The Pitfalls of Brand Recognition

Every brand wants to be individual, unmistakable, instantly recognizable. The pros of such a position are obvious, stark separation from competitors, consumer loyalty that comes from familiarity, etc. However, there are cons to such recognizability as well. When a brand is unmistakable, when there are visuals, words, and color palettes that are associated specifically with that brand, then it can be easily and effectively targeted for ridicule or satire. For example:

This music video for Rad Omen's 'Rad Anthem' is funny, simply because it's ludicrous. If the video revolved around four random guys, it would still be comical, but far less so. The fact that it employs these four kingpins of quick cuisine (Ronald McDonald, the Burger King, Jack of Jack in the Box, and Colonel Sanders) makes it that much funnier. Despite that none of those establishments are mentioned, or even shown, these characters are unmistakable, instantly recognizable, due to the constant branding of these companies. And who could misconstrue the cherry red pigtails of Wendy's Wendy, despite her strong jaw and 5 o'clock shadow.
I suppose that's just the risk you run when you brand yourself. If you're image is significant and recognizable it's bound to be parodied, ridiculed and satirized. I'm sure McDonald's, Burger King, Jack in the Box, and KFC haven't at all suffered as a result of this video, but it's still interesting to see.


Breanna Perrelli said...

Hahaha that's crazy- I guess Wendy's meat is a little less fresh than advertised.

Maybe this is why the goodyear wing-shoe and RBC lion keep their logos so cryptic.

Daniella Ponticelli said...

I don't know if it's a "pitfall;" regardless of the way it's being engaged with - it's still being used interactively. How many people do you think have reposted this video? or forwarded it to friends? It's brilliant for both parties because it gives the band more play and our connection to the brands stimulate our viewership.

and now I have fast food on the brain...

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