Branding Ideas℠

Pac-Man Gobbles Up Google

Last Friday, Google turned its logo into a usable Pac-Man game. The gimmick was in celebration of the vintage game’s 30th anniversary. According to time management tool RescueTime, Google users spent near 5 million hours playing the game. Ironically, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the logo was actually a playable game or just another inventive, temporary restyling of the search engine brand, so those numbers could have feasibly been much, much higher. Google has since removed the game from it’s main page, but due to popular demand, you can still relive your childhood and waste your boss’s money by clicking here!

Making the Grade: Seattle’s Beats Coffee

Seattle’s Best Coffee, which was acquired by Starbucks in 2003, unveiled a new logo design this week and it’s been causing quite a…stir. Following the recent trend popularized by President Obama’s 2008 election campaign logo and Pepsi’s controversial re-branding, the coffee franchise’s new logo is simple, sleek, and a little bland. We dig the coffee cup and liquid drop idea, but the color palette is weaker than a mug of bad jo. The choice to maintain Seattle’s Best Coffee’s red color, in particular, makes one blogger’s assessment that the new logo is fit for a blood bank (not a java joint) pretty accurate. A for effort, but C for overall execution.

Links for the Week

Each week, we’re going to post links to websites, articles, and videos that caught our attention. Find something you think our readers might be interested in? We want to know!

Experian is ditching their band. Read the details at Brandweek.

We stumbled across the very cool how rich are you? website (brought to you by London-based creative company Poke) that shows you how rich you are compared to the rest of the world and encourages you to donate.

Finally, you may remember the infamous Shake Weight TV commercial. Well, now the company has created Shake Weight for Men, for even more nonstop viral hilarity! A stroke of marketing genius or total cluelessness?

Making the Grade: MTV’s New Logo

MTV’s iconic logo recently got a facelift – or a tummy tuck, to be more accurate. It’s been years since the MTV mother channel has played an entire music video, opting instead for trashy reality shows like Jersey Shore, and the slogan “Music Television” has become completely irrelevant. The new logo is more transparent, and slices off the bottom of the famous image, including the part that says “Music Television.” “Music is still at the center of so much of what we do, but we’ve really expanded what that means,” MTV general manager Stephen Friedman said in a statement that makes no sense. “It’s an updating that speaks to [our] audience in a much simpler, bolder way.” Branding Ideas thinks not. If you’re going to mess with something as iconic as the MTV brand, at least put some effort and creativity into it. The new logo is lazy and misguided. We give it a big fat D.

Making the Grade: 2012 Summer Olympics

Continuing Branding Ideas’ look at some new, recent, and vintage logos, branding and packaging, let’s check out the logo for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which was designed by Wolff Olins and was unveiled to much chatter back in 2007. The design has received mixed reviews at best. We think this logo is confusing and poorly executed. The shapes were intended to spell out 2012, but instead evoke all other kinds of images and ideas, the font for “London” seems amateurish, though the Olympic rings are unmistakable. The universal rings themselves get an A. Olins’ logo: D.

Making the Grade: EarBudeez Earbuds

Over the next couple of months, Branding Ideas is going to take a look at some new, recent, and vintage logos, branding and packaging and rate them on a scale from A to F. First up is EarBudeez’ new line of earbuds that are being cleverly marketed as “earbuds with big personalities.” With a variety of cute personalities created entirely via packaging, they’ll appeal to young music lovers – especially since the earbuds are the perfect size for little ears. These days technology is a lot like fashion, and EarBudeez’s obviously got their ear to the ground. Plus, they’re affordable! Our grade: B+

Pixar Goes Viral

Disney’s Pixar has unveiled a fake TV commercial, purportedly from 1983, promoting a new character from Toy Story 3, Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. Branding Ideas thought this was a clever way to introduce the new character as well as the latest in the animated franchise, following 1995’s Toy Story and 1999’s Toy Story 2, which grossed a combined $437 million in the U.S. Audiences can see Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear in action on the big screen on June 18th.

Calendar of Events: May

Each month Branding Ideas compiles a list of possible occasions your business can use to help promote your products and events. Remember to always seek out holidays and special occasions that fit with your business’s brand and message. Next Sunday is, of course, Mother’s Day, but there are other May holidays and observances that provide perfect excuses to offer up a special promotion and help boost your business. Here are some of our picks:

Wednesday, May 5th: Cinco de Mayo
Wednesday, May 12th: Nurses Day
Saturday, May 15th: Armed Forces Day
Monday, May 31st: Memorial Day

Need some ideas? Branding Ideas is here to help!

Calendar of Events: November

The holidays are just around the corner, which means there are plenty of ways to promote your brand this season. November is a month of thanks: In addition to Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day, it’s also Military Family Appreciation Month, National Family Caregivers Month and National Scholarship Month. These and other occasions provide the perfect opportunity to honor those who serve your community and the country while at the same time promoting anew or existing product or business. Here are some other excuses to get your promo on:

November 9th – 15th National Young Reader’s Week
November 9th – 16th World Kindness Week
November 11th – Veteran’s Day
November 15th – 21st American Education Week
November 26th – Thanksgiving Day

Feel Good, Inc.

There seems to be a Jamba Juice popping up on almost as many corners as Starbucks. In recent weeks the smoothie chain has passed out thousands of prepaid Metro Cards for the New York City subway and tickets for the cable cars in San Francisco. They’ll be doing so in large cities across the country for next couple of months, and it’s all part of what the franchise is calling “Feel Good Moments.” The recession might be over, but people can certainly still use a good pick-me-up, and Jamba Juice is turning their good will into smart marketing. They’re giving away “Feel Good Bucks,” which customers can use toward purchases at any Jamba Juice location and could even win $10,000 in cash. Using street teams and a prominent online presence via Facebook and Twitter, Jamba Juice is maximizing its campaign by using all available platforms to reach new and existing customers. In what ways can you use a multi-platform strategy to make people feel good when they need it most while at the same time expanding your brand?