Ryan Dearth

Marijuana Companies Trading Stoner Slang For Mainstream Branding

Have trouble asking for an ounce of Purple Kush or Atomic Haze without feeling like the kind of stoner who would brag to his baked buddies about scoring some dank bud? Don’t worry, corporate branding is coming to save the day with acceptably bland product names. [More]

Mike Seyfang

Amazon Flex Drivers Are Kind Of Freaking Customers Out

Amazon Flex is the e-commerce behemoth’s new service meant to help meet its delivery demand without depending on the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx. Flex drivers originally only made deliveries for same-day local orders through the Prime Now app, but recently the company let drivers deliver regular Amazon packages too. As Flex expands to more cities, it’s kind of freaking customers out. [More]

J.G. Park

Fashion Brands Don’t Want To Go To Macy’s, Either

We’ve been discussing lately about how customers don’t seem to want to shop in department stores, which means that malls don’t want or need them to draw customers. It turns out that brands have soured on department stores too, since having items inevitably end up on sale cheapens their brands everywhere. Where does that leave department stores? Closing a lot of stores and figuring out how to go forward. [More]

10 Fictional Brands Hollywood Loves To Use In Movies & TV

10 Fictional Brands Hollywood Loves To Use In Movies & TV

We’ve all had that moment where a character on TV or in a movie picks up a generically branded beer, or pulls out a package of cigarettes emblazoned with a logo that looks nothing like anything offered in the real world. [More]

Tom Raftery

Brands Aren’t Going To Quit Tweeting About Current Events

When major news event happen, the people who run brands’ social media accounts have a tough choice: should they mention it or not? When things go wrong, people accuse you of using the deaths of beloved celebrities to hawk shoes or cereal. The problem, though, is that the rewards for brands are too great, and they aren’t about to stop trying just because a few people are offended. [More]

Alaska Airlines Apologizes After “Meet Our Eskimo” Branding Effort Offends

Alaska Airlines Apologizes After “Meet Our Eskimo” Branding Effort Offends

When you’ve gone and repainted your planes with a new logo, we can understand the desire to show it off to everyone. But maybe consider running your new ad slogan by a few people before it goes public.

This "Fast Crafted" Arby's food looks an awful lot like fast food. (photo: Morton Fox)

“Fast Crafted,” “Fine Casual” & Other Nonsense Terms Restaurants Use To Avoid Saying “Fast Food”

In the foodservice industry, fast food joints have long been referred to as “quick service restaurants” or QSRs, but that was never a term intended for use by the public, which was just fine using the equally accurate “fast food.” But for many in the QSR business, this phrase has the stink and sheen of rancid french fry oil. So they are increasingly turning to borderline nonsensical descriptors to avoid it. [More]

McDonald’s Rebrands Fancy Burgers Created Via Kiosk

McDonald’s Rebrands Fancy Burgers Created Via Kiosk

What does the name “TasteCrafted” sound like to you? If you said “a mass-produced product that calls itself ‘artisan,'” you’d be close: that was one of the names tested for pricier, higher-quality, customized burgers at McDonald’s. The new name is “Chef Crafted,” since there’s nothing that the public associates more with McDonald’s than a trained chef carefully assembling burgers in the kitchen. [More]

Maxwell House Coffee Settles For “Good,” Not Great Or Awesome

Maxwell House Coffee Settles For “Good,” Not Great Or Awesome

Young adults are no longer interested in mediocre coffee. As far as Maxwell House is concerned, that’s okay. They don’t need the cool kids with their pour-overs and their burr grinders. Their new marketing campaign targets customers who want coffee that’s just, you know, good enough. [More]

Starbucks Opens At Disney World, Everyone Freaks Out For Some Reason

Starbucks Opens At Disney World, Everyone Freaks Out For Some Reason

Main Street, U.S.A. serves as the entrance to Disney’s theme parks worldwide. It’s like a quaint American small town from a century ago, where everyone carries smartphones in their fanny packs. Change has come to Main Street, and some Disney fans are more than a little upset that the Main Street Bakery will now serve a full menu of authentic, turn-of-the-century Starbucks beverages. [More]

(Paxton Holley)

Survey: Top Brands For Buzz In 2012 Were Subway, Amazon And… Cheerios?

When you think about popular fast food chains, Subway is certainly among them. And is without a doubt the leader in online retail. But apparently the U.S. brand with the third-best “buzz” from consumers in 2012 was a cereal we’ve all been eating since the dawn of time. [More]

'Top Chef-Inspired' Frozen Meals Sort Of Means Something

'Top Chef-Inspired' Frozen Meals Sort Of Means Something

As a single person with a small appetite and an odd schedule, I eat a lot of frozen meals. I’m fond of the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers line with the built-in colander basket thingies. A few weeks ago, I noticed that some of these meals had been branded as “Top Chef-inspired” and some hadn’t, even though the dishes were the same exact ones I remembered from before. Or were they?


Unfortunate Caller ID Foreshortening For The Original Honeybaked Ham Company

Unfortunate Caller ID Foreshortening For The Original Honeybaked Ham Company

Probably should have thought that one through.


Internet Overlords Vote To Allow .YourNameHere Domains

Internet Overlords Vote To Allow .YourNameHere Domains

Instead of just the regular .com and org addresses, the guys who run the internet have voted to allow the creation of .AnythingYouWantHere domain names. Just about any word in the English language, or any brand name, will be allowed to be turned into a top-level domain name under the program known as ” gTLD” or “Generic Top Level Domain.”


Aveda's Weird Relationship With An Amazonian Tribe

Aveda's Weird Relationship With An Amazonian Tribe

For 18 years, makeup company Aveda has tried to pursue a unique economic partnership with the Yawanawá Amazonian tribe. Aveda gave them startup money and the Yawanawá are supposed to grow and supply urukum, a spiky red fruit that Aveda pays them for and uses to color their wares. It’s a great story, and Aveda weaves it into its marketing messages to help sell its makeup as being “green,” “sustainable” and “conscious.” There’s just one problem. WSJ probed and found the Yawanawá aren’t very good at making it in large quantities — they delivered none 2008-2010 and only 64 kg this year — and the economic lifeline that was supposed to save their tribe and make it self-sufficient could actually be tearing it apart.


Logos Redesigned For What The Company Actually Does

Logos Redesigned For What The Company Actually Does

For fun and whimsy, graphic designer Viktor Hertz took a crack at reworking some famous company logos so they more accurately depict what the company is all about. C’mon, let’s get real people. YouTube is not about putting “you” on the “tube” — it’s the world’s largest repository of cat videos! The rest of the satire, more of which can be found here, speaks for itself.


Ford Overtakes GM In Owner Loyalty

Ford Overtakes GM In Owner Loyalty

A cocktail of advertising, performance, customer service and social prominence leads to the elusive concept of brand loyalty. Judging from an R.L. Polk study of 5.2 million new vehicle-buying households, Ford has nailed the formula more effectively than its competitors recently, because the company has surpassed GM for the top spot it previously held.


GoDaddy CEO Shoots Elephant, Sparks Stampede Of Customers To Flee

GoDaddy CEO Shoots Elephant, Sparks Stampede Of Customers To Flee

The CEO of domain name registrar GoDaddy is facing an online furor after the video he posted of himself killing an elephant in Africa went viral. After the elephant dies and CEO Bob Parsons poses next to it, villagers from all around come out to strip and devour the carcass on the spot. Many of them are wearing day-glo orange GoDaddy caps. As these images play in the video, “Hells Bells” provides the soundtrack. Now a backlash movement has started for folks to switch their domain providers away from GoDaddy.