Megnut

Who's brown?

What's going on with UPS these days? Last year they launched an ad campaign in which they started referring to themselves as "brown" and changed their tagline to What can brown do for you?. This seemed odd to me, since no one I know ever referred to UPS as "brown". Though we associate the color brown with the brand UPS, I don't understand the need to make it so explicit. When Federal Express changed to FedEx, it made a little more sense because that's what everyone called them. But I feel like with this brown business, I have to conciously make an association between the spoken-word "brown" and UPS. This seems silly since I already have good associations with UPS (UPS = good shipping, UPS = nice delivery man in SF who always said hello, etc.) and when someone asks "What can brown do for you?" I think, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Now they've launched a new logo as well. It's got all the punch of a dot-com logo circa 1999 and none of the nice clean class embodied by the original. The Martin Agency is behind both of these campaigns (according to the two linked articles, UPS invested $45 million on the ads and will spend $20 million on the rebranding) and I really wonder what the heck they're thinking. Surely you can modernize a brand without confusing the customer, can't you?

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