0993: "Brand Awareness"

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Oflick
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0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Oflick » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:17 am UTC

Image
http://xkcd.com/993/
Alt Text: Legally-mandated information would be printed on the back or discreetly along the bottom. In small letters under the nutrition information it would say 'Like our products? Visit our website!" There would be no URL.

I'll be a 100% honest, this one doesn't do much for me. Perhaps I'm missing something. This is a situation where I find the rollover text funnier. I can relate to the annoying way information is put on products, like how it goes out of its way to make finding anything out difficult.
Last edited by Oflick on Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:20 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

astrosteve
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby astrosteve » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:19 am UTC

It took me a second to really understand this. I think it's a great idea. Not necessarily funny, but a legitimately good idea. Though I found the roll over text to be funny as well.

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sugarhyped
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby sugarhyped » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:19 am UTC

You forgot the rollover text.

I agree I laughed (on the inside) at there would be no url. I was meh about the actual comic.

EDIT: I second that it's not a bad idea.
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Oflick
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Oflick » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:23 am UTC

Alt text added. A bit too busy enjoying it more than the comic to remember to put it in.

Perhaps I was looking for too much in this comic. For what it is, I think it's an interesting idea. However, I think the alt text text gives a different impression. The comic to me depicts a fairly decent idea, whereas the alt text is a bit more sarcastic.

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Eutychus » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:24 am UTC

It strikes me this is already pretty much some stores' own-brand "economy" or "value" brand identity - such as Tesco "value" products.
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby tonykilt » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:29 am UTC

This works for me instantly because I grew up in Ottawa and recognize that this has been done already in almost exactly the same way except with yellow instead of white packaging (and a bit less purism when it comes to the small print):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Name_%28brand%29

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=no+name+brand+logo

In fact this touched home so exactly to my youth back in Ontario that I registered just to comment. From the text it sounds like Randall came up with the idea without ever knowing that someone did essentially exactly what he was proposing and created a well known brand for themselves with the idea decades ago. :-T

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby pbnjstowell » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:30 am UTC

There's a brand of first-aid type products that this makes me think of. The packaging is white with minimal coloring and text, and all packages are the same shape. On the front of each product, it says "Help, I have a blister" or "Help, I have a headache" or "Help, I cut myself."

(Also, their website is pretty hilarious. It includes options such as "Help, I need to learn another language" and "Help, I'm illiterate."
http://www.helpineedhelp.com/#)

In an alternately connected train of thought, if anyone has read The Host, once the aliens take over the medical system, they name their products really simple things like Clean and Smooth and Heal. I bet they do the same with bread and mayo and stuff.
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby A_of_s_t » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:31 am UTC

I'm... I'm not quite sure I understand what is supposed to be funny. I kind of laughed because of how awful the comic was, but I don't think that is what Randall was going for.
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jdmulloy
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby jdmulloy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:32 am UTC

Don't forget to sue anyone who uses white on their labels for trademark infringement.

iwdw
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby iwdw » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:32 am UTC

Is this not precisely what No Name is (for the Canadians here)?

http://i.imgur.com/wC7M8.jpg

lvdata
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby lvdata » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:32 am UTC

5? 10? years ago Smiths (now part of Kroger) here in Las Vegas, Nevada, US did that as a product line. White Label was common. Kinda not too funny if you already seen stuff like this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_brand
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FT107
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby FT107 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:36 am UTC

Also done with beer. General Generic Beer to be precise (would you believe I registered an account just to make this reply?)

www.ratebeer.com/Brewers/Beer/Beer-Reviews-7987.htm

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby DragonHawk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:37 am UTC

This has been done. There was a brand called, IIRC, "No Frills Products", which did exactly this. Their packages which plain white, with a large black sans serif generic product names on their labels. The only decoration was a red and blue pinstripe. They stood out like crazy because of their plainness. It was great.

Google results suggest the brand was owned by Pathmark and is defunct. I found a photo:

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby v8media » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:39 am UTC

This was also done in the movie Repo Man. I thought it was a brilliant part of the movie. It really made the movie seem a bit strange, and that definitely went along with the rest of the film. I had seen Repo Man before hearing about that No Frills brand, but it seems like that might have been where the idea came from. The stuff in Repo Man looked almost the same as the yellow stripe cola can, but with blue stripes.

pushingrobot
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby pushingrobot » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:40 am UTC

Yep, google "generic beer" for plenty of examples. Also, anyone who's watched "Lost" should experience a strange sense of deja vu...
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jhbadger
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby jhbadger » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:46 am UTC

Yes, in the 1970s and 1980s such generic packaging was quite the fad for a while -- white packages with stark black text merely describing the item. Store brands are a slightly fancier (and much older) spin on this idea, but the true generics really were that minimal in package design. Although it sounds like the Canadian No-Name is pretty close to this today.

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby tonykilt » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 am UTC

iwdw wrote:Is this not precisely what No Name is (for the Canadians here)?


jhbadger wrote:... Although it sounds like the Canadian No-Name is pretty close to this today.


That is exactly what I finally got a registration for these forums to say before this thread was even created yet. I am not sure if the "wait for moderation" was because I linked to the wikipedia article for /wiki/No_Name_(brand) or to the google image search for /search?tbm=isch&q=no+name+brand or if any comments from a newly minted forum user have to wait for moderation (I admit to not really reading the rules, of course)

tenkai
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby tenkai » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:49 am UTC

A store in Sweden used to have packaging on their own brand very much like this. Comletely white packaging with a blue square and white text on it. Like this
http://fredrikedin.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/blavitt.jpg

Think they still have it on a few products.

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby amicus » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:52 am UTC

Hah! You're just a kid... the black-lettering-on-white generics were an 80s thing, back when there was a "recession," which younger folk may not appreciate: http://who-really-cares-anyway.blogspot.com/2007/03/generic-food.html

And, of course, any mention of generic packaging demands a mention of "Repo Man." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9k09WPpNeo

lesmana
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby lesmana » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:54 am UTC

I would suggest avoiding that milk.

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby camele0pard » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:55 am UTC

There was a big brand in Sweden in the 80's called "blåvitt" (blue-white), but it got a bit of a bad rep (or just fell out of style) after about ten years. The company made a "nostalgia-comeback" recently, but I don't think it was a big hit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKho1aDikBI

https://www.pirab.se/FTP/Kund10283/KundOrder1044284/bilder/pressbild%20Bl%C3%A5vitt.jpg

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Bringer » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:04 am UTC

I didn't get the joke at first, then realised that Randall probably hasn't heard of Home Brand here in Australia.

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meseta
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby meseta » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:08 am UTC

I think people in the UK. The to biggest supermarket chains Tesco and Sainsburys both have value brands "Tesco Value" and "Sainsbury's Basics" that have similarly white packaging with pretty much just the product name on them wouldn't get it either.

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muntoo
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby muntoo » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:09 am UTC

That is so much more readable.

AL_
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby AL_ » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:10 am UTC

IN the UK, most of the supermarkets have brands such as Tesco Value that do this.

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Icalasari
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Icalasari » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:12 am UTC

At least it wouldn't be lying like No Name brand

MathUhhhSaurus
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby MathUhhhSaurus » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:14 am UTC

but Walmart pretty much already does this with their "Great Value" products: link
Last edited by MathUhhhSaurus on Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:16 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Editer » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:14 am UTC

Yep, been done. I remember well the white-package stuff that was cheaper in part because it was the leftovers after the big brands took the best-looking products -- the canned sliced peaches, for instance, had more variety in shape and size than the major label product.

I heard a standup comic talk about going to the store to complain about a generic and they didn't even know where it came from, just a big white semi with TRUCK on the side. (ba-dum bum)
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby tonykilt » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:28 am UTC

jhbadger wrote:Yes, in the 1970s and 1980s such generic packaging was quite the fad for a while -- white packages with stark black text merely describing the item. Store brands are a slightly fancier (and much older) spin on this idea, but the true generics really were that minimal in package design. Although it sounds like the Canadian No-Name is pretty close to this today.


I have seen many people posting the store brands and other generic brands and such, but really my instinctive belief when I saw this comic that the closest thing to exactly what he was depicting (plain product text on plain background with no pictures or extraneous text) was the No Name brands I remember from my youth in Canada. I expect it is part the whole phenomenon of "no the generic brand *I* am most familiar with is what this comic is most like" and partly that my belief is in fact correct :-T

[Trying to be patient now that I have read the forum posting rules and know that my first post with the links may never appear and my second post and now this one are waiting in the moderation queue... but I still can't stop myself from persisting in my high latency "participation" in this discussion that, for some silly reason, set off the homesick memory cascade for the grocery store trips of my youth during the height of the No Name popularity]

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby DrPhibes » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:29 am UTC

http://www.ah.nl/euroshopper

We still have that. It's the cheapest of the cheap though.

dariopy
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby dariopy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:29 am UTC

As others pointed out, Walmart's "Great Value" brand is pretty much this.

Also, was the comic titled "brand awareness"? It's "brand identity" now...

Juventas
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Juventas » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:30 am UTC

Another No Name assortment:
Image

And just to confirm that it's Canadian:
Image

It was created by Canada's largest food retailer. Despite being around for 3 decades, I would say they're less popular than other house-brand groceries here.
Last edited by Juventas on Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:31 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

burtron
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby burtron » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:31 am UTC

While the labels may quickly build brand identity, the practice of stocking milk in a dry goods isle does not inspire brand confidence.

solobutterfly
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby solobutterfly » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:32 am UTC

Yeah, Wal-mart's Great Value stuff was my first thought.

And those products are cheaper because they save a ton on ink and save some from having to buy dedicated product packaging designers and the photographers and logo creators etc.
Last edited by solobutterfly on Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:32 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Cholera
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Cholera » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:32 am UTC

same in Germany
ja = yes ;)
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby gormster » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:32 am UTC

The difficult part is avoiding looking "cheap". Probably the easiest way to do this is with good typography - perfectly kerned Helvetica etc. - and probably some kind of simple full-colour logo - say five squares of different colour. Print the logo either above or below the text.

Also have it not on white but on either metallic silver or matte grey. People associate blank white card with a cheap brand.
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Datadog » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:34 am UTC

Repo Man did it

http://midnightkisa.blogspot.com/2011/01/repo-shopper.html

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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby Misnomer » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:34 am UTC

AL_ wrote:IN the UK, most of the supermarkets have brands such as Tesco Value that do this.

Let's not forget that the UK supermarket value brands are also terrifyingly generic in terms of the actual product, not just packaging:

http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/ima ... -500g-.jpg
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby gormster » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:35 am UTC

Actually, I just realised — people don't want the same brand to make all of their food. They hate that. They want the impression that each company is dedicated solely to producing that foodstuff. This isn't accurate, of course, but that's the reason for all the sub-branding that occurs in the supermarket food industry. Arnott's is owned by Campbells, but you wouldn't want Campbells making your biscuits.

This is also the thinking behind all of Aldi's "brands" — literally every product purchased at Aldi was made by Aldi themselves, but they have thousands of trademarks under which they sell their various goods, to make it look like they were all made by various companies.
Last edited by gormster on Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:37 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Postby GulliNL » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:37 am UTC

Image

This is what ALL packaging of the low-cost brand Euroshopper (what's in a name) looks like. Plain red with white-ish text and bottom half. For the macaroni or other pasta they didn't even bother to put a descriptive image on the outside, they just made the packaging transparent in some places so you can see what's inside (which, in combination with the bowl on the outside is pretty clever if you ask me).

I believe this brand is sold in Western Europe, just look at the lower shelves ;) Or I'd rather you didn't, because they suck. Except for their paper towels.
Last edited by GulliNL on Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:38 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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