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Season 5: Even More Remarkable Brands.

This week on the Age of Persuasion, we feature our annual look at Five Remarkable Brands. They may not be category leaders or even things you can buy, but they are fascinating. They include; A certain scientist who is such a powerful brand that he has displaced other great thinkers, a company that makes our world a little more colourful, a comic book that has enthralled teenagers for over 70 years, a honey of a product that was born in the back of a pick-up truck, and the most Emmy-nominated TV show in broadcast history. Best of all, they're not only remarkable brands, they're remarkable stories as well.

Listen to this episode as streaming audio (runs 26:30)
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All of the TV commercials and print elements we referred to in the episode, as well as some bonus materials, are below. Enjoy.

Physicists for a long time studied a phenomenon called: "The gravitationally completely collapsed object." Nobody cared about this phenomenon... except physicists.

Then one day, somebody renamed it, "The Black Hole."

Suddenly, the whole world was interested. The new name changed how people thought. Those two words, for all intents and purposes, branded the phenomenon.

Black Hole.jpeg

While not all remarkable brands dominate their categories in terms of marketing share or revenues, they certainly can dominate when it comes to recognition.

Can you name these famous scientists?


Or this good looking fellow:

Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen.jpeg

Or this groundbreaker?

Jonas Salk.jpeg

Or this guy:

einstein photo.jpeg

Ah, you were able to recognize Albert Einstein. That's because he is a remarkable brand. As a matter of fact, Einstein is such a unique brand, he has displaced many other great thinkers.

(By the way, the other scientists above are Edwin Hubble, who discovered galaxies other than our own, Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen, who invented the X-Ray, and Jonas Salk, who invented the polio vaccine.)

But you have to admit, Einstein had a personality.

Einstein Sticking tongue out.jpeg

In 1885, Edwin Binney and his cousin C. Harold Smith took control of the Peekskill Chemical Company, re-named it Binney & Smith, and began manufacturing slate pencils for schools.

Binney & Smith.jpg

That put them in the school supply business, and in 1903, they created one of the world's most remarkable brands:

The Crayola Crayon.

The first box had eight vibrant colours:

Original Crayola 8 box.jpeg

Then, over the years, came the 48-colour box, followed by the massive 64-colour box:

Crayola was an instant hit, and has had an enormous impact on children for the past 100 years. In recognition of this beloved brand, the company was honoured with a postage stamp in 1996:

Crayola stamp.jpg

Today, Crayola has 99% brand name awareness in North America.

All of which is to say that Crayola is a remarkable brand.

In 1939, MLJ Magazines was established and they began publishing Pep Comics. One of those comics called Archie struck a chord with teens in 1941. Here's a photo of the three very happy founders in 1943:

1943 the original MLJ.jpg

Founder John Goldwater (above right) was inspired by the Andy Hardy movie series of the 1940s, starring a freshly scrubbed Mickey Rooney:

In no time, Archie comics was a hit. Here is the very first Archie comic book (worth a fortune if you've got one):


The comic was so popular that an Archie Radio Series ran from 1943-53. Here is a print advertisement for the show:

Archie Talks!.jpeg

Archie's popularity kept growing through the 1950s with the radio show, and in 1968, they had another re-birth with a television cartoon series:

The cartoon even spawned a make-believe singing group that had a number one hit on Billboard:

For over 70 years, Archie has thrilled teenagers without every having to resort to overt sex, violence or profanity, and has still managed to sell over 1.5 billion comics in a dozen foreign languages right around the world.

That is a remarkable brand.

Another fascinating brand is Burt's Bees, which was founded by beekeeper Burt Shavitz and a divorced, unemployed mother of two, Roxanne Quimby.

Burt's Bees founder Quimby and Burt.jpeg

They began by creating candles out of Burt's beeswax, and before they knew it, an amazing company was born:

Burt's Bees Logo.jpeg

In 2004, Quimby sold 80% of the company for $173 million dollars.

Proving that brands are valuable. And remarkable brands are very valuable.

Our final remarkable brand began in 1975.

It has the most Emmy nominations of any television show ever created. And every Saturday night, living rooms across North America hear these familiar words around 11:30pm:

Throughout good seasons and not-so-good seasons, Saturday Night Live has continued to be the hilarious, acerbic, fearless voice of our times. You could call them an institution now. And by the way, I've always loved the way SNL parodies my industry.

Who could forget the "Change Bank" commercial:

Long live the remarkable brand that is Saturday Night Live.