Miruna Codeanu

Pegas bicycles and using communism in branding

In espresso on April 30, 2014 at 7:55 am

Communist brands: what to do with them? This is an older post of mine (romanian only) on the communist heritage we’re afraid to use. To summarize it, we’re afraid to the point of being hysterical of any mention of a communist brand. Problem is we’re missing one of the most powerful branding strategies: nostalgia. Our past is directly connected to the communist era, therefore our nostalgia is communist and by denying that, we’re killing business opportunities for local brands. But…I found a very good example of using communism to create a brand: Pegas Bicycles and the campaign created by Publicis Romania People’s Internet.

 

 

 

The communist era holds unlimited, unexploited possibilities for branding, also long forgotten brands that can be brought back to life into awesome products, such as Pegas bicycles. Some time ago I was very happy to see a revival of Polar ice cream, which was the ice cream of our generation’s childhood. We’d buy it, not because it is good, not because it looks nice, but because we miss our childhood, the marketer has to be wise enough to trigger in us those things that take us back to our childhood. Internetul Poporului (People’s Internet) is using a mix of cool, nostalgia and humor in order to brand Pegas Bicycles. The result is extraordinary.

Yesterday someone posted something about using People’s House (currently Romania’s famous House of Parliament) for commercial purpose. And instantly I can picture it. Awesome idea for our country’s brand, awesome touristic destination, the House of Parliament as a Communist adventure Park, where you can experience communism for 1 day, or 1 week or maybe even a month, participate in parades praising the leader, sleep in a communist apartment, the food headquarter a big “Alimentara” ( a sort of grocery store, the only “supermarket” during communist times). You can do all this without praising communism, and on the educational side, also offer people a first hand experience of what bringing a dystopia to life could mean.

Until then, I’m really looking forward to the cool revival of communist brands: Alba ca Zapada chocolate bars, Cico, Mobra, Aro, etc. I’ve already seen Florin Dobre having some projects for another communist brand Dorobantul Ploiesti and I’d definetely go further and target the hipster generation, anxious to spent their money on vintage items.Strategist, marketers, I have news for new. Our memory is selective. We rewrite our memory, based on present experience. Chances are, people my age, don’t have vivid memories of communist, and they only link “the Golden Era” to their childhood. We’re hitting that age when we’re becoming nostalgic, and we buy. We’re also the generation that buys vintage. Communist brands, what to do with them? Sell them! Use nostalgia, use buy local and sell!

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