Monthly Archives: April 2015

McDonalds Seems to Be Playing Ketchup.

Dairy Queen has a Blizzard? McDonalds will have McFlurry. Starbucks has lattes? McDonalds will make lattes. Chipotle lets customers build their meal? McDonalds will let customers build their own mains. Introducing Create Your Taste.


Now being tested in Australia, Singapore and select American markets, the new concept has customers using an interactive kiosk to select premium toppings for their quarter-pounders.

Unfortunately, creating individual burgers to order makes McDonalds a slower-fast food restaurant, with average wait times up to 7 minutes. The service will also not be rolled out to the drive thru window.

Will the Build-a-Bear concept transfer to the Build-a-Burger context? McDonalds seems to think it’s what Millennials want. So…are you lovin’ it?

build a bear


An (un)Fitness Tracker?

Joe Boxer, an irreverent brand of, well, boxers as well as pajamas and lounge wear, is issuing a tracker that rewards wearers for doing NOTHING.


Too conceptual? Too weird? Or creatives with fingers on the pulse (pun intended) of a current trend leveraging it for a brand usually only top of mind at Christmas?

Which is Stranger: the Category Extension or the Flavour?

Ben and Jerry's new brand extension

Ben and Jerry’s new brand extension

We usually think of category extensions working when there’s a meaningful fit between a brand and the category to which it is moving. For example, when Starbucks, the retail coffee chain, expanded into coffee machines (Verismo).

But ice cream to beer? I’m still puzzling over this one. Perhaps most of all, I’m wondering who the target market is for this unlikely mash up…any ideas?–abc-news-Recipes.html

Bleeding Purple: Something Laurier and Yahoo! Have in Common

When we talk about brand elements, we often focus on something like a logo, rather than its component parts. However, the colour of most corporate brand elements is as carefully specified as any other piece of its identity–sometimes it’s even the most important part (can you imagine McDonald’s golden arches as any other hue?).

Hence Yahoo!’s obsession with purple.

Yahoo founder with Maddy AlbrightAccording to Fast Company, Yahoo’s brand colour–found not only in its logo, but its offices and on the carpet rolled out for visiting VIPs–has been the subject of ongoing storytelling and the focus of the company’s leaders.

Is this a case of the sweating the small stuff, or should a corporate colour be an element of branding that everyone–including the CEO–worries about?

What do you think?

At Yahoo! the purple carpet rolled out when VIPs visit.

At Yahoo! the purple carpet rolled out when VIPs visit.

Well, You Were Already Putting Ketchup On Your KD…

Packaged food legends Heinz and Kraft recently announced that they will merge, creating the third biggest food company in North America.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, along with 3G Capital will own controlling shares of the new Kraft Heinz Co.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, along with 3G Capital will own controlling shares of the new Kraft Heinz Co.

Given that the two companies hold a vast portfolio of iconic brands, do you think this merger will change the meaning of individual brands? Was this a savvy business decision, or a cost-cutting mistake?

Hey! Victoria’s Secret! It’s ON.


Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has found an ideological sister (or, viewed more cynically, a copycat) in Lane Bryant’s #I’mNoAngel campaign.

According to HuffPost, Lane Bryant, a brand of plus-sized women’s wear, launched the campaign to take on traditional notions of what constitutes a sexy body.

But the women in the ad still flirt at the camera, posing in conventionally sexy positions while the voice-over features women purring coyly suggestive phrases (“want to see my girls?”) as they “redefine” sexy. So does this campaign start a conversation about women’s body image, or just provide new body sizes to be objectified? What do you think?