Evolution of a Look

Iconic looks, sticky assets . . . . marketing geeks have plenty of names for a “look.”  Something that immediately registers as YOU in the minds of the consumer.  It’s the Holy Grail for many marketers but as consumers become more savvy and we have a more and more digital world, is it time for that wisdom to change?  Let’s take a look at one of the hottest movie properties today: The Avengers.

Over the course of a decade, twenty-pus movies, comic books, cartoons and iterations, we like to think that SuperHeros are the original icons.  They don’t change and if they do it’s news.  Yet if you examine the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) you can see small changes that subtly speak of a character’s journey.  The most iconic and obvious has been Captain America.

In his first movie, you could strongly see the WW2 inspiration for his look.  The bomber helmet, the almost campy stars and stripes.  Yet as you watch his costume becomes darker.  By Infinity War he has covered the color in basic black.  It is just one more way that the film signals that the Cap, as he’s known to his friends, has found himself in a world where the good guys and bad are not so easy to define and the moral grey seems to be everywhere.

What does this mean for branding? Notice that all the elements of his costume are there in each movie but depending on the mood that needs to be evoked, colors, fabric, cut and style are all subtly adjusted.  How can you business benefit from this – can you use a greyscale version of your logo on a professional polo for big events and then a full color, cheery version for give-aways.

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