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Battle of the Intergalactic Brandzillas

Op Ed by Liz Nickles

November 19, 2020

Where is Mothra when we need him? Mothra was the below-the-title star of the Godzilla sci-fi movie series, a supersized moth flapping in Godzilla’s wake with a mission to protect humanity from monsters that threaten it. He seems to have gone into retirement somewhere beneath Japanese waters, but we could have used him in the nuclear run-up to the 2016 presidential election—and today. Maybe he free-lances in the gig economy?

brandzillasA Brandzilla Battle is brewing as warring Brandzilla ideologies, fronted by their humans, battle at the summit of Olympus, U.S.A. Remember the good old days, when these battles were reduced to those little tin buttons with faces on them, or bumper stickers with simple slogans (“I Like Ike!”)? Now there is literal warfare—trash cans lobbed through our windows, firebombing in our streets, browbeating in our restaurants. No place is a safe harbor. We’re all foot soldiers for some Brandzilla or another—especially, but not limited to, fashion brands, leading the charge as we march around paying them to paste their logos on our purses, shoes and T-shirts. (Are you Team Chanel or Team Nike?)

This is the junior leagues, however. Where share of wallet was at stake. I worked extensively in advertising in the big boy beverage category: Coke vs. Pepsi; soft drinks vs. milk, water vs. water). Taste tests, testimonials, celebrity endorsements and side-by-side ingredient lists the go-to strategies—and they still are. Except now, the Brandzillas are intangible. They are thoughts, and their target consumers are hearts and minds.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump, AOC, Pelosi—these are the packaging. The bottle. The carton. The pop-top can. The belief systems they espouse are the brands, swollen like the Ganges River in monsoon season, poised to overflow and submerge entire continents.

The Brandzillas stand ready to overpower any challengers, armed with tactics they stole from Madison Avenue when the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man spied through the window of Don Drapers’ office.

The Top 5 Brandzilla Battle Tactics

  1. Separate yourself from your competitors. Not like Coke vs. Pepsi. Like Coke vs. Evian.
  2. Field a poll. Then say it was illegal.
  3. Get Cary Grant to endorse you. He’s dead? No problem.
  4. Team up. See: Mothra & Godzilla, Batman & Robin, Big Mac & Cheese.
  5. Print T shirts, Size XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX∞. Innovation: they double as tents.

If all else fails, stay above the fray. Become a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.

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