Friday, October 27, 2006

norwegian formula?

"Norwegian Formula"... I noticed this on a small Neutrogena hand cream bottle that was sitting in my bathroom (with the Norwegian flag and all). Actually, I found out, it is the name of the whole brand extension. Neutrogena is an American company (it belongs to J&J). Why would they want to name a hand cream with such a name? Certainly there's something about Norway that makes people perceive this is a good hand cream. I guess it says a lot about a country's brand image. Country of origin has historically been one of the first forms of branding products (think rum from Jamaica, or spices from the East). It was an early form of avoiding counterfeits (yes, they existed since those days). These are strong associations, built over years and years, sometimes centuries of massive cultural "advertising" (colonization, novels, theatre plays, and more recently, movies). When we think about wine, for example, we think about France. When we think about sports cars we think about Germany (maybe Italy). When we think about electronics, we think about Japan (and increasingly South Korea). And when we think about moisturizing creams, we think about err... Norway?

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