By Garland Pollard
It was a great year for old brand names. Dying brands were revived, and completely dead brands were brought back to life. Here are a few.
1. Greyhound. The company has spent millions spiffing up terminals, buses and such. It is beginning a new advertising campaign that will promote how cheap and fun it is to take a bus. Good moves, though we know it will be hard to turn that old thing around. (Here’s a secret. One of the world’s biggest fans of Greyhound is PBS’s Jim Lehrer.) The company hired Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners of Sausalito, Calif. to do a national ad campaign. Greyhound deserves a really good campaign. It’s got one. The New Greyhound. We’re On Our Way.
2. Taurus. The Ford Motor Company sedan was brought back by Alan Mullally. Good move. Would Toyota kill off the Corolla or Camry? Of course not. So what if the Taurus was boring. Camry’s are boring. So are Corollas. But they get you there cheap and comfortably, and that’s what it’s all about. Plus, the new Taurus is good looking. No shame in that.
3. Body on Tap. We are not sure why this brand came back, but it did. It was in the most recent Vermont Country Store Catalog. We love Vermont Country Store, and we bought Body on Tap in the 1970s. But we don’t understand this one, but we think it HILARIOUS that it is back and will buy some next time we can. Could Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific be next?
4. Buick. The Lacrosse and Enclave are both great looking and selling to folks under 60. Buick is finally doing well, and it appears that the death sentence it was under is gone. Even better news. General Motors has started selling Cadillacs in Australia again. We have one wish, spoiled as we are. It is ….. PLEASE BRING BACK THE ELECTRA 225!
5. Burma. The news from the Asian country is horrifying, but that there is a committed group of Burmese who believe in their country is good. It shows that in the long term, the country will survive. In addition, the American media has finally quit calling the country Myanmar. Long live Burma and the monks of the Saffron Revolution.
7. Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn. The 1970s popcorn brand has brought back its old commercials, or sort of regurgitated them digitally. Good move. Stick with what works. Not sure that the popcorn is any better but hey, the new ad sure is fun. Good going, ConAgra! Now its time to bring back Morton Frozen Foods.
8. Crosley. Brought back as a novelty record player brand, the brand name is now seen everywhere. And the products are becoming more numerous and advanced. A sure sign that a novelty brand revival can turn into a real company. Old Mr. Powel Crosley would be happy. By the way, Crosley’s house, the Powel Crosley Estate, in Manatee County, Florida is something that everyone needs to see.
9. Wispa. The candy bar is back. Read BrandlandUSA’s entry on it.
10. Florsheim. This historic shoe brand has been on an advertising tear, buying up judicious web ad banners everywhere. The company was revived after it was bought back by the original family’s Weyco Group. This is the best news ever. Below, the Kenmoor. That’s pretty good looking, we must say! Old Milton Florsheim sure would be happy with his descendants. Most great-grandchildren would be heading down to Bimini with the old trust fund, but not these folks. Good show!