Sunday, October 14, 2018

Rebranding for better or worse

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir recently decided to de-Mormon its name. Since being openly mocked on Broadway, the word "Mormon" seems to have become, according to some church leaders, a liability. Rebranding is the new black, apparently or, now that black itself has been rebranded, the new mauve. KFC famously removed the "fried" from its name. The Anaheim Angels tacked on "Los Angeles" to its brand, I guess to confuse any future cruise missiles.

Now the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be called "Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square" (TCATS!)   The choir had been known colloquially as "Mo Tab," which is the best nickname for a choir ever, and is also coincidentally what my mom used to yell at the waitress in the '70's when her soft drink ran low. 

TCATS is just as good as Mo Tab, especially since I coined it. Please spread it around. 

Man in bar: "So what are you doing tonight?"

Other man: "Heading to the temple to hear the TCATS!"

Bartender: "I'm going to have to cut you off, sir."

Here are some other things I would like to re-brand:

Wells Fargo. I would like to call it Splork. Splork is the flopping sound your soul makes when you decide to withdraw your funds from an institution because of its massive ethical breaches but then are too lazy to. I picture a new logo with maybe a guy holding his hands out, palms up, and just sort of hunching his shoulders. 

Starbucks. I know what you are thinking. The last company on Earth to need rebranding is Starbucks, but that just means now is the perfect time. Nobody expects it. Imagine if they just, across the globe, suddenly called themselves Duncan. The Dunkin folks would crater. The coffee wars would be over. The new logo could be a guy who, like all Duncans, looks vaguely Canadian.

Coke. Since poké bowls are a hot culinary trend, I think Coke could attract a new demographic by rebranding itself Coké ("Co-kay.") Updating the signage and products would only require a small accent mark, which, for already-existing product, could be hand-inked by out of work Environmental Protection Agency staffers. 

Yahoo. When I was growing up, we said this word only when ecstatic. Checking email does not evoke the same joy, so right off the bat the name elicits falsely high expectations. I suggest re-branding Yahoo as "Yay." Yay, I have email, but also yay, ironically, like "Great, more political spam from my nutjob aunt." And at least we could get rid of that terrifying yahoo-yodeling. Yay!

Chipotlé. Most people mistakenly pronounce it "Chi-poltay" anyway. (I wonder if they are the same ones who can't say "nuclear.") No judgment, but why not just re-brand it Chipoltay! New slogan: "No matter how you pronounce it, it's delicious and pretty much Mexican food."

Mercedes. That is a lot of syllables. How about cutting it down to just the first one, "Me." That is, after all, the message. Who's got money to burn? Me! Who's unafraid to flaunt symbols of superiority? Me! Who could have fed an entire village in Africa for a year but instead went with the Iridium Silver model? Me! Who is starting to sound bitter that he can't afford one? (Me.)

A brand is powerful, and rebranding is sometimes iffy. I wish the TCATS the best, and I hope that their deMormonification brings them everything they desire. And if not, they can always resell their brand to a roller derby team. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Are you one of the good ones?

Part of being a good citizen is being active in the political life of your country. Take this short quiz to ascertain if you are one of the good ones. 

1. When you received that noisy, jarring text message last week entitled "Presidential Alert," your first thought was:
a) He just broke 80 on the course at Mar-a-Lago
b) Incoming!
c) Nice hack, Pelosi
d) My restraining order totally works

2. The Senate is:
a) a fine and dignified institution
b) the devil's jockstrap
c) sorely lacking a Starbucks
d) where the nuts come from

3. The three branches of government are:
a) hollow, decaying and corrupt
b) Manny, Moe and Jack
c) two too many for a country this fair-minded
c) executive, business and first class

4. Complete the sentence: "If I were a Senator..."
a) but, then again, no
b) I would work "cloture" in to all of my pick-up lines
c) I'd make sure kindergartens teach the five R's—readin', writin', 'rithmetic and rifle range
d) I would have "regular order" redefined to include anchovies and extra cheese

5. Genuine patriotism can be:
a) frustratingly widely interpreted in a free society
b) used for cover while reloading
c) conveniently found in the flag aisle
d) spotted sometimes, if you blink away the tears

6. All this drama over the Supreme Court nominee:
a) was manufactured by the left/right for political advantage in the midterms
b) seemed like a weird, all-male lost episode of "The Golden Girls"
c) was amazing for alcohol sales
d) guarantees years of sequels

7. The term "libtard" is:
a) straight-up funny and a clever dig
b) something I can't un-see from a friend's Facebook comment
c) without an equally dismissive term for conservatives, because "con-tard" just sounds like an appetizer, and "con-goloid" is politically incorrect
d) a tight-fitting dance garment which lacks a right side

8. Things are bound to get better politically, because we are:
a) at a tipping point
b). otherwise needing an "asteroid reset" impact right about now
c) finally turning off our TVs and reading again
d) Bwahahahahahahahaha

9. If I could amend the Constitution, I would add:
a) a provision saying every time a president tweets, he has to drink
b) Beyoncé on the $20
c) psychological testing for mayors and above
d) giant sums to find a cure for brain freeze

10. You know you are a true American if:
a) you have a flag not only on your house and your truck and your gun rack but on your dog's gun rack
b) they are calling you names
c) you can quote more than one line from "Caddyshack"
d) Norman Rockwell paintings bring a tear to your eye, as does the confounding proliferation of soccer

a) You are a true American
b) You bleed red, white and blue, but still mostly red
c) You think de Tocqueville was a luxury car from the '70's
d) You are thinking of running for something