Sunday, April 25, 2010

Branding That Creeps Me Out

Branding is a big buzz word in the publishing world. Authors, particularly those of us with mystery series, are branded by our publisher. This means they provide identifiable marks, phrases, titles and covers that make an individual author instantly recognizable to readers.

Take my Odelia Grey books, for instance. While the titles differ greatly, the covers all have a very specific look - Odelia, by herself, in some humorous pose that reflects something in the story line. My Granny Apples books will also have specific branding. Although only one (Ghost à la Mode) is currently out, all future Granny Apples mysteries will have titles beginning with the word "ghost." For example, the second book's title is Ghost in the Polka Dot Bikini.

That's branding.

All products are branded for marketing, but sometimes branding goes awry. Sometimes the branding misses the mark and turns the public off. This is my beef today - branding that gives me the creeps.

One of my favorite fast food icons is Jack of Jack in the Box. The ads are brilliant and funny and Jack, with his big, round, white head, is cool and even, dare I say it, rather sexy. And let's not forget Ronald McDonald. While not suave and witty like Jack, he's a clown that even people with clown phobias can get behind.

So what in the hell was Burger King thinking?

The King, with his plastic molded mask is downright creepy. Every time I see an ad on TV for Burger King featuring the King, I keep thinking he should be toting a gun and holding up a bank or convenience store instead of pimping burgers. If the King lived in my neighborhood, I'd be warning local children to use the sidewalk on the other side of the street from the King's house.

Another brand icon that gives me the willies is the new Crocs mascot. There's something really icky about a rubbery clog with stumpy arms and legs and no face. In one of the ads, two of these things are massaging a woman's feet after a hard day at work. Okay, I admit it, I wear Crocs. I wear them probably 4 out of 7 days a week. I LOVE Crocs. But if those little creatures came at me when I opened my apartment door, I'd be hitting them with pepper spray or a stun gun.


Alan Orloff said...

LOL! Nice post. I, for one, like the King (I guess he allows me the vicarious thrill of being on oddball). Of course, I would never at his restaurant--THAT'S too creepy!

Mark said...

The King gives me the creeps as well.

And I'm not a big fan of the mucinx commercials or the toe fungus commercials either. Those guys are gross.

JeanC said...

The BK King creeps me out so much that I just want to shoot him on sight. Who ever thought him up needs to be institutionalized ASAP!

Haven't seen the Crocs mascot as yet, tho they are my favorite footwear LOL!

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