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Friday, December 21, 2012

Pretend Brands

Dunder Mifflin, Inc. is the name of the fictional paper company from the TV series The Office. Recently office supply retailer Quill.com launched a Dunder Mifflin paper line and is expanding the Dunder Mifflin line to include other products like markers and notepads.
A pretend brand becomes a real brand. And there are a number of other examples:

Holiday Inn – started in 1952, taking its name from the movie musical of the same name. The chain now has more than 3,300 hotels (including Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express locations).

Willy Wonka – the name was licensed to sell candy based on the popular 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The parent company, Rowntree’s was purchased by Nestle in 1988 for $4.5-billion. In 2012, about $400-million of Wonka candy and gum was sold (according to Symphony IRI Group).

Mighty Ducks – started in 1993 by Disney -- a year after the movie of the same name was released -- this NHL franchise was sold for $75-million in 2005 and is now estimated by Forbes to be worth $192-million.

Talkboy – the name of the gadget used by Macaulay Caulkin’s character in the 1992 movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was a short-lived hit for Tiger Electronics.

Duff Beer – there have been a number of trademark battles over Homer Simpson’s favorite beer including Columbia-based Duff Sudamerica which started marketing the beer in 2009 and changed the name to DuH Beer following a lawsuit from Fox (who have sued to cease production of DuH Beer as well).

Nike MAG Sneakers – for 2011 a Michael J. Fox foundation charity auction, 15,000 pairs of the futuristic light-up shoes -- based on those worn by Marty McFly (Fox’s character) in Back to the Future Part II -- were made by Nike and raised $4.7-million.

Bubba Gump Shrimp – founded in 1996, this chain of more than 30 restaurants is named for the fictional brand from the movie Forrest Gump. In 2009, the restaurant group generated about $200-million in sales and was sold to Landry’s in 2010 for $120-million.

Can you think of any other fictional brands that became real? Comment below.

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