Why Johnny Can’t Read: not enough time in Food Lion.

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When I think of all that time I wasted watching Sesame Street when I all I had to do was pay more attention as my mom wheeled me around the supermarket. Guess I was too focused on my Barnum’s Animal Crackers.

Along the lines of Andy Warhol, artist Heidi Cody has assembled an intriguing piece of pop art called American Alphabet. While I had fun trying to guess the letters associated with the brands, I came away with an unintended lesson. The logos the alphabet owes its letters to are at least 20 years old (correct me if I’m wrong, but Bubblicious is the new kid on the block, and that emerged in the late 70s, if memory–and dental work–serves).

Lesson? Pick a logo and stick with it. You don’t even need a great logo (that’s right, Uncle Ben, I’m talking to you), you just need to commit to it. As a manufacturer, you will get tired of it long before your customers ever will. Customers like familiarity, comfort, reassurance. Ever-changing logos do not provide this. The same goes for taglines, or spokespeople, or strategies in general.

For the record, I nailed an impressive (or depressing, depending on your view of American consumerism) 22 out of 26 without consulting the key.

Test your Logo Quotient (LQ) and see how you fare.

Bill Cokas
Creative Director
Strategic Insights

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1 Response to “Why Johnny Can’t Read: not enough time in Food Lion.”


  1. 1 Dave September 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I missed 4 as well. Despite having received minimal complaints about my hygiene, 3 of those 4 were soap/detergents products. Interesting.


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