11. A lighter or a spoon?

25 Oct


Created by Jeff Goran

At first glance it is almost impossible to see the switch. The two packages are so similar in color, design and lines that it’s likely someone could miss the swap entirely. This image was created by digital artist Jeff Goran in hopes to provoke some thought on the similarities. This is not the first time someone has “borrowed” or adopted a top selling image. Advertisers and marketers are learning to manipulate the mind in order to create trust and recognition when ordinarily there is none. Campbell’s Soup Company started with a strong image in the mid-1800’s. Marlboro may not have copied their brand image, but there are certainly some un-can-ny similarities.

Gap is attempting to keep up with the times with a new campaign for their 1969 Premium Jeans. They are “reintroducing their core product, denim jeans, with an elaborate campaign notable for its many nontraditional elements” says Stuart Elliot of The New York Times. Their goal is to connect with a demographic that they have had a hard time getting a hold of. With the use of a Facebook page, videos and iPhone apps, they hope to grab the attention of teens and young adults. Gap is even using their new tag line, Born To Fit, as a a website (www.borntofit.com) that links directly to their Facebook page. The campaign was created to say that Gap has

“…taken our heritage, denim, and re-energized it,” said Ivy Ross, executive vice president for marketing at the Gap division in San Francisco. “It’s like building a new house.”

In an attempt to prove that Gap is still with it, they have created a series of ads to go with their campaign. Look familiar? The advertisements have an almost identical look and feel compared to the minimalistic American Apparel ads. I find it hard to believe that Gap unintentionally used the same “stark white backgrounds, Helvetica headlines and erogenous models,” posted by AdWeek. There is no doubt that Gap definitely has more taste and less suggestive images, but what are they hoping to gain from this? An in on the hipster fashion flooding most college campuses? One thing is for sure, and that is that Gap no longer qualifies as “mom jeans.”

One final observation of this trend: is Pepsi stealing President Obama’s campaign? This past year Pepsi has come out with a new campaign, a new look and the new refresh project. Their “Yes you can!” tag line seems to be ripping directly off of Barak Obama’s famous campaign for presidency. They have even been using his “Hope” images and slogan. Is this strategy brilliant or tacky? There is no doubt that the campaign was successful for President Obama, but it seems like Pepsi is just trying to hang on to the coat tails of its popularity. So the big question is, did Pepsi steal Obama’s message? Washington City Paper noticed that Pepsi tweaked their logo “and has adopted words like ‘hope’ and ‘optimism’ for its bus and TV ads. Only Pepsi spells it ‘optimismmm.’ Or something like that. Cool. I marvel at what Pepsi would have done with McCain’s ‘America First’ slogan.”

Even The New York Times has noticed the popularity of using this campaign to sell products in Inspired by Obama’s Message? Pull Out Your Walled. There is an inauguration hot sauce, a “Hope and Change” necklace at Chico’s and even Ikea’s new slogan is “Change Begins at Home”.

It seems major corporations are attempting to take advantage of the trust we but in brands by creating similar looking logos, ads and packaging. Brand loyalty may not be as important as we thought if it can be used to direct consumers to their competitors. Don’t be fooled.


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