branding • November 6, 2009

Mickey Mouse Takes The Gloves Off

I guess it had to happen. Still, I wasn’t prepared. Just in time for his birthday (November 18, 1928) Mickey Mouse, the classic Disney character, is going in for a makeover. And it’s not just a few cosmetic tweaks this time. Disney’s decided that, to remain relevant, the iconic mouse needs a new personality. Out with the cheerful, happy, […]

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branding • October 9, 2009

The Merrill Lynch Bull Charges Back, More Softly This Time

One of many painful sidebars to last year’s Wall Street bloodbath was the swift death of seemingly invincible brands, including former financial powerhouses Lehmann, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch. The human toll was so vast that no one gave much of a thought to the vanquished logos. But, as symbolism, their disappearance rubbed salt into […]

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branding • September 17, 2009

Will Healthcare Damage Brand Obama?

In “Mad Men”‘s season debut, fictional ad man Don Draper quietly advises a colleague, “Limit your exposure.” It’s actually an oblique reference to his associate’s indiscretion (and his own secret past), but I thought of Draper’s advice today in a different context. I’ve finally joined the ranks of those who fear that President Obama may be overexposed. Don’t […]

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branding • August 7, 2009

When Brands Try To Be Cool

Recently, RadioShack announced that it’s changing its name. Or, more precisely, it wants you to use its nickname. In what’s billed as an informal move, the retailer has launched a campaign inviting us to call it “The Shack.” I can understand wanting to lose the dated “Radio,” which connotes a bygone technology era.  And, the chain […]

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branding • July 31, 2009

Was The Beer Summit A Teachable Moment?

What is it about beer? Former President George Bush was elected partly because he was a guy most Americans could imagine sitting down and having a beer with…ironic, given the fact that he doesn’t touch the stuff. This week, knocking back a cold one became the symbol for a “cooling off” event involving President Obama, […]

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