The Meme that Launched a Thousand Quips and Other Marketing News

September 27, 2018

Thirsty for knowledge? Get a taste of the juiciest marketing news with The Squeeze! We deliver industry highlights straight to your inbox to get your creative juices flowing. From the branding obscurity trend to the meme that launched a thousand quips, here is what's happening for September.


Donut get it twisted: Why brands are opting for obscurity


From Dunkin’ dropping the Donuts in its name to Weight Watchers, now WW, playing the acronym game, it seems like obscurity is what’s in vogue this season.


The shift among brands indicates a widespread trend to avoid being pigeonholed. After all, the brand needs to define the product, not the other way around. When a company is married to a product, it’s harder to pivot and diversify its portfolio. Think about when IHOP wrought havoc on the internet by changing its name to IHOb to promote its new burger menu, for example.


This phenomenon isn’t necessarily new either. Apple, KFC and Starbucks are other major companies that have dropped parts of or abbreviated their names to make their brands more accessible.    


Another bump in the road for Uber


Another week, another Uber controversy, am I right? Here’s the skinny on what happened this time: The company experienced a major data breach, compromising the information of 50 million riders and 7 million drivers. What’s worse is that the company has been covering up the breach for the last year.


But now it’s time to pay up. Uber settled an agreement with the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and owes a whopping $148 million.


This is one of many examples of why companies need to be especially vigilant in how they manage consumer data. If your company requires cybersecurity services, we know just the team for the job.


What do you meme it’s offensive?


It’s official: That “distracted boyfriend” meme that blew up the internet and has a saga of a backstory has been deemed sexist by Sweden’s ad ombudsman.


The meme features a couple walking down the street with the man ogling another woman, so the news isn’t exactly earth-shattering. But what prompted the ombudsman to make the ruling about the meme was its use in a Bahnhof post on Facebook.


Though the ombudsman can denounce advertisements, it does not have the legal authority to impose sanctions. In any case, Bahnhof responded to the ruling with the following statement.


Anyone familiar with the internet and meme culture knows how this meme is used and interpreted. Gender is usually irrelevant in the context. We explained meme culture to the ombudsman, but it chose to interpret the post differently.


Where do you stand in the debate? Does the prevalence of meme culture negate objectively sexist content? We would love to hear your feedback.  


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