Friday, December 01, 2006

Stories of Animal Instinct

I was toying with this thought of “Why do brands use animal in their logo? How does an association with an animal help them? Any particular characteristics do they try to imbibe on the consumers? How does the symbol of an animal make the brand memorable?” It took me almost three weeks of extensive research and numerous emails to people to find out the real facts; therefore I had to take off from blogosphere.

Why do this band of cool brands draw from nature, in this case from ‘animals’ to gain recognition and popularity (and popular they are indeed). What are the legacies, the history and the myths which make them so popular?

Speaking with Stefan on this issue he said, “Some companies choose animal names because of obvious associations of unbridled strength and speed, which is associated with virility, which is always good. From there you'd definitely want the animal represented in the logo. If you can establish a credible link between the animal and your product, you have something that functions as an effective mnemonic device that translates internationally. Jaguars are fast and ferocious everywhere. A clear communication platform.

It gets a little bit more interesting when you have an animal mascot that doesn't link up directly to the product. Why Linux choose a Penguin or Lacoste an Alligator.

For identities in general I like names and logos that are smart, but don't have any overt personality. That is to say, I don't like names or logos that are cute. I like identities that are... dare I say it... generic enough that they can become a symbol for the company's personality over time. Cute logos and company names try to graft a personality onto a company. That might work for a while, but ultimately, the company will outgrow or out-change the initial name..”

Here are few famous brands and the stories behind them:

Elder brother Adolph Dassler started making shoes and called his company Adidas. Younger brother Younger brother Rudolf Dassler also made shoes and initially named his company RUDA. But the name sounded awkward suggests his friend. So he switched two letters. P instead of R and M instead of D, that’s how PUMA came to being. He adopted the animal Puma as his logo which is strong, agile, furious and fast. Qualities that his shoes posses which became the alternative in the sporting goods market.

When RJ Reynolds decided to launch his new blend of cigarette in the US market, he used a ‘Circus Camel’ called ‘Old Joe’ to drive down towns and distribute free cigarettes. In 1987 RJR created the controversial cartoon “Joe Camel” as the brand identity of Camel Cigarette.

Ferrucio Lamborghini
was born under the zodiac sign of ‘Taurus.’ So, in the year 1963 when his 350 GTV prototype made appearance in the Turin Auto Show and he started getting orders, Lamborghini used the Bull as the badge to mark his new automobiles.

The famous black prancing horse on yellow background with the letters S F for Scuderia (‘Stud Farm’ in Italian) Ferrari is the symbol of Count Francesco Baracca, a legendary "asso" (ace) of the Italian air force during World War I, who painted a prancing horse on the side of his planes. The On June 17, 1923, Enzo Ferrari won a race at the Savio track in Ravenna where he met the Countess Paolina, mother of Baracca. The Countess asked that he use the horse on his cars, suggesting that it would grant him good luck. Ferrari later added a yellow background to the black horse because it was the symbolic colour of his birthplace Modena.

In 1961 WWF was created and Chi-Chi a giant panda arrived in the London Zoo. The founders decided that the large furry animal with her appealing black patched eye will make an excellent logo. British environmentalist Gerald Watterson drew the first sketches. Based on that Sir Peter Scott, one of the founders drew the first logo saying, “The black & white panda will symbolize all that was disappearing in the natural world.

Francis Barraud
was a painter. His brother Mark had found a stray terrier and named him Nipper. Francis used to observe how puzzled Nipper used to be when a voice played from the phonograph. It remained in his brains. In 1899 Francis completed the first painting, 3 years after the death of Nipper and named his painting, “Dog looking and listening to phonograph.” He renamed his painting as, “his master’s voice” later. Gary Owen, a manager of the Berliner Gramophone Company liked the painting and offered to buy it if Francis replaced the Edison Phonograph with the brass horn of a Berliner Gramophone. Francis delivered the revised painting on 17th October, 1899. Emile Berliner (inventor of flat disc record and the gramophone) came to London in May 1900 and saw the painting on the walls of Owen’s office. He took the painting with his to US and sought a trademark for it. HMV was born on July 10, 1900 when the patent office granted the trademark.

The famous logo depicting the stylized rabbit wearing a tuxedo bow tie was designed by Hugh Hefner, the creator of Playboy said he chose the rabbit because the image was “frisky and playful.”

Red Bull:
Dietrich Mateschitz
and Nina Avery traveled to Thailand and saw that the tuk-tuk drivers drank a substance to keep them energized throughout the day. He adapted it from the popular Thai beverage Krating Daeng, which translates into the English language as Red Gaur. He made some alternation to the recipe and modified the flavour, Red Bull was born.

The Bacardi Bat Device, appears on every label of every product carrying the Bacari family name. Accoring to Family lore, it originated in 1862 when Don Facundo Bacardi’s wife Dona Amalia Lucia Victoria Moreau suggested the Bat as the trademark of their new rum. The first Bacardi distillery had a colony of fruit bats living in the rafters. The extinct native people Tainos regarded bats as possessors of all cultural goods. Bats were popularly thought to bring good health, fortune and family unity. The Bat local storytellers attested brought good fortune and added magical powers to Don Facundo’s charcoal mellowed rums spread along with the bat mythology.

The story of the famous Lacoste crocodile began in 1927. René LACOSTE recalls how his nickname became an emblem recognized throughout the world. "I was nicknamed "the Alligator" by the American press, after I made a bet with the Captain of the French Davis Cup Team concerning a suitcase made from alligator skin. He promised to buy it for me if I won a very important match for our team. The public must have been fond of this nickname which conveyed the tenacity I displayed on the tennis courts, never letting go of my prey! So my friend Robert GEORGE drew a 'crocodile' which I then had embroidered on the blazer I wore on the courts.”

ING Lion:
One of ING’s founding companies; the Rijkspostspaarbank was established in 1881. Government-owned, the company had the Dutch coat of arms flanked by two lions in its logo surmounting the motto ‘je maintiendrai’ (I will maintain). ING’s orange lion goes way back to ING’s Dutch roots. Orange is the national colour of the Netherlands, and the lion the country’s national symbol. Several founding ING companies, banks and insurers, had or still have the lion in their logos.

Greyhound Lines:
Carl Wickman
was born in Sweden in 1887. He moved to the United States, and in 1914 began a bus service in Minnesota where he transported iron ore miners from Hibbing to Alice at 15 cents a ride. The miners wanted him to drive fast. So its famous name and its logo are based on the Greyhound, the fastest breed of dog used in dog racing.

Red Flying Horse or the Pegasus is the symbol of Exxon Mobil Corporation. The flying red horse, or Pegasus symbol, was used as early as 1911 and adopted as a trademark in the U.S. shortly after the organization of Socony-Vacuum in 1931. The Pegasus logo, a symbol of "speed and power" was first colored red by the Mobil Sekiyu in Japan.

In 1934, Magnolia Petroleum Company [Exxon Mobil Corporation's predecessor] erected an "oil derrick" atop the 29-story Magnolia Hotel building. It supported two 30 by 50 foot red neon signs made in the image of Pegasus, the flying red horse. The Mobil "Pegasus" image is featured prominently on the gas tank of the famous "Bathing Suit Vincent" motorcycle driven by rider Rollie Free. Later, 'Save the Flying Red Horse' campaign also made the Pegasus famous the world over.

American Airlines:
American's early liveries varied widely, but a common livery was adopted in the 1930s, featuring an eagle painted on the fuselage. The eagle became a symbol of the company and inspired the name of American Eagle Airlines. In the late 1960s, American commissioned an industrial designer to develop a new livery. The original design called for a red, white, and blue stripe on the fuselage, and a simple "AA" logo, without an eagle, on the tail. However, American's employees revolted when the livery was made public, and launched a "Save the Eagle" campaign. Eventually, the designer caved in and created a highly stylized eagle, dubbed "the bug," which remains the company's logo to this day.

One evening Avard Fairbanks (who earlier designed the famous Plymouth Flying Lady for Chrysler) got an urgent call from the engineers at Dodge automobile company asking him to meet them in ten minutes. They explained that they had 10,000 cars that needed hood ornaments and that they wanted something as attractive as the ornament on a Rolls Royce, but for the cheapest car! Fairbanks suggested a mountain lion, a tiger, a jaguar and other animals. Finally he started modeling a mountain sheep. When the engineers read that the ram was the "master of the trail and not afraid of even the wildest of animals" they became enthusiastic about the symbol. Walter P. Chrysler wasn't as convinced. But Fairbanks explained that anyone seeing a ram, with its big horns, would think "dodge." He looked at him, looked at the model, scratched his head and said, "That's what I want - go ahead with it." Finally, he called the designers and Mr. Chrysler in to see three models of a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, a ram. He proposed the charging one. They asked, "why a ram?" Fairbanks responded, "It is sure-footed; it's the King of the Trail; it won't be challenged by anything." They nodded their heads. Then Fairbanks, with a bit of corny humor, added, "And if you were on the trail and saw that ram charging down on you, what would you think?-DODGE!" To which Walter Chrysler excitedly replied "THAT'S IT! THE RAM GOES ON THE DODGE!"

The brand was launched in 1967 when Ralph Lauren purchased the name from Brooks Brothers, for whom he worked at the time. In 1968 he started a line of men's ties. One of the most famous pieces in the Turkey line is the classic polo featuring the now-iconic Polo player on the left breast of the shirt. However, in 1970 open with the introduction of Ralph Lauren womenswear. Lauren creates a daring line of men’s tailored shirts for women—reinventing a classic men’s look for women’s style. The women’s line also brings the birth of the polo player emblem. Originally on the cuff of women’s tailored shirts, the now ubiquitous logo begins the Polo signature status combined with designer appeal.

Laughing Cow:
The eponymous laughing cow is red and jovial, and is almost always depicted wearing earrings that look like the round boxes the cheese comes in. On April 16, 1921, Léon Bel trademarked his brand, called "La Vache qui rit," (literally The Cow who laughs) in France. In the trademark, the cow is said to have a hilarious expression. Bel had made the original drawing himself, after having seen a traveling meat wagon called during World War I called "La Wachkyrie," a play on the word for Valkyrie. In the beginning she wasn't laughing, she wasn't red and she didn't wear earrings. This patent was the very first branded cheese product registered in France. In 1924, Benjamin Rabier, a famous illustrator, edited the drawing into more of the image that prevails today. The blue and white stripes around the box date from 1955. In 1976 both boxes in the ears are shown with the top-side visible. Before that year consumers were shown a top and bottom side.

In the beginning of 1996, several people started talking about a suitable logo for Linux on the linux-kernel mailing list. At some point, Linus Torvalds (the father of Linux) casually mentioned that he was rather fond of Penguins. Linus in an email mentioned, “I've always liked penguins, and when I was in Canberra a few years ago we went to the local zoo with Andrew Tridgell (of samba fame). There they had a ferocious penguin that bit me and infected me with a little known disease called penguinitis. Penguinitis makes you stay awake at nights just thinking about penguins and feeling great love towards them. So when Linux needed a mascot, the first thing that came into my mind was this picture of the majestic penguin, and the rest is history.”
Larry Ewing’s won the painting contest of the famous Penguin. It was named TUX - (T)orvolds (U)ni(X) while some believe Tux is short for “Tuxedo” because Penguins look like they are wearing one.

These stories go on to explain how a brand can create content all by itself. The stories keep the brand alive and people loves to hear more.

Dig deep and you might unearth a hidden story which has the power to refresh your brand all over again. It’s amazing to see how little things can make a big difference in creating enormous fortune and fame.

If you come across any other interesting animal-brand stories, feel free to comment.



Dhivya said...

wow!!! thats a lot of hard work...and it was so intresting. I shared the post with my collegues...and have blogrolled you..

Dhivya said...

wow!!! thats a lot of hard work...and it was so intresting. I shared the post with my collegues...and have blogrolled you..

pooR_Planner said...

Hey Thanks Dhivya ...I guess we should all try to find out interesting stories about the brands that we work for.

SloganMurugan said...

nice! poor planner :) Nothing like animals to spice up some advertising. Moving beyong just what u have written. There are two things that can steal glances and that's children and animals. example: Parle child. Hutch dog, the name Bajaj chetak, so many...

Anonymous said...

You story about Nipper is completely wrong. There was no Gary Owen, there was a William Barry Owen who was managing director of the Gramophone Company in London, not Berliner.

Piyush Patel said...

Yes, this guy is very casual about his facts. His research is very poor and should not be trusted.

Why do Indians have such difficulty with the truth?

pooR_Planner said...

Whoever you're Mr.Anonymous, you are a fuckwit, first, Second, you don't fucking have your facts right. So please do read up before you post a comment.

Piyush Patel you're a cock. If you know what you're talking come on over lets debate and see how much shit you have in store in that dickhead of yours.

Do read the the following.
and know the histroy of HMV before you pass a comment.

PorkSoda 1776 said...

Could you please tell me the rest of the logos? I really want to know them all. It doesn't matter about the facts, Ito me, it matters what names they are.

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