Though pop culture preservationists considered it a minor victory when ConocoPhillips decided to replace boring, flat blister-pack signage with red versions of the classic, spinning orange 76 balls, one Curbed reader emails both a photo and this imaginary tale of branding underachievement from the corner of Highland and Melrose:
Out with the orange, bring in red. Bolder. It really says, "We are selling gas" much better. Marketing exec to the 76 board meeting: "We keep the 76 ball, but we make it red#435729. That way we satisfy the existing and loyal 76 customer and at the same time brand 76 in the ConocoPhillips red."
"Brilliant," exclaims the board. "Simply brilliant. It will cost a bloody fortune, but we can just pass it on to the customer."
[Highland and Melrose 76 balls emailed by reader to email@example.com]
The imaginary ConocoPhillips brainstorm:
"Now ...what have we decided about the sandwiches in the Quick Mart......Tuna?" "How bout we continue to carry the tuna but we add red#435729 to it?" suggests the brilliant marketing manager.
This will surely bump sales over the top!
Funny, but anyone can tell the actual Pantone color of the new red 76 balls is PMS 485.