When a brand becomes so ingrained and submersed within the minds of its consumers that it develops a "cult" following, it becomes common knowledge that the company is a major deal. The best brands come to mind - Apple, Coca Cola, Volkswagen, and so many more - when one considers such followings and die-hard loyalties over products. But what is it about these products that gets us so involved? Is it the packaging, the advertising, or, on a deeper level, is it the needs that the brand and product both fulfill on a physical and emotional level?
Well, with those questions in mind, consider a new phenomenon taking place across the country, manifesting itself especially in New Orleans, Louisiana. Youngsters across the city are expressing their brand loyalties louder and prouder than ever by driving in quasi brand-mobiles - cars completely made-over to look like the packaging and image portrayed by a particular brand. Some of the brands chosen are surprising - everything from Flamin' Hot Cheeto's to Lemonhead candies to Lucky Charms - but each particular brand certainly demonstrates the personality and character of the drivers.
What is truly mind-boggling is thinking about the possible trademark infringements that could accompany these brand-mobiles. Is the brand really being portrayed the way they want it to be and by whom they would want to represent it? Chances are, probably not. This then begs the question, where do we draw the line between expression and infringement; when does the car become the brand itself as opposed to a mere rendering? Fascinating questions, really.
Either way, using cars as a means of expression of identity is not a fresh or novel concept. On the other hand, using personal cars (as opposed to NASCARs, business vans, or delivery trucks) as a means to advertise is a relatively new field. Like the stairwells we discussed yesterday, cars are an advertising frontier that is largely unexplored - and perhaps for good reason! Think about how distracting it would be to see even 1/3 of the cars on the road fully decked-out as brand-mobiles. The visual clutter would make it extremely difficult to break through to the audience. And, while some people get paid to advertise on their cars, these individuals make a conscious choice to align with the specific brand.
Yet again, the use of promotional stickers in a creative way can get your brand noticed and garner much positive - or, in this case, potentially negative! - attention that can break through the clutter. Consider this as an alternative means of getting the message out there, if you can somehow make it relevant to your brand.
Via: The Times-Picayune.