Shocking Branding

Shocking Branding May 17, 2012

Consider them both shocking… people voluntarily electrocuting themselves, and brands that just get it. The first should be filed in the category of plain crazy. The second goes in the you-could-drive-yourself-crazy-trying-to-find file.

In just a matter of days, months of training (probably not enough), hours of commiserating my lack of athleticism (probably too many), and too few minutes of rational thought culminate in the challenge known as Tough Mudder in Somerset, WI. The 10-12 mile course with approximately 25 military inspired obstacles bases itself on being the toughest event on the planet.

When you consider that you run through fire, jump into ice water, climb hay bales with pitchforks and walk through electrified wires, it may be the toughest or the dumbest thing a person can do. And as I signed my death waiver in bold, bright, glittering pink pen, I realized that this brand makes even signing your life away something you smile about. It’s a brand that knows itself inside and out, reinforcing itself not just with design, style and color, but with a readily identifiable voice in all it does. It’s not just the copy on the homepage, but everything down to the to-do list for the day, which reminds you to not puke and of course, to sign that death waiver.

Either on Facebook or face-to-face, it knows its voice, bringing a mixture of irreverence, arrogance and camaraderie. Take the online quiz to see if you could muster enough to make it through a Tough Mudder; you’re asked about your workout but also the best ‘stache. This brand voice mocks marathons (boring) while remembering its mission to help raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. So the greater shock will be if I make it through the challenge (not a timed race, but just a matter of making it to the end). Only Saturday will tell.

– Jolene