When you’re working on crafting the perfect brand name, many of you are also developing logos and/or imagery to accompany the name. This edition of The Oops Reel should serve as a reminder that just as much due diligence needs to go into evaluating the visual element of the brand. Let’s not forget the adage: a picture is worth a thousand words.
Are There Babies in There?
Gerber used the same packaging as they did in the U.S. (a Caucasian baby on the label) when it started selling baby food in Africa. The problem: with widespread illiteracy, African companies oftentimes put pictures of the ingredients on the label — definitely not the recipe for success for Gerber. Source: Gulf Business
A Sandwich with a Side of Communism
When Yum Brands opened a “Bánh mì” (a type of Vietnamese sandwich) concept named Bánh Shop in Dallas in September 2014, it developed a five-pointed red star logo. Unfortunately, red and yellow stars, especially with regards to Vietnam, are reminders to many of the Vietnamese Communist regime. Due to Dallas’ huge Vietnamese population, it’s no surprise that many of Bánh Shop’s potential customers requested a logo change. Yum Brands apologized and created a new logo. Source: Entrepreneur
Gandhi and Beer?!
New England Brewing Co.’s brew, Gandhi-Bot, carries imagery reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi. Ironically, this peace advocate abstained from alcohol and fought its influence on the country. A lawsuit filed in India against the brewery and its controversial beer label has created a divide among many. As of January 2015, beyond its apology, New England Brewing had not said whether it would withdraw the beer or change its name, and its owners had not returned phone messages or answered emails requesting comment. Source: Hartford Courant
Native American No-No
Ralph Lauren’s 2014 holiday ad campaign for its RRL line was criticized in December 2014 for its “assimilation aesthetic,” featuring old photos of Native Americans dressed in Western attire. The company apologized for the imagery and removed the images from its website. A contributor to the site Last Real Indians, was displeased with the campaign’s use of Native Americans, claiming that “The imagery is not only ignorant, it’s a harsh reminder of a time of extreme oppression, and even genocide, for the nation’s indigenous people.” Source: WGNO
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane It’s a What?
When Proctor & Gamble started selling its Pampers diapers in Japan, it used an image of a stork delivering a baby on the packaging. But, the imagery didn’t seem to resonate. The company later learned that the issue was cultural “Japanese folklore states that giant peaches floating down a river bring babies to their parents, not storks.” Source: Business News Daily
Worried you wouldn’t have the resources to have insight into this type of information? We’ve got you covered with our Global Brand Evaluation and Identity Filter services, which can evaluate imagery in addition to names. We look forward to hearing from you.