2009 Phoenix Project Contest Entries

Savannah College of Art & Design & BrandlandUSA.com

About: An academic exercise answering the question if really old brands can truly have new lives. The students of Prof. Sean Trapani's Branding Theory class have taken favorite old, legacy brands and repositioned them for a new markets and changing times.

The spring 2009 branding theory class took a list of 30 or so brands from the website BrandlandUSA.com and decided which ones of the group they would like to try and revive. They then picked favorite old, dying or dead brands from the list, and came up with a new positioning statement for them.

To find out more: Brands on the final revival list (Click on brand for brief history from BrandlandUSA): Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Climax Ginger Ale, F. W. Woolworth, RadioShack, Mr. Donut, Hai Karate, El Marko and International Harvester Scout

Full hi-res PDFs are available at the BrandlandUSA Scribd account or by clicking on the images individually. Click www.scribd.com/brandlandusa for a full lineup of hi res printable pdf entries.

Woolworths ad

F. W. Woolworth Company

Students: Michael Miano, Joe Amodio

Brand: Woolworth's

Brand problem: Non-existent in the U.S for over 30 years. They closed down because they widened their retail focus to include most household items as well as clothing for men, women and children–eventually dying out when the big box stores arrived.

Brand solution: Redefine the Woolworths brand, using its legacy in apparel, and reposition Woolworths as an online retailer of goods for the metropolitan businessman. This brand would compete with online retailers such as Land’s End and L.L. Bean. But instead of using an outdoors metaphor, the new brand would use the concrete jungle.

USFL advertisement 2009 Phoenix project SCAD
USFL #1 

Student: Arynn Nease

Brand: Return of the United States Football League

Brand Problem: The USFL lasted only three seasons and ended its life millions of dollars in debt. The original marketing of this league positioned its self as a fun, laid back, almost goofy football league.

Brand Solution: Allow fans to relate to the USFL players on an emotional level. Position the USFL as a “regular guy/gal” brand with real people and real players. The campaign is based off the true inspiration for which the USFL players are on the field.

usfl image


Student: Yuta Matthew Salzman

Brand: Return of the USFL

Brand Problem: A dead brand that is only known to few people. The brand lacked the credentials of being a jester, which was their was their original brand strategy. The USFL was lost to its glitzier cousin, the NFL.

Brand Solution: Positioning the archetype of USFL from jester to innocent. Focusing the games more on teamwork and cooperating with each other to achieve their goal. We looked at the affinity of college teams as the model of this – and extended this idea to keep the entire team roster as graduates from in-state colleges. Also, the teamwork of each teams are stronger than ever because many of the players in the USFL team may be from the same college.

El Marko by Flair

El Marko by Flair

Students: RJ Wilson, Maria Guilger

Brand problem: El Marko indelible markers disappeared off the face of the earth. There was no longer a brand identity behind the product, which was the main problem.

Brand solution: We recalled the identity of El Marko from being a forgotten brand, with the identity of the brand a masked hero as its logo, to being an outlaw artist who tears down the wall of structured society through his art. The brand is being personified as a rebellious artist trying to fight the corruption of society.

Climax Ginger Ale, Richmond Virginia, relaunch ad
Climax Ginger Ale #1

Student: Eric Bubash

Brand Problem: The brand is extinct.  Newspaper archives revealed Climax ginger ale was positioned to the social elite but lost steam and later died in the 50’s.  

Brand Solution: Reintroduce Climax as the “Ritzy” ginger ale.  Allow the archetype to accommodate today’s socio-economic realities with a little bit of  “Rushmore” humor. (Note: ad comp for concept only. Would hire professional illustrator for final ad version.)

climax ginger ale

Climax Ginger Ale #2

Student: Callie Vinson

Brand Problem: Climax was discontinued due to low sales. Modern primary research revealed that Climax had no perception in the mind of the consumers aged between 30-45. People had never heard of Climax, however, liked the name.

Brand Solution: Utilize the name of the brand as their primary marketing strategy having Climax ginger ale as an edgy soda brand.  Today’s younger market would not be offended by the risqué brand name.

Radio Shack new campaign
RadioShackRadioShack, RSH

Student Team: Rodrigo Mitma, Josh Finkelstein

Brand Problem: Big-Box and online electronic stores are superior in sales. Research shows that the consumer has a negative perception of the brand.  Research also shows that people are displeased with employees and their ability to help them. Weak sales due to big-box and online electronics retailer competition. New primary research indicated poor consumer perception of employee knowledge, which fought the brand's "we've got answers" advertising message.

Brand Solution: Using the consumers’ notion of Radio Shack as only useful when convenient, we will rebrand Radio Shack as the convenient store. This will reposition Radio Shack as the alternative to big-box stores.
Focus on how the brand allows consumers to "get on with their life" instead of shopping.

Mr. Donut revival advertisement USA Market

Mister Donut #1

Student: Tamara Miller

Brand problem: The brand is an unknown brand in the consumer’s mind and is no longer available in the U.S. It is however a very successful brand in Japan, The Philippines, and El Salvador.

Brand solution: Bring Mister Donut back to the U.S. using the current archetype that’s being used in the Western Hemisphere.

mister donut, chef inspired

Mister Donut #2

Student: Nick Brower

Brand problem: Mister Donut was the largest competitor to Dunkin' Donuts, which was founded in 1950, before being acquired by Dunkin' Donuts' parent company, Allied-Lyons, in February 1990. The Brand no longer exists in the United States.

Brand solution: Create the perception that Mister Donut is “The Chef Inspired Pastry.” Focus on being the gourmet doughnut that is inspired by chefs and made with fresh ingredients and rich taste, like the Kiwi and other whole ingredients.

hai karate

Hai Karate #1

Student: Joaneda Nobime

Brand Problem: Non-existing in the consumer mind (age 30 and under), can only be bought today as a collectible item on website like Ebay.

Brand solution: Reposition Hai Karate as a “Sage” brand for mature men who believe that real strength is inner strength.


hai karate new ad, Savannah collage art and Design

New Hai Karate
Hai Karate #2

Student: Will Stearns

Brand Problem: Brand was discontinued because it was positioned as a “lover” brand, which did not differentiate it from most other colognes. Primary Research showed that consumers were repelled by the cheesy connection to karate. Brand was viewed as a cheap cologne for insecure young men.

Brand Solution: Work with the true merits of karate such as independence and wisdom. Use connections with Asian philosophies such as Taoism, which teaches of harmony with the universe (going with the flow). Brand will represent self-exploration and the knowledge that comes from it.

International Harvester Scout SUV returns
International Harvester Scout

Trish Cobb and Sheena Kocher

Brand Problem: The IH Scout is non-existent today in the consumer’s mind, not surprising because the last IH Scout was manufactured in 1980. After surveying 23 people, both males and females, ages 16-35, two people knew what the IH Scout was.

Brand Solution: Since the IH Scout held no place in the consumers mind, it was all right to completely make it a different SUV. Position the IH Scout as the “rebel” SUV, going where the consumer wants to go, and not sticking to the path created for it.

Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co advertisement branding

Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. #1

Student: Burton C. Runyan

Brand Problem: The A&P went from 16,000 stores in the 1930s to only 110 today. In a market with national, regional, and local chains and stores, A&P became lost in the mind of the consumer. The typical grocery supermarkets are all positioned similarly and A&P must break from this to stand out.

Brand Solution: To keep The A&P from becoming The Late, Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, position them as an "Explorer" brand. This is achieved by touting the fact that the chain was once a leader in its category because of a passion for bringing trade goods in to one primary location where everyone could get them. Their 150-year history gives them the credentials to back this position up.

A&P branding new campaign

Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. #2 (right)

Student:  Stephen Cyr

Brand problem: Although once the leader brand in their category, boasting private labels that Americans knew and loved, A&P has shrunk from a unique, national grocery chain to a niche supermarket chain secluded to the Northeast.

Brand solution: Focus on the “Ann Page” private label and use its age as a proof point of its quality and wholesomeness, thus helping to position A&P as an innocent brand.