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When Life Imitates Art


Brands are created everyday. Some are created to sell products and services, others are created as final year projects, but sometimes brands are conjured to simply move a fictional story along.

Fictional brands have been around as long as fiction has, we presume. We’ve heard of many – like Soul Glo from “Coming To America”, or Pizza Planet from ‘Toy Story” or the unforgettable Acme from all those timeless Warner Bros. cartoons. The list goes on and on.  But occasionally, the lifespan of these fictional brands does not necessarily end along with the story they emerged from.

There have been a few notable fictional brands that have crossed over from the dream machine into reality. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense to do so. Many of these fictional brands already have a clear-cut target audience, a well-defined tone and manner and a strong positioning to send it zooming out the ball park.

Below is a list of brands that have graduated from fantasy to reality:

Brand : Holiday Inn
Trade : Hospitality
History: You’d be surprised to find out that this ubiquitous hotel we often see on our travels actually comes from a fictional story. Kemmons Wilson founded Holiday Inn in 1952 but he chose to name his new business based on a 1942 musical of the same name, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

Brand : Duff Beer
Trade : Alcoholic Beverages
History : A prime example of why fictional brands should be brought to reality, Duff beer has a 20 year history of bringing joy to the homes of anyone who’s ever tuned in to The Simpsons. From its distinctive typeface, to it’s comedic positioning, Duff Beer is now being produced in Germany for actual consumption with a target audience that spans the globe.

Brand : Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Trade : Food and Beverages
History : Bubba Gump Shrimp opened its doors in 1996, 2 years after the release of the movie that featured this fictional brand, Forrest Gump. It’s been 25 years down the road and this franchise is still going strong thanks to a well-scripted brand conversation.

Brand : The Willy Wonka Candy Company
Trade : Confectionery
History : Based on the visuals of the 1971 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”, this 42-year-old candy company has lasted the test of time thanks to the imagination of one man. Further bolstered by Tim Burton’s remake in 2005, the brand equity of this loved candy company doesn’t seem to have an end in sight.

It seems a natural progression, bringing successful fictional brands to the real world, and we don’t see why not, when all the lengthy branding exercise has been done for you. It’s easy to see that the story of your brand is just as important as your product.

What’s your brand’s story?

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