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Reviving the Brand

Broadcast Date: March 8, 2008 (Originally aired 14 April 2007)

Listen to this episode as streaming audio (runs 27:30)

This week Terry O'Reilly explores ways marketers breathe new life into dying brands. He'll show you how brands such as Special 'K' have hiked sales- not by changing their product, but by changing the 'idea' of their product. Then he'll show you how Hollywood celebrities have used the same principle to re-invent- and resurrect- their careers.


Previous Comments (9)

Great show! To me, this is what CBC should be all about.

Peter G Guenard, March 7, 2008 10:20 PM

Why the repeated programmes?
I do like the hear them and make notes, but I am disappointed that it isn't make mention of at the top of the show.

Is it because you can't do 13 shows? Started late in season? Can't get rebroadcast rights?

Good stuff, a book with CDs should come out one day to recycle all that script-typing that has been done.

And I would like it twice a week so we can pass word-of-mouth "Didja hear..." comments along to others, after the first show.

Bill Lee , March 10, 2008 12:36 AM

I found the piece on rebranding interesting.

However ...

Which automobile manufacturer is responsible for the current iteration of the MINI? Not "British" anything. It's BMW, admittedly, from its facility in Oxford.

Dianne Horton, March 10, 2008 10:26 AM

Great show! I still remember most of the ads mentioned in it :D

Mark Biernacki, March 10, 2008 8:03 PM

Great show.

You didn't mention, however, Shreddies and their clever remake of the now "diamond-shaped" look. I think that's got to be one of the ultimate examples of re-imaging by doing nothing!

Ross Brown, March 19, 2008 10:17 AM

Are you kidding???!! The Shreddies commercials are a great exaple of what not to do. As my 11-year old daughter said (un-prodded): How stupid do they think we are?

Natalie Gosselin, March 26, 2008 4:23 PM

Thanks for all the great comments, folks.

To answer a few questions:

Bill: Every once in a while, we repeat a show. One of the reasons is that a lot of people complain about missing the episodes. Now we're happy to say this season's shows are streamed above.

And yes, Mike and I are working on a book right now, so all that scripting and typing won't go to waste.

Ross: I'm with you on the Shreddies boards. I think they're funny. For a product with nothing new to say, they found an amusing way to communicate. With tongue firmly in cheek.

Terry O'Reilly, March 28, 2008 12:21 AM


Back in the 70's some religious group successfully got my favorite show
"Soap" cancelled. Now, you say that the decision to cancel the show had
nothing to do with me the audience, (which I can believe) But the idea that this
is not an example of censorship is shaky at best. I was deprived of an oasis of
wit and a healthy source of laughs. Do you really think I care whether it was a
self-righteous religiosity types "protecting their children", or producers
protecting their children, or the advertisers protecting their "brand"? The result
was the same. Besides, who was really in charge? The advertisers were forced
to dump their investment. To say tat it was "Brand Protection" not "Censorship"
is like saying," The man didn't die from a snakebite; he died of the poison in the
snake venom."

And what about that show "Politically Incorrect"? You know the one, it sort of
branded itself as a kind of Jerry Springer for intellectuals, then used a format
that made it safer than a daycare playpen. Too many guests, too many
commercial breaks guaranteed that nothing more dangerous than a heated
exchange of sound bytes would ever take place. And of course the host
could be counted on to head off anything close to an actual debate. The
audience could watch their favorite "pundits" sound off, safe in the knowledge
that their own world view would never be challenged. Until that fateful day when
the host actually said something that really was Politically Incorrect, even then,
he stole it from Susan Sontag. The advertisers bought a show that branded itself
under a rebel/bad boy marquis, then dropped the host for living up to his billing.
It was the only product I know of, that was discontinued for actually delivering
the goods.

Anyway, how about a show on "Sneaking It By the Censors - What
Advertisers Do Get Away With"?

Love the show.

Christena Jackson
Guelph, ON

Christena Jackson, April 4, 2008 3:12 PM

Chistena - I remember the TV show "Soap" very well. But our hypothesis stands up - advertisers don't censor, audiences do. That series was cancelled because of pressure from a religious group. You don't see a distinction between audiences wanting a show cancelled, and advertisers pulling out. I do. An advertiser is only there because the audience is there. That's it. If the audience starts to leave, and the values of the show start to turn contentious, then an advertiser has the right to bow out. That is not censorship. Demanding a show be cancelled, or a host fired, or demanding to see a script and demanding edits, is censorship.

As for "Politically Incorrect" - you are right when you say that Bill Maher got fired and/or cancelled because he was too politically incorrect when he disagreed with someone who called terrorists "cowards." Maher's fateful moment came when he said terrorists aren't cowards because they are willing to pilot a plane into a building. But again, advertisers didn't censor Maher, they chose to pull out of the show. The pressure from audiences forced the network to cancel the show.

If you were a member of an association that suddenly started supporting something that was not in line with your values, and you chose to leave that association, is that censorship?

Terry O'Reilly, April 13, 2008 11:46 AM
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