Category Archives: Blog

Facebook is failing marketers

Blog, Brand communication, Brand meaning, Brands and social media0 comments

In light of this interesting report from Forrester Research on the facebook-logo_20096214479failure of Facebook for marketers (and Facebook is the darling of social media), I’m reprinting a blog post I wrote here on social media  two and a half years ago:

The Honeymoon is Over

There’s a question that vexed CMOs for a while: how can we build our brand with social media?

Many of those CMOs have now realized the sometimes unwelcome answer.

We can’t.

That’s right, brands can’t be built through social media. Sure, social media can be leveraged to support brands. But brands today are built the same way they always were: through brand expression, brand experience and brand advocacy. Again, social media may contribute to these (most aptly, brand advocacy) , but let’s not put the bandwagon before the horse. Continue Reading

So God made a YouTube video

Blog, Brand communication, Brands in culture, Brands in the news0 comments

As a footnote to my post below on last night’s Super Bowl ads, this story could not be more appropriate. The only ad that I deemed worthy of some positive comment turns out to be a rip-off of a home-made video uploaded to YouTube by  While my post pointed to the “borrowed interest” in the Dodge Ram commercial, I didn’t realize at that stage quite how borrowed it was.

The full story and video are here.

Again, a perfect depiction of the lack of originality on show last night.


Not so Super Bowl

Blog, Brand communication, Brands in culture, Brands in the news0 comments

And so, last night, to the yearly ritual of watching the Super Bowl ads,super-bowl-commercials-2012-header.jpg punctuated by brief episodes of the game itself. This is billed as the showcase of national advertising. The winner last night?

The Baltimore Ravens.

Yep, I enjoyed the game more than the ads. Now, I ought to clarify that this is the first year that I’ve actually understood the rules (at least some of them), which sure makes a difference. And the ebb and flow of the play, with a tight finish, kept me interested. As for the ads,…time out. The amount of contrived, derivative advertising with no brand idea, no advertising idea, in fact, no idea, was alarming – given the average cost of a Super Bowl spot.

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Rebranding American Airlines

Blog, Brand communication, Brand identity, Brand meaning, Brands in the news0 comments

AA new logo AA before after plane in new liveryI have to admit that I have a soft spot for AA, and have enjoyed the benefits of ExecPlat status for many a year. I can’t deny the operational and service problems they have had of late, which of course mold the brand experience for most passengers.

I want to like the new logo and livery, but I’m struggling. AA was like Ford and IBM to me – they had an almost timeless logo which required only minor modification. The new livery feels unbalanced with that heavy handed design on the tailfin.

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SAAB and its “new” logo

Blog, Brand identity, Brands in the news0 comments

saab_logo_round for bonnet and wheel saab_logo redoSaab’s “new” logo isn’t really new. It’s the result of pragmatics, convoluted ownership history and licensing restrictions.

Without going into too much of the historical trials and tribulations of the company that has come back from bankruptcy, and currently has yet another owner (NEVS), the bottom line is that the griffin is gone. At least from the cars. The crowned griffin (half lion, half eagle) logo, is currently in use by Saab AB (the aerospace company) and Scania (the truck company) who did not grant the rights to it on SAAB cars.

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Chevy, right turn?

Blog, Brand identity, Brand meaning, Brands in the news0 comments

chevrolet_ns_“Chevy runs deep” was always more of a tactical tagline to mark the brand’s centennial (it turned 100 in 2011), designed to tug at the nostalgic heart strings of American consumers. There is no doubt that the brand is a cultural mainstay in the US, immortalized in pop culture from west coast to east, but the line never had the legs to become a brand slogan – and certainly not a global one – with an eye to a very different 100 years to come. The line was difficult to translate and its meaning impossible, given the lack of heritage in many of its markets. It was at least anchored on the brand name, a definite plus.

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