October 5, 2005
"FCUK" Goes Flaccid
Apparently, it doesn’t matter what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and the last letter be in the right place. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole. I am sure the creators of FCUK were probably aware of this.
FCUK, which stands for French Connection UK, last week reported a year-end 69% plunge in pre-tax profits. The company has seen better days. When TBWA's Trevor Beattie, creator of the "Hello boys" campaign for Wonderbra, launched FCUK in 1998 he wanted it to be "the most talked-about fashion brand on the High street." One million lewd t-shirts later he succeeded. But by 2004, French Connection FCUK's wholesalers reported that they found the flagging teenage brand 'tired' and 'tacky,' and that it's 'time to move on.'
The FCUK brand name has long been the bête noire of the Advertising Standards Authority and target of an email campaign by OneMillionDads.com asking Marshall Field's to stop selling the brand and promoting slogans such as FCUK FASHION. Singaporeans also complained about the name when it appeared on the side of buses in that city.
Does the demise of FCUK signal a new trend in consumer morality? Probably not. Shock product naming is certainly here to stay, as evidenced in a recent risqué TV ad by Kimono Condoms. Shock brands get less shocking as they become mainstream and consumers look for the next in-your-face product name.
Further, what can begin as an edgy asset to a brand can quickly become an embarrassing liability...just ask the marketers who hired Kate Moss or Kobe Bryant.
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» "FCUK" Goes Flaccid from Much Ado About Marketing
What was once "the most talked-about fashion brand on High street" (according to TBWA's Trevor Beattie) has now become passe. The Strategic Name Development Blog does a great job of running down this brand's history in what might pass as a marketing ... [Read More]
Tracked on October 6, 2005 3:16 AM