June 01, 2009

Aesthetic Extensions

Lego Lego keeps coming up with clever extensions. Hard on the heels of the Lego camera (covered in a prior post on this blog) comes the Lego Architecture series, featuring all the Lego you’ll need to recreate a Frank Lloyd Wright home or a scale model of the Guggenheim Museum. Rather than a gimmick, the product seems to be truly educational and fun. “Lego Architecture works to inspire future architects, engineers, and designers as well as architecture fans around the world with the Lego brick as a medium,” says the manufacturer.

Meanwhile, you could have visited the actual Guggenheim Museum to attend the world premier of another brand extension. French parfumier Christophe Laudamiel, creator of products for brands like Clinique and Ralph Lauren, commissioned an opera punctuated by 23 scents. The work, entitled Green Aria, will introduce olfactory stimuli to “tell the story of an epic struggle between nature and industry." Laudamiel is both innovative creator and smart businessman, the Wall Street Journal reports. The opera serves to drum up some publicity for his larger business of marketing a "new scent technology to hotels, movie theaters, videogame makers and other entertainment companies that want to pack a bigger sensory punch.” More here.

February 12, 2009

No License, No Cry

Bobmarley Breakin' news from Jamaica is that private-equity group Hilco has paid the family of Bob Marley the cool sum of $20 million for a 50% equity stake in House of Marley, LLC, a new joint-venture that plans to license the image and brands of the singer, who died in 1981. Products in the pipe – sorry, pipeline – include shoes, food, collectibles, luggage, musical instruments, and stationery. Look for Marley Lager and Marley Organic Coffee coming your way in the not-too-distant future.

According to The Deal, Hilco believes the House of Marley can license a billion dollars a year worth of merchandise. Respect. But first they will have to crack down on the $600 million of pirated Marley goods they reckon are sold each year. Hilco promises to spend whatever it takes to stop counterfeiters, which has, of course, prompted a predictable backlash from Marley fans (see Gawker's post: Bob Marley Now Owned by Wall Street). Sell-out or sweet music? What do you think?

January 07, 2009

Hard Rock Theme Park Shuttered

Hardrock The Hard Rock theme park lived an intense, all-too-brief existence like one of its idols. It opened in Myrtle Beach this year, only to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by year-end. Hard Rock International was apparently guaranteed an annual minimum of $2.5 million for its name; the park covered 55 acres and was built for $400 million. More coverage here. Visit the theme park’s site, while it lasts, at

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Burgerkingcologne Burger King men’s apparel was one of the extensions which raised eyebrows in TippingSprung’s fifth-annual survey. Just after the survey results were released, another questionable Burger King extension made headlines, in case you missed it: Burger King cologne (titled "Flame"). The $3.99 stocking-stuffer, available over the holidays exclusively in New York City at novelty shop Ricky’s, sold out in the first three days. More here.

About This Blog

Brand extensions are all around us — clothing from the Sierra Club, furniture polish from Steinway and, yes, even the kitchen sink from Jacuzzi. TippingSprung, a New York-based brand-extension consultancy, publishes an annual survey on brand extensions with Brandweek. If you spot a noteworthy extension for the blog or survey, email us.



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