Having recently changed sides, crossing the Atlantic Ocean and then a few mountain ranges, I’ve noticed a few odd anomalies in household item packaging. These are things that you wouldn’t normally notice or have any inclination that there was something odd about unless you had a comparison to draw. There are a number of items that this logo cross pollination affects, and this includes brands that are very high profile. The first one that came to my attention was Axe, or Lynx as its called in the UK. Axe packaging is very recognizable and has a strong brand identity. What strikes me as odd about this brand though is that in Canada everyone knows Axe, everyone can recognize a can of Axe deodorant, yet in the UK, if you pick it off the shelf you’d call it Lynx. Its a little anomaly of how global market forces and regional regulations have created a separate set of branding based around an identical product. Admittedly much of the brand is identical, and much of the advertising is also, however I can’t help but feel that Axe to me is not the same as Lynx. Axe exists as Lynx in the UK and Ireland due to trademark issues, and so Lynx was second best to the Unilever product that began as Axe in France. Curiously another product that I’ve noticed has been rebranded in several different countries is also owned by Unilever. Walls icecream (the major icecream manufacturer in the UK), is known as Algida, Frigo, Good Humor, Tio Rico, Streets, HB, Miko, Frisko, Ola, Lusso, Langnese to name but a few. Without wanting to be cynical I would guess that the large reason to all these different identities sharing the same branding is due to corporate mergers and buyouts.
Another brand that I’ve noticed shares the same packaging is Lays (potato chips). In the UK we know this product by two names, firstly we don’t refer to chips as chips but we call them crisps, and secondly, Lays we know as Walkers. Walkers are owned by PepsiCo, as are Lays, an interesting fact for your filofax. Walkers were bought up by PepsiCo in 1991 and whilst they share the same branding the advertising campaigns and even the products differ widely. For instance in the UK Walkers are famous for being marketed by a former England footballer Gary Lineker, and even had the salt and vinegar crisps (chips) renamed salt and Lineker. I’m not sure who could advertise Lays in quite the same manner over here. So the question is will corporate buyouts and trademark regulations lead to further logo cross pollination, and did you know that in Italy they call Clearasil Topexan (either that or they stole their branding)?