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Brand Tags – what do you really think of a brand?

There’s an amusing site that was pointed out to me by people at the ad agency where I’m currently moonlighting.

It’s based on a principle that we all use in adland: you can write a definition of what you would like your brand to stand for, but a brand is an abstract concept, so the only real definition is the one that exists in people’s heads. The site therefore prompts you with a logo and asks you to write the first word or phrase that comes into your head. It then collates these into a word map, a true definition of the brand in question.

It’s largely American, so its use to us Brits is a little limited, but I laughed out loud when I checked out what Budweiser really means to people. Bud Light is even better. Compare this with Sam Adams, and you realise that there’s hope for the mass palate yet. We’re confused about Heineken, which maybe reflects how that brand is perceived differently in different parts of the world, but we absolutely love Guinness.




I like their technique it makes almost poetic associations of words, the bud light is top one.


Boak, one of their big advertising ‘properties’ in the US is their fleet/herd/gaggle(?) of Clydesdale horses that used to pull the drays. Whenever the younger Busch does an ad with talking frogs or lizards, the old guard does one with Clydesdales and fields of barley – presumably the only reason for the latter being that it looks more picturesque than rice paddies.

The Beer Nut

You mean the UK doesn’t get the fuzzy bad-NTSC-converted Clydesdale ads?! How bizarre. I suppose it’s because Bud is a much bigger brand here, thanks to Diageo’s licence to make it. A whole new meaning of “rice paddies”, wha’?

You have to hand it to Diageo’s Guinness PR machine: it’s incredibly slick. They even managed to get their recent announcement of a massive staff cull — with the closure of two whole breweries — spun across as “Hooray! St. James’s Gate is saved!”

Andy Holmes

If people understand so well but buy so poorly I’m confused. Maybe the audience they’re reaching with the website is not necessarily the same as the target audiences for the individual brands.


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