Monday, October 02, 2006

Pacifier for 140 mph

When is enough too much?

NASCAR is moving the way Harley-Davidson did with licensing and brand extensions that make little sense relative to the brand itself.

Last year Harley-Davidson a 'cake-decorating kit' was voted as being the worst extension in a Tipping Sprung, Brandweek survey. To give them credit the company won the year before with a foot-wear extension. I can imagine footwear that is 'rebellious and edgy'; I have a hard time with a sheet-cake being described that way.

Now NASCAR offers baby pacifers with the number of a favorite driver -- doesn't have the lead brand that's emblazoned on uniforms and cars, which is often an adult-focused co-brand like 'beer'.

On a morning news show today an executive said something along the lines of ‘If we get them young, we’ll keep them old.’ Sounds like the old tobacco and liquor marketing. While NASCAR generates $2 billion in merchandise sales and boasts 75 million fans; this kind of extension is just a bit too much.

Besides, I still prefer racing that makes right turns.

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