Friday, March 13, 2009

Ads, Brands, and Logos

When we walked around campus this week writing down every logo and brand we saw, my eyes began to grow wider and wider. After only 15 minutes of walking around, we were able to write down close to 200 brands and logos. It's no wonder that we are completely overloaded everyday with brands, ads, and logos. 

What's even crazier than the massive amounts of ads we see everyday, is the ability that we have to see a logo and know what it's representing within a second. When I was walking around campus looking for brands, it was amazing how I didn't even have to think about what the logos represented. I would see a brand, like the Swoosh and immediately write down Nike. I would see three lines on a shoe and think, Adidas. I would see two golden arches and know it was McDonald's. These logos are SO familiar to us, they almost become second-nature to us. We don't even consciously have to process in our minds what we are seeing, we don't have to decipher what these symbols mean, we just know. These types of logos are super effective because they have become easily recognizable, unique, and universal. Basically, if you didn't recognize the Nike Swoosh, people would think you were from another planet, that's how ridiculous branding in our society has become. 

Another interesting aspect of branding is what we associate that particular brand with when we see it. For instance Wal-Mart, some may think, "inexpensive", others may think, "ghetto." The most critical aspect of creating a brand is that when people see it, they associate positive feelings with it. I know that I have bought the well-known brand at the grocery store, even though it was more expensive. When I'm looking for sneakers, I tend to buy only Nikes because I have been pleased with every single pair I have had. But it's more than that, I'm sure I could find great shoes in other brands, but my loyalty lies with Nike. Why? I'm really not sure. I guess I think they are cool. How did I come to this thinking? Probably good advertising. 


  1. I know what you mean about the more expensive brands. Sometimes the proof is in the pudding. I only buy The Sony (round the back of the head) head phones as i think they are some of the best quality out there. A couple of monthes ago i needed to replace them and My wife was telling me that i don't need to spend lots of money on head phones, so to appease her i bought a similar style from MVP for about $9.99.
    I was so mad when they turned out to be a piece of crap. I'd wasted $10 and i still needed some headphones. I finally got some that i really wanted for christmas for a family member so didnt spend more but Sometimes we feel that positive association with the brands we love.

    I just re-read that, and its not as melodramatic as it sounds.

  2. It was kinda interesting walking around campus and seeing all the adds everywhere. It was also funny when we started talking about how the Pepsi brand is the current beverage on campus. They have there name posted everywhere. I think almost every table in the lunch room had a little paper stand up with the name Pepsi on it. I get the same way when it comes to the shoes I buy. I do like my Adidas. Not all my shoes are Adidas, but the ones I tend to wear on a daily bases are. That is the purpose of all the advertising we see. Brands want us to see their logo in our head, even when we are not seeing it with our eyes, They want us to remember it even when it's not around for the future when it is around or when we want something that might be related to it. Like the food at McDonald's or new shoes from Nike or Adidas.

  3. There are so many ads, its like we would not know how to survive without them. Its interesting to think about how some people are more comfortable in certain brands, and refuse to wear other brands. When people wear expensive clothes they feel like they are on the top of the world. But why is that? Its probably because they are used to the media telling them that the expensive brands are the coolest. The media is everywhere and it can make us think whatever we want!

  4. As I stared down 5 different brands of soda...I realized how biased I am towards a few...

    Most of my bias drink choices stem from the TV ads themselves...

    When I look at Coke I somehow connect it to old people...Pepsi I connect to youth...

    Truth is my fixed belief stems from my junior high days...when my school received several soda machines from Pepsi

  5. This is a great post! And it's true and so bizarre how everybody associates themselves with brands to identify themselves- who they are or what they're about. An Anthropologist mantra says "We don't know who discovered water, but we're pretty sure it wasn't the fish" It's like McLuhan's theory when he says that we aren't really aware of our environments because we're so immersed in them. And it's these invisible environments that have such a huge effect in our lives and we don't even realize it!