The Marcom Mash: Be Verrrrry Afraid

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The Marcom Mash: Be Verrrrry Afraid "March 8, 2017

An extra spooky post in our 3-part Halloween blog series, PCI’s Senior Writer/Strategist Anna-Marie Montague spins tales of marketing horror.

Zombie Brands

The brands lie moldering: a legion of slanted rings from pre-dotcom bust days; musty and vaguely swooshing symbols from decades-old refreshes; color palettes – strange, garish, and jarring – mired in decades gone by.

They are incoherent: they mumble of outdated attributes; mutter of mission long since evolved; cry out in vain to customers who flee in confusion.

They will not die: “Brand Equity!” they scream… “BRAND EQUITY!!” And relentlessly they shamble on.

The Changeling Logo

It began in daylight – bright and clear. It was a sturdy, three-inch patch: a simple military emblem; a single acronym; a drab green image at center. A point of pride.And the fog rolled.

“Transmogrify,” a voice whispered to the darkling sky.

The patch shuddered – then added words, made the image more abstract.

“Change, damn you!” the whisper rising impetuously with the gibbous moon.

It let out a reluctant and tortured moan, then strained and made the image bilious green and glowing… against a new and angry-bruise purple hue.


It wailed in agony and shrunk; the image twisted piteously – small and indistinct – yet luminous and lime.

The evolution is complete: A despised one-inch vector of misery.

Behold: the icon known forevermore as “the vomit logo.”


“They…” THEY hate our creation. They arm themselves with grammatical pontification, armor themselves in identity guidelines to mercilessly assail the very heart of the innocent.

“They” call it hideous. Yet it breathes energy – so many exciting fonts, so many pretty colors.

They call it an aberration. They mock its clever design and sneer at its skewed photos. They say it is not part of the branding family; that it cannot ever – EVER – venture forth beyond these walls.

They don’t say it, but they want it to die. They poke at it mercilessly with harsh edits and sharp policy. And then they threaten it with (shudder) legal review.

But it lives! It evolves… today it sports new animated emojis.

“Hah!” we rejoice, while they wail, “For the love of –”

Feeling a tinge of apprehension…. Or a mordant intimation? Be very, very brave and feast your eyes on our work page to see how we help clients banish the ghoulish and the misbegotten.

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