to recreate the famous Guinness poor. Stella Artois’s big can promotion offers

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Notes

SpongeBob SquarePants Faces Rounding Error in Puzzling New Product License Deal



The Real SpongeBob SquarePants

According to Access Hollywood, SpongeBob SquarePants is a “Cash Cow” and generated “$8 Billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon.” The 2009 report, covering SpongeBob’s 10th anniversary reported that President Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown were both fans who watched the show with their children.

The Brief: SpongeBob is an anchor brand for Nickelodeon and as a result requires great attention to detail when it comes to approving deals to license the character to manufacturers for specialty and retail products. Agreeing to poorly made

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Notes

Dismal New Design for DNC Deemed Defective


The Brief: Political season is upon us and although it’s a bit late, I thought I’d start this season’s political branding blunders with the introduction of the Democrats new logo. While I’m still a holdout for the President to pull something out of his hat and save our Economy, I can’t imagine from where DNC Chairman, Tim Kaine pulled out the idea for the new DNC logo. If you follow Branding Blunders at all, you know that far too often, not long before a defeat or period of poor performance, a hack marketer will

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Notes

Poor Poster Promotion Yields No Interest at “People’s Bank”

It was the best of signs, it was the worst of signs (with apologies to Dickens.)

I believe it’s fair to say that the two posters in question from Bank of Guam, or “The People’s Bank” can be summed up in the line that follows what is perhaps the world’s most memorable first line in a novel. Dickens writes, “…it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Now that I think about it, that’s really the premise for beginning Branding Blunders in the first palce. It’s amazing to me that in an era where we have so much experience, we behave as though

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Notes

Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush P.O.P. Nothing to Smile About

The Brief: When it comes to Justin Bieber’s new “Singing Toothbrush” Point of Purchase (POP) display, I guess there’s not much to smile about. The teen heartthrob, is hawking a gimmicky new product on TV that clearly states “Get Your Bieber Smile Today.” Ironically, the junior pitchman is pouting on the packaging rather than presenting his pearly whites.

This is about consistency and making sure all the areas of your communications are in harmony and that everything is reinforcing the story you’re trying to convey to the market. In this case it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the kid should be smiling. If the tag line suggests you get your “Bieber Smile,” then it would

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11 Notes

Bloomie’s Gets an “F” for “B-Kids” Department Name

The Brief: Heading to the movies at the Bloomingdales Mall, I noticed this Bloomingdale’s department naming signage indicating, what I must assume, the wizbangs at Bloomie’s thought of as a short hand for Bloomingdale’s Kids. A cute idea until you read it from the perspective of a customer who isn’t so attached to the concept.

This must be the department for kids who can’t quite make “A”s in school, but still insist on buying overpriced jeans which they’ll grow out of in 11 days. Talk about your

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3 Notes

YuMe’s Perplexing Web Page Prompts Video Pitchmen to Ponder Picts

AdAge Website (Entry Page: Notice big YuMe ad banner top right)

YuMe.com Official Website

YuMe.com Product Page (remember, it’s a video ad network)

YuMe.com Third level product page (and still no video)


The Brief: You’d think a high-tech video ad network would choose video to tell its story to interested prospects. If you’re in charge of advertising at YuMe, the video ad network in question, you’d probably think that’s too obvious and instead go for something even more edgy, like a “sexy” stock photo of a Swiss Army Knife.

This pig is no prize. And trust me, spending 4 minutes on their site provides no reward for the effort. I was a perfect prospect for this company. Even if the product was

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Notes

Charity Branding Blunders: “Stop Child Abuse” Campaign Lacks Compelling Creative

The brief: I clicked on an interesting tweet this morning that wanted to raise awareness about child abuse by asking me to donate a tweet. When I arrived at the site’s landing page there was a video with a beautiful sky scene, so obviously, I clicked the play button to see the content. What I saw on the video was so poorly produced, I chose not to donate a tweet for the campaign only because I felt I would be disrespectful of me to waste the time of those who follow me.

Let me be clear, I went to the site with every intention to support its twitter campaign, but the amature video production halted me in my tracks, as I suspect happened to many others as well. The short version of this story is that the 3min 48sec video consists of a photo combining a sky scene with

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4 Notes

From “West Wing” to “Jersey Shore”: How Washington is Blundering America’s Brand


There is far more to worry about than the results of Standard and Poor’s downgrade of U.S. long term debt, for instance, how about 300 million+ outraged Americans?

The brief: Politicians are our customer representatives. They are the face of the brand that’s presented to the citizens and corporations of the world. What they have presented is a tarnished image of a weakened nation that once could responsibly manage its affairs—-a nation of integrity that could be trusted to do the right thing, mean what it said, a nation that the world could depend upon.

If Washington’s antics were a TV show, it would look less like “The West Wing” and more like MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” It’s a sad state of affairs for those of us who are tuned-in to the two-decade long culmination of a economic cliffhanger. Just when we thought

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Notes

Let’s Be Frank: Pet Shop, Poor Location for Hot Dog Vendor

Yes, folks, it’s a real hot dog vendor (Let’s be Frank) in front of a pet shop, but don’t laugh, you may be making a similar mistake and don’t realize it.
The brief: The old maxim of success in retail being “Location, Location, Location.” comes to mind, but there are some locations where one ought not to go.
Is it a blunder? Yup! The vendor here, might think there are lots of folks coming in and out of this popular pet supply store in San Francisco’s upscale Fillmore District, but what he’s not realizing is

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