Illuminate the culturally shared meanings of brands through cultural analysis of how brands are used in a popular movie

Materials Needed:
Student access to the short film Logorama, which can be found at http://vimeo.com/10149605

How to run it:
Logorama is a short 16 minute film that was directed by the French animation collective H5, François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy and Ludovic Houplain. It was presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2009 and it opened the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Recently, it won a 2010 academy award under the category of animated short.

The film depicts events in a stylized Los Angeles, and is told entirely through the use of more than 2,500 contemporary and historical brand logos and mascots.

WARNING: Logorama contains explicit profanity and is for adult audiences only. If you are uncomfortable watching the film, please contact me and I will provide you with an alternative assignment.

Once you have watched the film, answer the following eight questions.
1.) Which types of brands are included in Logorama? Which brands were noticeably absent from Logorama? Why were you surprised not to see these brands?

2.) Why do you think the film’s directors chose to include the brands they did in the movie? Choose three brands featured in the film and analyze what messages they carried or helped convey in the plot through their brand meaning.

3.) The film’s producer claimed, “I’m the producer of the film, so I have to thank the 3,000 non-official sponsors that appear in the film. And I have to assure them that no logos were harmed in the making of the project.” Was he correct? Did the film build or destroy brand equity for the included brands? Why?

4.) How exactly did the film’s directors parody different brands? How harmful are these parodies overall to the brands’ image?

5.) Analyze the Ronald McDonald character that you saw in the film and its effect on the McDonald’s brand equity. If you were the brand manager for McDonald’s, how would you respond to Logorama? Would you a.) sue the producers for violation of your trademark, b.) ignore it, or c.) pursue a path somewhere in between? Why?

6.) A brand manager from Cash Converter, a brand featured in the film sent this email to Logorama’s directors, “Thank you, I just saw our logotype in some pictures [from the film] and we appreciate you used the logotype in the middle of all the big brands. It matches perfectly with our strategy that you put Cash Converter on the main street, in the heart of the city, thank you so much!”. How has Logorama increased the brand equity of Cash Converter?

7.) Given the guidelines for branding in Web 2.0, what advice would you provide to brand managers regarding Logorama?

8.) Looking at Logorama as a whole, what does the film tell us about the role of brands in contemporary life? Is this a positive or negative view of branding and our consumption culture? Why? What is the overall message the directors are trying to convey?

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