October 31, 2003
Be thankful Carl's Jr. isn't based out of Washington, D.C.

Marketers sure are brilliant! Just when you thought you'd begun to really identify with a brand you've loved and faithfully used since childhood, Philip Morris became Altria, and Time Warner became AOL Time Warner, before becoming Time Warner again...so exciting!

7up "flipped it and reversed it" to become dnL, and next thing you know, twenty-somethings felt like skateboarding and reading "Thrasher" for the first time since junior high (and it surely didn't hurt that 7up, I mean, dnL, tastes way cooler than yesterday's extreme-sports soda, Mountain Dew).

Now, according to Adweek, the branding wizards at Mendelsohn/Zien are giving us another rechristening. Beloved second-tier fast-food chain Carl's Jr. is pandering to its Los Angeles base:

"With a simple display of the fast-food chain's smiling-star logo, a voiceover announces, "Carl's Jr. would like to extend a special welcome to the L.A. Lakers' Karl Malone," at which point a super comes up under the Laker-gold star, reading "Karl's Jr." The sound of a bouncing basketball concludes the spot."

Phew. Seeing that revised logo the first time, and given chain founder Carl Karcher's notorious background as an avid Southern California Republican, I initially feared far more insidious influences were at work.

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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