iSnack 2.0 was a lesson in giving love a bad name
WHAT’S in a name? Everything - especially if you pick a dud one - as any marketing graduate will tell you.
So why did Kraft put its reputation and that of one of Australia’s best known brands on the line by selecting a ridiculous name like iSnack2.0 for a new variety of Vegemite?
That’s what many Australians have been asking themselves since the infamous iSnack2.0 moniker was unveiled just over a week ago and then, within days, dumped after a rally of public disapproval.
Donny of Perth, in a comment to Perth Now, summed up what many were saying in their condemnation of the name on online news sites and other forums: “Fail! They’ve tried to use buzz words. However, these buzzwords have no relevance to the product.”
On the flipside, the public campaign to name the product and the backflip by Kraft have given Vegemite more publicity than money could buy and helped to put the fading icon back on the family table where it is being talked about again – and presumably consumed.
Opinion is split as to whether the Vegemite naming saga was a gross misreading of public reaction or an elaborate publicity stunt hatched by Kraft and the campaign’s marketing team.
Jack Thomas of Ballarat thought it demonstrated how fickle the advertising/PR industry was, writing on the Herald Sun site: “Advertising and PR people have to be the luckiest and dumbest around. Some person comes up with the worst name ever, but in doing so creates lots more publicity. Now that person is a ‘genius’ and can claim it was all an elaborate plan.”
The plot thickened when The Punch revealed last week that Kraft had registered iSnack2.0 and two other names, Snackerific and Crackertime, on July 30 in Hong Kong – two weeks before the naming competition closed. This suggested Kraft had already decided on the name beforehand, a theory the food manufacturer denied.
Angie of Surry Hills was still convinced the naming exercise was a publicity ploy, but was not so sure it would sell more jars, commenting on the Sydney Morning Herald site: “Well of course it was a marketing stunt. Pick such a horrific name so that everyone knows about it then make the rebranding an even bigger event. The new Vegemite is now a household ‘name’ (minus the name). But will it work? Just because people know about something it doesn’t mean that they’ll try it.”
Joe of Melbourne, in a comment to the Herald Sun, predicted collectors would be keen to snap up jars of iSnack2.0: “Despite the rather uninspiring name - you know what though, it has now become a collector’s item. There’s only about 500,000 of those produced. If you can get your hand on a jar, do it!”
Some commenters couldn’t understand the big fuss, such as Lozzy of Chirny on the Herald Sun site: “How is it that thousands of Australians can rally together on social networking sites and convince a global company to scrap something as insignificant as a product name, yet we can’t band together to focus on important issues in this country that need to be addressed? Are our priorities a little out-of-whack?”
Michael of Perth added on news.com.au: “If only politicians could change their minds that quickly in the face of overwhelming public opinion.”
Kraft, in a bid to find a solution to its sticky situation, has now gone back to the public to judge a new selection of potential names for its spread, thereby ensuring Vegemite remains a talking point.
Oscar Wilde once wrote: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Kraft and Vegemite seem to be sticking to that maxim.
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