Monday, May 30, 2005


originally uploaded by wily.
It's called "brand extension" and it's a little like how a publicly held corporation uses a stock split to increase prices - take a well defined product and bring a variant of that product to the market place.

It works like this:

Camaro. Camaro Z28. Camaro Z28 IROC. Camaro Z28 IROC convertible. Camaro Z28 IROC convertible with pickles.

He he he. "...with pickles." I'm laughin.

ANYway - "brand extensions" can be a great way to build awareness of a product, steal market share from a competive product or even grow one's own category. I learned a lesson in succesful brand extension when working on Gummy Bears a looooong time ago. The guy who brought Gummy Bears to the USA took the same sugary glop used to make the little mutated bears and poured them into molds to make little mutated dinosaurs. Same gummy. Different shape. More sales.

It seems the MPs at Proctor & Gamble (Marketing People) have decided to have a crack at Brand Extension Game (BEG) with their venerable brand, Ivory Soap.

They made it green. With "aloe."

The accompanying graphic is from the back of a bar of this new "GREEN" Ivory soap.

The green is authentic - the bar in its entirety was plopped onto the scanner. Yeah, Ivory is supposed to be WHITE.

Smartly, the MPs decided to keep the name "IVORY" and not call it "GREEN." Actually, it's more "Mint" or "Sour Apple" - all of which suck as a brand name for soap.

(time-out; note-to-self - "mint" might actually make a good name for a soap, but the packaging would have to be perfect...)


This isn't so much a post about Ivory's choice of color/name as it is their choice of packaging. Each GREEN bar of IVORY has a different (actually 5 so far) zen-ish phrase printed on it. It's designed (presumably) to provoke thought and life-improving introspection.

And here's the rub - if you don't want to read the quote for yourself it's:

"Complicating life is easy.
The genius is in the simple things."

What can be more life-complicating than pausing for religion while opening a bar of SOAP!??!

Maybe this is a product for power-packed people who live life by the mili-second - you know, the people who take their cell phones and Daytimer's in to pee...

Again -

"Complicating life is easy.
The genius is in the simple things."



IVORY - 99.9% PURE.

btw - I scanned more wrappers. More later.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A wedge of President.

originally uploaded by wily.
In the Northwest Airlines $3 snack box, there's...

1. A spiced sausage
2. Two celophane-wrapped sesame crackers
3. A soft granola Chewy Bar
4. A small bag of dried fruit
5. Two Oreo cookies
6. A moistened, scented, antibacterial towlette
7. A napkin


8. A wedge of President

Have a good look at the attached graphic as it is the sole identifier on a silver, foil-wrapped wedge.

Nothing but what you see - one label, one word - "PRESIDENT".

Whatever is inside, it's "President."

A Wedge of President.

I have to admit...

...until last week, I didn't know what "President" was.

At least, "President" in it's foil wrapped wedge form.

Thankfully, a well-done illustration can communicate across cultures, languages and even into my sheltered naivete.

Beholding the smallish, 2" long wedge of President, I gathered that President...

A. Causes a yellowish discharge to ooze out of the mouth.

B. Is invisible.

C. Causes the pupils to dilate in a big way.

D. Makes you very, very h a p p y.

Scene - dark, overgrown hedgerow of a park on the wrong side of town. A rough, unshaven man in a green military trench coat approaches a mild-mannered father sitting on a park bench, reading the Sunday paper

" looking to score some weed?"

"No. No man. I don't do drugs."


"No man..." (gets up to walk away)

"Some crank man? Some crank...?"

"No...please...I'm not here to..."

"You want some...PRESIDENT?!"

President. From the illustration, it's pretty powerful stuff!

But in practice, I must have a high tolerance for President as it didn't do anything for me.

Neither did it do anything for my colleage.

We sat...nibbling...(we figured we couldn't smoke it)...waiting...waiting...

No rabid frothing.

No disappearing substances.

No dilation.

No fun.

Just a small 2" x .5" wedge of President in our tummies.

Well, at least now I know.

When I'm meeting with dignitaries, and the butler offers the tray of President, I can make that upper-crust wave of my right hand that says, "No-no. Shoo! Begone with that President!"

When someone at the gallery auction complains about the tainted Fois Gras and the inferior President, I can roll my eyes along with them in sympathetic discomfort.


Well, if you're flying Northwest, and the flight attendant offers you the $3 snack box, it's a pretty good deal.

The sausage wasn't bad - a bit heavy on the vinegar and pepper, but suprisingly lean and firm.

The Oreos were Oreos. Consistent. Assuring.

The dried fruit was great - lots of dried cherries in my bag.

The crackers were dry and crunchy as expected.

The granola bar was chewy.

The towlette smelled pretty good and left behind a satisfying, clean feeling.

The napkin was rather generous.


I don't recommend the President.

At least until we find out what it is.

For sure.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Super ear!

Super ear!
Super ear!,
originally uploaded by wily.
Oh need this!

Oh yeah. Nothing - except maybe a black face mask and the smell of meth - says "Scary Neighbor!" like a PORTABLE LISTENING DEVICE!

The company name is of equal note - "Spion." Get it? SPY ON?

Anyway, love the model - 'wonder how many of these are sold to attractive brunettes versus fleshy bald guys who tend not to ever leave the house except to...well, fill in the blank here.

No matter. Any self-respecting spy with every-day spy experience will instantly see that the Robby-Robot headphones and power-washer-sized microphone is just too cumbersome.