Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dead or dying brands.

I guess because I wrote yesterday about Sears, I started thinking about brands that are dead or dying and are highly unlikely to be resuscitated.

I saw recently a banner ad for Lincoln automobiles. Does anyone remember Lincoln? Does anyone feel positively about it? Does anyone associate Lincoln with anything but a New York City "Black Car" with 375K miles on it and no suspension? Is there anyone under 70 in the US who shops for a Lincoln? Naw. It's one of the seven or nine last cars you buy before you die.

That said, I went on Lincoln.com. The site has all the cliches of every other website, auto or otherwise. Bad synth music. A car that rotates. And a headline so banal, so meaningless, so empty, so devoid of TRUTH that it makes me sick and sad. "We started with a dream, and built a car around it."

No, you started with a Ford chassis and built an obsolescence around it.

As I have said before in this space, dead brands are legion: Lincoln, Buick, Pontiac, virtually all American airlines, perhaps Dell, and so it goes. Other brands are still alive but only because a better competitor hasn't yet come into the market.

So to the agencies that handle these brands and to the CMOs that run them, here's an offer: give me a call at 1 646 638 5505 and give me a week. If I come up with something that revitalizes your brand pay me $1 million cash. If I don't just pay my expenses and go out of business.

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