reinventingicons header Pop Culture Trend: Coca Cola and Nintendo Re Invent Brand Image

Pop Culture Trend: Re-Inventing Icons
Trend Tags: Coca-Cola, Icon, Nintendo, Wii, Re-Invent, Mario Kart, Innovation, Street Fighter

By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer and Tara Lane, Staff Writer

Imagine sitting down with an ice-cold Coca-Cola, finishing up the volcano level on Mario Kart just in time to watch the Transformers. When you imagine this, what decade are you in?

The re-inventing icons trend is about re-energizing cultural icons in fresh, new and exciting ways–to capture new audiences while re-connecting with the generation that grew up with them. Pop culture icons born in the 1990s, like Mario Kart, are being re-invented for new audiences through innovative platforms like the Nintendo Wii.

As viewers continue to seek familiarity in their entertainment, producers are benefiting by providing a product that is tested and trusted–eliminating much of the risk involved in launching a new product. In other words, it’s more of a sure-thing. We will explore the cyclical nature of the world around us that makes us want to re-live memories while inventing new ones.

Key Elements

Re-connecting — In a time when our world has been turned upside down, often times it’s comforting to re-connect with brands and franchises we’re familiar with. Coca-Cola, a seemingly timeless company, is the #1 trusted brand among consumers. The iconic soda brand brings us back to a simpler, happier time. This connection with consumers might by why they have over three million Facebook fans.

Or, consider the re-emergence of Mario Kart and Street Fighter. Both iconic video games ranked in the top ten on the 2009 most popular video games chart. With 17.39 million units sold as of June 30, 2009, Mario Kart Wii is among the best selling standalone games of all-time. It is through new, innovative platforms, such as the Wii, that we can experience familiarity in fresh ways.

Tested, Trusted — We are emerging from a time when financial institutions took excessive risks at high costs. As the economy has faltered, entertainment companies are re-inventing icons of the past to bring familiarity and comfort to audiences. Even obscure TV shows like Land of the Lost are hitting the box office.

Inherently, we trust things we are familiar with. An example of this recessionary strategy is the Transformers 2 movie. The updated classic is the #1 best selling movie of 2009. Bright spots like the Transformers show consumers want to re-visit icons of the past while movie studios are taking the risk out of new films and programming.

Key Statistics

  • Transformers 2 is the #1 best selling movie of 2009
  • The iconic soda brand, Coca-cola is the #1 trusted brand among consumers
  • Coca-cola has over 3.7 M Facebook fans
  • The Guinness Book of World Records recently ranked Mario Kart number one on their list of the top 50 games of all time, based on initial impact and lasting legacy.
  • Mario Kart Wii is among the best selling standalone games of all time with 17.39 million units sold as of June 2009
  • Street Fighter IV is the tenth best selling game of 2009

Take Aways
When Barack Obama began his presidential campaign, many likened him to former President Kennedy. Obama embodied some of the core principles that made Kennedy not just a political, but a cultural icon. The promise of change and a fresh perspective are two elements shared by the presidents. In many instances, Obama likened himself to Abraham Lincoln. He made historical references that struck a chord of familiarity and comfort while promoting change.

As you consider how to re-connect and gain new clients, it’s not about buying life-rights to Elvis or impersonating Kennedy; it’s about re-energizing products or services that are familiar to your audiences. How can you pull from the past while adding an innovative spin?

Read all of the 2009 Pop Culture Trends

Image by Lindy Roquemore from Stock.Xchng