Archive for the ‘branding’ Category

Thoughts on the death of Pontiac

It seems strange to mourn the loss of a brand. Especially one whose products I don’t purchase. But, I have a bit of a nostalgic soft spot for Pontiac. My dad has driven one my entire life.

Pontiac was always supposed to be General Motor’s “performance” division (or as the old slogan read “driving excitement”). Funny thing is, in the past few years it was hard to tell. Models like the Montana, the G3 and G5 (not to mention the oft-made-fun-of Aztec) were anything but exciting. The most interesting models coming out of GM recently all seemed to go to Saturn. The Sky and Aura exhibited more exciting body styling than anything issued by Pontiac. Or course it’s not like that fact has been a saving grace for Saturn.

Is the downfall of Pontiac due solely to losing focus on the brands “excitement” roots? I don’t know definitely, but I’d bet heavily that the answer is “yes”.

Although, in general, I’ve had issues with the build quality of GM’s for at least the past decade (specifically Saturn, Chevy and Pontiac; the divisions I’ve had personal experience with). The materials of GM vehicle interiors always struck me as sub-par. The plastics had a thin, flimsy feel and the center console controls seemed cheap. All these criticisms are based on comparisons with my own 2002 Volkswagen Golf GLS.

I really wanted to like Pontiac. But I understand “wanting” doesn’t translate into sales. I just hope that someday, someone is able to resurrect the brand. I absolutely love that arrowhead logomark. Delicious.

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Kentucky Fried Potholes

(PRNewsFoto/KFC Corporation, Brian Bohannon)

(PRNewsFoto/KFC Corporation, Brian Bohannon)

This afternoon, NPR featured a story about KFC offering to fill 350 potholes in Louisville, KY. The company is not making this gesture out of the goodness of the hearts, it’s about advertising. Of course.

On each pothole that KFC helps to fill, they are spray painting an advertising message.

My initial reaction was this is a pretty silly story. What, really, does KFC get from the whole endeavor? The effort doesn’t seem to be tied to any larger marketing campaign. And the above photo makes the entire thing look low budget. I was imagining the sprayed graphic to be something incorporating the Colonel’s face; you know, the quickly recognizable symbol of the company.

Maybe I’m being too cynical and KFC is doing this whole pothole thing in an effort to be a good corporate citizen. Also, media coverage from the likes of NPR…

Pop-up Business Cards

I love the way these business cards put a face to a name. The pop-up feature is just icing. There is still something so vital and interesting about a printed card. (via swissmiss)