Sunday, April 9, 2023

Marketing News of the Week: Brand Names, Logos, and More


This past week, there were many news stories that reflected effective brand marketing, brand positioning, and brand storytelling.


With the coronation of King Charles III less than a month away, Buckingham Palace shared the invitation with the media and public. The invitation, printed on recycled paper with gold foil features symbolic flora, fauna, and coats of arms, and will be sent to over 2,000 guests.

Something interesting was noted: the King’s wife was referred to as “Queen Camilla” for the first time – officially dropping the word “Consort” from her title.

According to Nicoletta Gullace, associate professor of British history at the University of New Hampshire, “Like everyone else, I was surprised to see Camilla announced as Queen Camilla, as opposed to Queen Consort Camilla, which Queen Elizabeth had indicated was how she expected Camilla to be addressed once she became the monarch.”

Gullace added, “The consort label seemed to symbolize all of the things that made Camilla seem illegitimate in the eyes of the public and the royal family, including the fact that she was divorced. And Charles’ insistence on removing it is really an attempt to move forward and assert his legitimacy and hers in the face of all the criticisms they have had.”

Some clarification: “Queen Regnant” refers to a reigning female monarch, equivalent in rank and title to a king – that described Queen Elizabeth II. “Queen Consort” refers to the wife of a reigning king, but still holds the title and the crown but doesn’t have the same political or military powers as a king – that describes Camilla, who will be crowned alongside Charles at the May 6 ceremony. “Consort” means you’re a monarch but not entitled to rule.

Gullace explained, “So Prince Philip and male spouses of reigning queens are called Prince Consort because nobody wants to create any confusion of who is in the seat of power, because kings generally take precedence over queens.”

Lastly, Gullace said, “Above all, the biggest unknown is how the monarchy will fare without Queen Elizabeth, who reigned over seven turbulent decades and had something special about her. It remains to be seen whether Charles and Camilla have it too, and how that might influence public opinion about the institution itself, which is already low among younger generations. So, I think it is going to be the big question that we’re left with. We’ll see how well the coronation is received, how widely watched it is, and how Charles’ monarchy fares after that.”

Pepsi unveiled a new logo and branding campaign that will roll out in North America this fall and globally in 2024. The changes were designed to better align with people’s recollection of the logo and to also draw attention to Pepsi’s zero sugar line, because, according to Pepsi CEO Ramon Laguarta, “Zero is going to be the center of the strategy for the Pepsi brand.”

The new logo features a punchy, upper-case “PEPSI” in the middle of the circle, emblazoned across the white stripe undulating between the red and blue waves. According to the brand’s chief marketing officer, the new logo is bold and confident.

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the “Keep It Fresh” marketing campaign for the state of Michigan, whose goal is to show that her state offers businesses an opportunity for growth, visitors a “fresh take” on life, and people a home to build a rewarding life and career. The ads will be shown on national television during the summer and will appear on the following networks: Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, and Magnolia Network. The marketing campaign will also run on digital, print, social media, radio, and streaming audio services.

According to Governor Whitmer, “Michigan is a place that will drive the world forward through grit, our world-class workforce, and stunning natural resources. We will work together to show the world what makes Michigan the best place to invest, innovate, live, and explore. We will continue competing with anyone to bring manufacturing jobs and supply chains home and become known as a state with a strong business climate and unparalleled economic opportunity for workers…We invite everyone to be a part of what we’re building in Pure Michigan. Let’s keep getting it done.”

The Boston Marathon has agreed to a 10-year sponsorship deal with Bank of America that organizers hope will allow the world’s oldest and most prestigious 26.2-mile road race to grow over the next decade while maintaining its legacy. BofA already has a presence in the distance running arena as the sponsor of the Chicago Marathon, but unlike that race, which is officially named the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the Boston Marathon will keep its name and add a new tagline “presented by Bank of America.”

Jack Fleming, CEO and President of the Boston Athletic Association, explained, “At some level, we realized that Bank of American saw this differently. They saw us as a different opportunity and maybe didn’t need to have that title and wanted to preserve it for everyone else, and for Boston.” BofA also has a large presence in Boston. The course runs past 11 BofA branches or ATMs of which two are on the final sprint down Boylston Street to the Copley Square finish line. The new deal takes effect with the 2024 race.

According to WBUR, “First run in 1897 by 15 men who were inspired by the marathon race at the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens the previous spring, the Boston Marathon has grown into a weekend-long running festival and the signature event of the Massachusetts holiday known as Patriots’ Day. For 30,000 recreational runners who have to qualify just to line up in Hopkinton on the third Monday in April, it is a bucket-list event.”

Ninety years ago (1933), the film “King Kong” premiered in theaters. This past week, New York’s City’s Empire State Building celebrated with special treats. The film was the first of many iconic roles that the building would go on to play on the silver screen.

What other marketing news stood out to you this past week?

What will be the marketing buzz next week? Tune in to read all about it.

Image Credits: Royal Family and Pepsi.

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