Monday, July 26, 2010

Southern Comfort: Oh Lord, Won't You Buy Me a Brand Revamp.

This coming October that semi-famous imbiber of Southern Comfort, Janis Joplin, will be dead 40 years. I suppose Brown-Forman, the brand's owners, felt that a brand redo was overdue.

The distillers tapped a great Minneapolis design shop, Cue, to execute the rebranding campaign; it's an evocative and colorful job. Leaving aside the sheer fun of working on a liquor brand as filled with consumer history as Southern Comfort (Joplin aside), the design house filled out the new brand vision from labeling to activation elements – all intent on capturing the “vibe of New Orleans.”

The brand's even more Créole now...styling, illustrations, the lot. At the same time, the brand website states that for every bottle of Southern Comfort sold, the company will donate a quarter to the Gulf Relief Foundation through the end of October 2010. It's trite to talk about “giving back to the community,” but two bits here, two bits mounts up.

No matter what, though, this is a way-back brand. (“Take another little piece of my heart,” Janis!)

Brown-Forman suggests that “Southern Comfort, or SoCo, as it is known to a new generation of consumers, has become a fun choice when good friends create legendary nights together.” IMO, blogger Christopher Null said it way better on Drinkhacker:

Let's be frank. Southern Comfort has a difficult reputation. Everyone I know has a story involving the peach-flavored liqueur, and it usually ends with the blackout or someone's head being shaved against their will.

I wonder how many Cue designers' shaved?

Previous Brown-Forman blog posts appear here and here.

1 comment:

Michael Ratcliff said...

Thanks for sharing the latest post. The only bad part about the new branding effort -- it's still Southern Comfort. YUCK! What's the saying about lipstick on a pig....?