A Blog on Brands
Brands as we knew them as children were burnt on cattle.
The word brand began simply as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. A legally protected brand name is called a trademark. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity – it affects the personality of a product, company or service.
We knew who the cattle rustlers were and whose beef was the best, the most reliable, the healthiest. And that was the brand we wanted to have, Circle K being the most kosher, at least in the westerns we were watching.
Nowadays we find brands being born before we even know the product. Will Olympus Pictures become a brand for having made Rabbit Hole (Tipped for an Oscar, LionsGate has U.S.), Beginners (Focus has U.S.), Adam (Fox Searchlight has U.S.) and The Narrows? Participant is a brand for those who know the company’s founding principles. Of course the major studios are brands, but people don’t go to the movies because they say MGM, Universal or Paramount. They go because they’re interested in the story. However they might go if the film says Fox Searchlight. Miramax had a certain brand recognition even for moviegoers. Its mythology, the stories of Harvey and Bob, the spawn of Mira and Max, could keep a party going for a long time.
Anne Thompson writes of Media Brand Names. Celebrities are the Brand Names for filmmakers. Transmedia’s stock in trade are brands. Film buyers know certain international sales agents as “brands”, most notably Summit or Wild Bunch. Consumers know Netflix Criterion, and maybe soon they will also recognize Mubi.
Craig Emanuel, head of Loeb & Loeb’s Entertainment division points out that that Wherever the eyes are, there must be Brands.
What is the purpose of this blog? Just to point out that brands have certain responsibilities to their audiences and if new distribution companies are popping up like mushrooms, it will be their task to become brands to distinguish themselves and their movies from the masses of others out there. Right now, they all have brand parity and its a bit confusing.
Brands. Thanks to the Devil’s Rope Museum