Saturday, 28 May 2005

Plastic of Paris

Daniel Drezner looks at the continued genius of Hardees and Carl’s Jr. in moving from “food porn” to virtual porn (by way of Paris Hilton) as a marketing gimmick in order to gain free ads from oft-quoted “watchdog” groups. I’m not one of those people who thinks Hilton is all that hot, but I guess I’m in the minority on that score.

I am surprised that H/CJ continues to keep a split brand, however… since Federated has now assimilated all of its department store holdings under the Macy’s brand, there really aren’t that many important split brands left—Edy’s/Dreyer’s and Checker’s/Rally’s are the only others that come to mind.


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Paris is hot, just not as hot as she thinks she is. I saw the commercial and it seems like a smart move for Hardees, et. al.


Well, there are only two types of women: women who aren’t as hot as they think they are, and women that are hotter than they think they are. I prefer the latter.

[Permalink] 3. David Mercer wrote @ Sat, 28 May 2005, 10:08 pm CDT:

Best Foods Mayonaise, known as “Hellman’s East of the Rockies” to this day.


Depending on what you count as a “split brand”, there are plenty. MidAmerican Energy owns several locally-branded real estate brokerages. Speaking of Berkshire Hathaway (which owns most of MidAmerican Energy), Berkshire has several chains of independently-operating furniture stores and several independently-operating insurance companies.

Less clearly identical, Wendy’s owns Tim Horton’s, and Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/KFC are all under the same corporate roof. Abercrombie and Fitch owns Hollister—I think there’s a difference in target audience, but I sure can’t distinguish between them. Likewise the Gap and some of its subsidiaries. Viacom owns UPN and CBS, not to mention VH1 and MTV. I think Disney owns several distinct movie studios, and they could co-brand ABC sports with ESPN.

For the record, I find Paris Hilton quite unattractive. I agree with your preference for women who are more attractive than they think they are; more generally, I prefer people who are better than they think they are.


I was thinking of a “split brand” as the same products being marketed under multiple brand names in different regions. E.g. Nissan and Infiniti (or Wendy’s and Tim Horton’s) wouldn’t be a split brand, since they sell different product lines. Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr basically sell the exact same products.

I suppose a slight exception to my definition would be Barnes and Noble, who still operate Bookstar stores under an independent name (even in the same markets, like Memphis) even though they’re essentially the same as B&N.

Of course, there are lots of “split brand” utilities out there, but even those seem to be on the way to consolidation (think of SBC or BellSouth or Verizon in the phone market… all of which used to have differentiated regional subsidiaries). I was thinking more in terms of retail products though.

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