Is hashtag a new way of (trademarked) Branding?

Mr._Savethewall_twitter.jpeg.jp_Recent news say that Coke has filed an application to trademark #cokecanpics and #smilewithacoke, 2 Twitter hashtags widely used by the Company and its community.

First question, is it actually possible to do that? Well, it may depend on the legislations in every single country but, in abstract, it is in fact possibile.

The Italian Law for instance, under certain circumstances like not being too generic (#drink…) or being truly distinctive and new, allows “signs that can be represented graphically” to be registered as trademarks. And this is definively the case for hashtags.

Second question, what is this for? A lot of different reasons tell that this is a very smart move.

Hashtags were originally created to better search topics on Twitter, but their use and immediate perception has been so wide that they rapidly have grown to get attention to the keyword used in all sort of media, even offline.

hashtag calcio barillaNowadays, almost all Marketing campaigns end their slogans with an hashtag, trying to catch attention and generate hype and conversations online (in the picture an example of instant marketing we did in Barilla during the 2014 football World Cup with the hashtag #calciobarilla).

Unfortunately, official branded hashtags are in some occasion “hijacked” by NGOs, haters or even single consumers to express their point of view on the Brands, often against the Brands.

In both cases register the hashtag is pretty useful for a Brand to manage and protect its Communcation campaigns.

In my working experience I have registered, for Marketing or for defensive reasons, a lot of Internet domains. I see no difference to register an hastag, if crucial for my Brand or my campaign.

And you, have you already registered your hashtags?

Packaging, the 5th P of Marketing

Pasta Packaging Ferrari BrandIf you are a marketeer, you’ll probably be aware of the “4 Ps of Marketing”; Product, Price, Place, Promotion.

This is a Marketing fundamental, often referred to as “Marketing Mix”, and it is a basic tool every Marketing Manager should rely on.

The 4P were firstly introduced in the in the 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy and got immediate success.

Later the 4Ps theory has been further developed in many ways, among others the Robert F. Lauterborn 7Cs for Niche Marketing.

Anyway, I have always thought that the original 4Ps theory was not complete as it was underestimating the 5th P; Packaging.

The Packaging may be considered part of the Product (the very first P) but I think it deserves more consideration and to be counted as a P itself.

Packaging can really change the overall perception of a Product, being valorized by Design and Branding.

The latest example of this concept comes from Peddy Mergui‘s art exhibition; “Wheat is Wheat is Wheat”.

The artist has imagined common use products, mainly FMCG, as if they were produced by the most iconic brands in the world.

So we have the stylish Ferrari pasta, the luxury Burberry’s noodles, the minimalistic Apple milk.Milk Apple brand

This experiment tells us not only how wide are the possible extensions of these global brands, but also how Packaging counts for the perception of price, quality and eventually desire.

Wouldn’t you think those items could cost significantly more than their usual competitors on the supermarket’s shelves?

Aren’t you curious how a Versace egg would taste?

Don’t underestimate the power of Packaging, the 5th P of Marketing!

The real Apple Store…

Real Apple Store Borough MarketIt is often said “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, but surprisingly keeps marketeers closer.

If you are a 1.000 years old food market in South London how can you pull alongside the most powerful and relevant brand nowadays?

The Real Apple Store is the answer that Borough Market has given, following the consultancy of communications agency Tin Man.

They have created a temporary retail space within the market premises to celebrate the Apple Day, mimicking the store experience and logo of world renowned Apple Stores, well, I mean the Tech ones…

In the location about a thousand of different variety of apples are showcased, not to mention the “ugly” Knobby Russet.

Besides the obvious main reference to Apple Inc., side messages on contemplation of Mother Nature’s variety, the never ending importance of our food culture and heritage even in modern times are very clear and self explaining.

The “wow effect” that a wall full of apples and the entire store gives to the guests is particularly important for younger generations that, especially in a metropole like London, may have not ever experienced such natural diversity.

This is definitely great Marketing!

The Real Apple Store opens in London from on Vimeo.

Start me up!

Start me up


Welcome to my newest blog!

This is my first post here, but this is not my first post ever.

I have already had other blogs with some success, but I have never had one like this one, in my own personal website.

This blog will be about Marketing and Communications strategies and activations, it will list all the campaigns that have some peculiarity that needs to be mentioned.

As this is a personal blog there won’t be a regular posting schedule.

I have got a my life , my passions and a work!

So, I hope you don’t mind if there could be some gap between a post and another….

I’ll try to use this blog to share my thoughts, to save best (or worst) practices, and to experiment some idea I have in mind.

So keep in touch and let’s start up!