Monday, January 17, 2011

Deeeer, It’s Red Bull You Idiot!

I read a good tip the other day that suggested, if you are short of blog topics or really pressed for time, then you should post an old post. I am really pressed for time this week and while I have a few good blog topics I don’t have much time to write them. Don’t worry @seancallanan … I will come knocking :)

So, a personal favourite of mine and of the readers, is a little post I wrote about a dumbed downed logo at the Olympics and a little test for the readers.

This was my second ever post back in March 2008 and amazingly holds the record for the most number of comments on a single post with 20. While I was going back into the archives of posts it actually shows a tally of the total number of comments ever made on this blog. The figure is very close to 250 so I will be awarding a special prize for the reader who makes the 250th comment on this blog (and no you can’t just keep commenting until it reaches 250 :)

I haven’t made any edits to the original post. Enjoy …

I am a regular listener of Peter Wagstaff’s Marketing Today Podcast (if you don’t listen to it then get on board at It’s a great podcast and will really get you thinking about current marketing topics – plus if you listen to it in the car then you can avoid the commercial radio station drive time dribble!

Over the last few months I started writing some feedback to the podcast and really enjoyed having it discussed on air … from there I started this blog (thanks to all the encouragement from the blogosphere following my first post last week).

One week on the podcast, Wags and Col were discussing the Olympics and I wrote some feedback which went like this …

“Here is a very cool piece of ambush marketing that I am sure you guys will like. The International Olympic Committee does not allow sponsorship on athletes uniforms (like most sports teams have). In fact, even the manufacturers logos have to be smaller than 3.1 squares inches. I searched and searched but couldn’t find a picture or a reference.I think it was the 2004 Olympics, and a track cyclist lined up with his normal slick suit on. There were some very unusual markings on his uniform in red and yellow and I remember thinking to myself “That’s not even his country's colours”.Then he sat up on his bike and the colours were organised as two red triangles meeting with a backdrop of a yellow circle. Instantly recognisable as the Red Bull Logo! I thought it was pure genius to capitalise on the equity of the logo and be able to reduce it to its basic shapes and colours yet still have it instantly recognisable to an audience.”

I suggested to Wags and Col that it would be a very cool exercise to get some famous logos and “dumb them down” and see if consumers could still pick the brand just from just the shape and colours. We’ll Wags and Col agreed - so I set about doing it.

I have tested it on a few people and all enjoyed it and it was funny listening to them and/or watching them when they had an answer on the tip of their tongue but couldn’t get it out.

Click the link below to download the dumbed down logos and see how many you can recognise. A big thanks to Jules @ Soul Mann for hosting the spreadsheet (as Blog Spot doesn’t allow uploading of word or excel files?!?!)

Download the spreadsheet here>>

Please make sure you register how many you correctly answered using the pole on the right hand side of this page.

If you have any logos that you reckon would be good for a Version 2 then let me know and I will “dumb it down” (Hint: it has to be a logo without much reliance on words/letters/fonts. For example, the Goodyear logo wouldn’t work).

Finally, one more thing, Current Issues in Marketing has an interesting post on the Red Bull Air Race.