June 7, 2012
So Twitter is giving us all the bird - a new bird logo that is, and CNN calls it "cute and upwardly mobile."
Twitter has done away with the lowercase "t" and "bubbled typefaces."
Now, according to a Twitter blog post, "Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter." They go on to explain
Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles -- similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends. Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility.
Twitter has released lots of do's and dont's around the new bird as well. We are required to use the bird to represent the brand, make sure the bird faces right, and allow for at least 150% buffer space around the bird.
The "don't" list is pretty fearsome: no rotating, coloring, animating the bird and no using speech bubbles or "other marks and logos to represent the brand."
This has let one source to say "the bird is the word," literally.
By the way, the bird's name is "Larry" and is named after basketball legend Larry Bird.
Design Week sniffs that Twitter should have "launched a new brand story," noting that negative reaction to a company's new logo "doesn't happen (as much) when rebrands are led by the story of what's happening to merit a new look, a new name or a fresh approach. Particularly if there's actually something in it for the audience."
I guess so, but then again the new logo is kind of cool.
June 4, 2012
It's probably not a surprise to most gamers, but the Wii U product name will remain on Nintendo's upcoming home console.
This is a source of disappointment for some bloggers who are quick to point out that this product naming decision caused much confusion when it was announced in 2011.
By only tacking on the "U," many people thought is was just a tweak on the base unit, "like the DS Lite, DSi and DSi XL launched in previous years" suggests IGN, who already lambasted the Wii U name in an editorial as "too clever for its own good" because it doesn't differentiate the hardware from previous incarnations.
This may lead to a similar situation as the Nintendo 3DS where the company was forced to put red stickers on the boxes to differentiate them from the DS system while also reminding the people watching their TV advertising that "This is not DS. This is Nintendo 3DS."
I blogged about this earlier this year, pointing out that you really have to dig hard to figure out that Wii U is a whole new console. But Nintendo is adamantly sticking to the name, probably assuming we've figured it out by now.
As one blogger put it last month when it looked like the name was sticking around, "The Wii U Name is Final, Deal With It." I probably couldn't have put it better myself.
February 24, 2012
Quick... what do Apple Inc. and Michael Jordan have in common?
Answer: they are both defending their trademarks in China.
Apple has been struggling with Chinese upstart Proview over the iPad name for a while now and two days ago, Jordan announced he was suing a Chinese sportswear maker called Qiaodan Sports for using his name without his permission.
The name of the company is taken from the Chinese version of Jordan's name and is obviously recognizable in China as such.
In addition, the products that Qiaodan makes bears a logo featuring what looks like a heavier Michael Jordan holding a ping pong paddle. The company even has what appears to be false Michael Jordan stores in China, and is now trying to raise money to be traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Jordan has said "It is deeply disappointing to see a company build a business off my Chinese name without my permission, use the No 23 and even attempt to use the names of my children."
He goes on to say that "This complaint is not about money. It's about principle and protecting my name. Any monetary awards I might receive will be invested in growing the sport of basketball in China."
Qiaodan is one of China's top sportswear apparel makers by revenue and number of outlets, so to see such a high profile group blatantly trading off one of the world's biggest names is, to say the least, alarming.
Qiaodan has put up a petulant notice on its website saying, "The Qiaodan trademark is applied by our company in accordance with Chinese law. We therefore will enjoy an exclusive right to its use, which is protected by law."
We will continue to watch this example of brazen trademark violation with interest.
February 9, 2012
A few days before her Super Bowl performance, Madonna received a cease and desist letter from the founder of "Girls Gone Wild," Joe Francis, threatening to take legal action if she sang her new song titled, "Girls Gone Wild."
Francis, holder of the trademark for the video series featuring co-eds in various states of undress, is furious over the "free ride on the valuable consumer goodwill and brand recognition" that Madonna has enjoyed by using the phrase as a song title on her new album M.D.N.A.
I smell a publicity stunt, as does Donna Ray Berkelhammer at North Carolina Law Life, who points out that "Song titles are not trademarks and cannot be registered as such."
A trademark must be used to identify specific goods or services, and song titles do not do this. For that reason, it is impossible for Francis to have trademark rights to the phrase as a song title, plus, he has not registered the trademark in the realm of music at all.
Therefore, it appears Francis does not have a legitimate trademark dispute here.
Additionally, Madonna has a first amendment right to use the phrase as a title of her song... which is why the MCA Records song "Barbie Girl" (remember that one? 'C'mon Barbie, let's go party?") was safe from legal action by Mattel, owner of the Barbie trademark.
Finally, there was a 2007 single from Ludacris titled "Girls Gone Wild," that Francis did not object to.
In any event, Francis got what he wanted - Madge did not sing the song at half-time and he certainly received some free publicity.
I doubt he will continue with this legal action.
October 24, 2011
I always keep an eye on James Bond. He is really the king of product placements, at least in my mind, although I know statistically the girls in Sex and the City have him beat.
The new James Bond movie, now simply entitled James Bond 23, will feature a Range Rover Evoque.
Specifically, James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, will leap from the Jaguar to the new Evoque. This must be wonderful news for Tata Motors, who own both brands, although of course they would've paid for the privilege. We do know that an Evoque was delivered to the set of the new movie.
Land Rovers have been seen in many James Bond movies, including Octopussy, the Living Daylights, and Casino Royale. This is interesting, because the Evoque is actually going to be one of Land Rover's least expensive offerings.
James Bond might be sporting a beard, in this movie, and it looks like this one is going to be much more character driven.
I doubt, however, that they will scale back on the product placement. In any event, shooting begins next month and rumor has it that the title of the movie will be "Skyfall," which is set to be released in November 2012.
Many feel that the Jag that will be featured in the movie will be the new XE/C-X16. This leads one blogger to think that given the timing of the movie we might not see the Evoque but instead the brand-new 2013 Range Rover, which is still in top secret mode.
It seems that James Bond himself is more of a sports car man then somebody who goes for the 4 x 4, but the Range Rover brand suits his sense of bling.
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