To misguide and mislead....

This week has been a bit of an eye opener for me, not that I'm usually uninterested or in denial. I've realised how branding and marketing can sometimes go wrong. It's often a case of laziness, lack of substance or pure bad taste. Echoing Gabi's post last week 'It's a fine line' on our blog about Kayak's advert and it's sensationalist approach, this week's seen Richard Branson apologising for Virgin Mobile latest advert. Though Branson doesn't own the brand, his name is associated to it. The 'ill-judged' advent calendar advert showed a man behind a woman covering her eyes, with the slogan 'The gift of Christmas surprise. Necklace? or chloroform?'. Simply sick...

We all agree that it's a step too far… but here I am, filling a page about it on our blog. I guess the publicity stunt worked and it only takes an apology from the brand to 'redeem' themselves. This is poor marketing, yes it gives a brand visibly but it's short-lived, like Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame. It's always embarrassing to witness lack of imagination of tasteful impertinence or creativity. There is a real laziness in our industry that we require use of vulgarity for concept. Lacklustre branding campaign, logos that have forgotten their informative utility. The new Weight Watchers logo launched by Pentagram is another disappointment. Moving on from it's colours (blue, green and yellow) and loosing the capital on the Ws, the new identity is a chunky font with a grey gradient fading to light grey. Stating the obvious, it clearly shows the weight loss… fading to nothing… invisible. The font is heavy (ironic when talking about weight loss) and a clear departure from the old typeface. 

The problem is it just looks like a font, not a logo. Call me old-fashioned but a logo is a symbol that identify its products or services. The new trend is to convey the brand personality through a font and it is a valid option but I don't get the Weight Watchers identity. It is a modern identity yes, is it appealing to their target which is 90% female and 40+…

Candy Kittens is next on the grill. It is the brainchild of Made In Chelsea Jamie Laing. The McVitie's heir launched his first sweet shop on King's Road last May and planning to launch two more outside Chelsea. Laing took inspiration to the Dylan's Candy Bar in New York, owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter. The concept is clear: bringing sexiness, sweets and fashion under the same roof.

The Candy Kittens' website is fun, branding is colourful and fun. Sexy girls and boys posing with t-shirts sporting the owner's best catch phrases… no sight of sweets, not one image. Its all about Laing's persona and how he is pictured in the Channel 4 program Made In Chelsea. In a recent interview Jamie Laing said Candy Kitten the brand and Jamie Laing the brand are different things… am I missing something here? Dylan's Candy Bar (the inspiration behind Candy Kitten) is spot on, it's all about sweets, in every shapes, flavours, for every occasion. It got people (not just tourists or parents) going there and spending $300. Has Candy Kitten longevity… time will tell.

27 December 2012

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