Looking Back At 2007 Brand Extensions Behaving Badly

As much as I'd like to play the wish-I'd-thought-of-that game I like the what-the-heck-were-they-thinking game. You know what I mean. Ever sit in front of a television (or any media vehicle for that matter) and think, what a bad ad? How do you look at brands? Well, as you may know, my world revolves around eating, sleeping and breathing brands. Not to mention, I spend a fair amount of my time looking at brands that are damaged, about to be damaged, or on life support. Many of those are attributed to bad brand extensions.

I was happy to see the new TippingSprung Brand Extension Survey that recently polled Brandweek readers online. The survey determined the best and worst brand extensions in 2007. True, the survey only polled 785 Brandweek readers. However, wait till you see the results. As we roll out of 2007 we may as well do it with a chuckle. So, drum roll please...let's take a look at the results:



The top 3 most inappropriate brand extensions of 2007 (in order):

Precious Moments coffins. Yes those creepy little figurines that look like little kids and are sold in stores like Hallmark.

A wine club for the Humane Society Dog Lovers. What the heck were they thinking?

Get this, apparel for Girls Gone Wild. I don't think I need to say anything about this.

Other terrible brand extensions of this year:

Trump Steaks -- yes, The Donald put out steaks. I can see that he has a line of neck ties. It seems appropriate -- but this brings celebrity brand abuse to a new level.

Another that made me laugh out loud was an energy drink put out by none other than the controversial restaurant chain with the tagline, "Delightfully tacky yet unrefined." I don't think anyone thinks energy when they think Hooters. Boobs and chicken wings yes, energy no.

One that confused the hell out of me was some kind of "prime fillet" chicken breasts by Bumble Bee...yes the company known for tuna in a can. The whole tuna-chicken things still gets me confused. Remember the ole Charlie Chicken of the Sea?

The Humane Society decided to brand a cell phone. I wonder if it was complete with Fido and Fifi's ringtones?

Actor Danny DeVito got a lot of mileage after appearing drunk on "The View" earlier this year. He said he was out all night with pal George Clooney in New York City drinking Limoncello. So what did Danny Boy create? Ah, yes, none other than the Danny DeVito Premium Limoncello wine.

Seems professional race car driver Jeff Gordon got on the bandwagon, too, when he launched his Jeff Gordon Collection of fine wines. I was surprised to see that they come in a real bottle and not a box. Even Disney came out with wine. Not to mention a children's cologne. That is just bizarre.

 So, cynicism aside, we can't talk about the bad without giving props to the good brand extensions of this year.  When you think about them, they make sense -- though I still think they're weird:

     1. PetSmart PetsHotel

    2. Huggies Little Swimmers sunscreen (the only one I don't think is weird)

    3.Disney's Fairy Tale wedding gowns

    4. "American Idol" camp

      Other favored line extensions were:

      Sharper Image office supply line at OfficeMax.

      Curves cereal.

      Newman's Own wine from Paul Newman.

      La-Z-Boy outdoor furniture

      Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Network

      Russell Stover cookie dough

      Guinness whole grain bread ('cause this Irish girl thinks there's a sandwich in every beer).

      A kitchen line from the Food Network available at Kohl's department store.

      Two that were favored that I just don't see how they'd be successful were Jolly Rancher frozen beverages and Entenmann's coffee. I guess it makes sense -- but aren't those super-cluttered areas already?

      So there you have it, dear readers. No doubt I'll do the same old online predictions for 2008 soon enough. However, this was a lot of fun to look back at.

      Think of any good or bad line extensions from the past? Post 'em to the Spin blog and let's continue the belly laughs.


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