All right brand geeks, have a go at this one.
As a life-long gum addict, (full disclosure – Excel is my brand) I’m always interested in the contortions gum-makers go to to get my attention in a crowded brandfield. But this one really jumped out as both a sign of changing times and a spectacular positioning error.
It seems like the “Extreme” superlatives and the “Intense” flavour / fashion / lifestyle experiences pushed by advertisers in the mid 00’s are pulling back a bit under the weight of recession. I remeber being stumped a bit why my anti-perspirant Degree started pushing new scents like “EXTREME BLAST” a few years back — which seems to me to be the LAST thing you want eminating from your armpits…
But increasingly, the consumer branding pitch seems to be less about trying new things and getting back to fundamentals. Witness the sheepish positioning line “Less Intense”.
1) Apologetic Subtext: Sorry everybody, we didn’t mean to offend you with our intense taste for the last few decades…
2) Confusing juxtaposition: of “Now more flavour…” and “LESS INTENSE!!!!!!!!” (puncuation added) Huh?!?! I’m a bit slow on my flavour-industry jargon, but isn’t that a bit like saying about a new painting “It’s more beautiful, BUT YOU WON’T BE OVERWHELMED BY THAT ANNNOYING BEAUTY LIKE BEFORE!!!!!!”
Okay, I’m done. Any thoughts? Join the converstation!