Brand "Re-mix" – Whuzzat?

VikingRecently I was chatting with a client about the concepts described in the recent “Think Like A Cannon” post, and in the course of my 2.0 bloviation about engagement, transparency, interaction, community, etc., I also touched on how “it’s okay to lose some control of the brand; to put some faith into consumers to re-mix some of the brand’s elements.” 

That caught him short.  “What do you mean by ‘re-mixing the brand?’” he asked.  “Sounds weird.”

Luckily, I’ve got a ready answer for this one.  I wear it under my street clothes.  It’s the tee-shirt pictured with this blog post (and you can order it yourself).

Look closely: it’s an Ikea-style diagram that describes how-to build a Viking longboat.  Note the “logo” of the manufacturer, a.k.a., “Vikea.”

Yes, this is a blatant rip-off of Ikea.  Yes, I am sure Ikea would be well within its rights to issue a Cease & Desist Order.  But, why would they? 

The iconic furniture-maker would be better served if this tee became a monster hit; it’s a whimsical play on their brand that, a) does no harm, b) serves as a hip, mobile commercial to pedestrians who see it on the street, and c) reminds the folks who see it that Ikea makes complex stuff simple.

Ikeas should not only embrace such brand remixing, it really ought to sponsor a contest at Threadless to solicit more of the same.  This brilliant “In Case Of Zombies” tee could have easily been branded in an Ikea-ish way.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing my “Vikea” tee-shirt at the time of the conversation with my client … how cool would it have been to rip open my dress shirt, Superman-style?!

Posted on: May 25, 2007 at 8:47 am By Todd Defren
One Response to “Brand "Re-mix" – Whuzzat?”


  • Kyle says:

    There is nothing more powerful than a t-shirt that says it all!

    I like the larger point here as well; our ability to make clients comfortable with the new communications techniques (social, digital, etc) works in parallel with our ability to implement said programs.

    Perhaps there is a business in creating shirts that explain PR strategies…it most certainly would beat ppt.


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