Monthly Archives: June 2015

Google’s Cultural Branding


Via your classmate Mathuri, an ad for Google My Business, a sub-brand which supplies tools for small businesses. It’s a story of a transgender man and the gym that made him feel comfortable during his transition. Told by Google, known for its unapologetic support for LGBT issues, it features a current topic (with transitions such as Caitlyn Jenner’s in the news) and was launched during Pride month.

Is Google being relevant, or riding a trend? Does an ad like this provide emotional resonance to a brand known for data, or does it smack of opportunism – what do you think?


Guys just wanna have fun…

Don't blame the messanger: image by novelty retailer David and Goliath

Don’t blame the messenger: image by novelty retailer David and Goliath

Brands appealing to one gender vs. the other seem to be a class topic of late. Here are two examples, via your classmate Ian, of brands producing marketing communications that target young men: Boston Pizza and Dollar Shave Club, respectively.

Ian says they’re entertaining, memorable and have strong brand associations….but then, he’s in the target audience.

What to YOU think? Do these ads do a good job of communicating each brand’s identity and value proposition? Why or why not?

And, as Father’s Day approaches, a question: do men ever get tired of ads that only want to sell them ties, cologne, barbecue gear, tools, watches, technology, alcohol and sports? Just wondering.

Speaking of Brands and Prejudice…

Samantha Elauf has won her case against Abercrombie & Fitch, who wouldn't hire her because she wore a headscarf.

Samantha Elauf has won her case against Abercrombie & Fitch, who wouldn’t hire her because she wore a headscarf.

Abercromie & Fitch has been served. The United States Supreme Court today made clear that the once big brand on the block is merely the bigoted brand on the block. Plaintiff Samantha Elauf had been assessed as a good candidate to hire based on her resume and an interview with an assistant store manager. However, a district manager reversed the hiring decision because Elauf wore a headscarf, deemed against A&F’s employee “look” policy against headgear.

Here’s a glimpse at the rule book for A&F employees:

A&F sleeve roll

Aside from issues of religious freedom, is this hyper-controlled approach brand image desirable?

Has the public (or, more importantly, target market) finally had enough of this elitist retailer?

Because dogs aren’t racist…


Via your classmate Paulina, Pedigree’s new “Feel the Good” campaign takes on stereotypes as dogs become ambassadors for understanding.

I have to say that it’s nice to see the white guy acting like a jerk for a change. Paulina writes:

I would be curious to know if this type of commercial and this new campaign actually has an effect on the brand. Do people go out and think Pedigree is good for my dog because it brings out the best in everyone? While the ad did make me feel all warm and fuzzy while watching it, I question its effectiveness, was there too much going on? Is this just a way to show that even a dog food company can talk about social issues affecting us? I know this is not a new concept, a brand that has nothing to do with a certain topic addressing it though their ads, but is it effective?
Here’s a TV spot for the campaign that ran in Australia:
Lovely stuff, but is it effective? Can Pedigree “own” this idea, or would any dog food feed a dog who would in turn bring out the best in an owner?