When I said in my previous blog post, What the hell is branding? Why does my little business need it?, that you should first make an amazing logo, then put that logo on everything, I wasn’t kidding. I wasn’t being totally literal, but Bridgestone Arena here in Nashville has taken a more literal approach. They have branded the arena to the fullest extent. Sure, their logo is on all visible sides of the building, and it’s on various signage throughout the venue as expected. But their logo is also on the trash bins, the ads for upcoming events and hockey games, the scoreboard, the wall around the ice, the actual ice, the cups, the floor, and various other items scattered around the venue.
Some would ask, “is it really necessary to vomit the logo everywhere; isn't it overkill?” Speaking of vomit, the Bridgestone logo is even on the toilet paper dispenser in the women’s restroom. Now that definitely seems like overkill. But as my lass from another Saul Bass, Kristin Miaso commented, “Just in case you forgot where you were…” And at an arena show where you dodge actual vomit getting to the bathroom stall, it seems that some have had one too many $10 beers and really may not know where they are. So when they are hopefully phoning a friend to pick them up, they will be reminded of where they are. More practically, custom-branded TP dispensers are also a tax-deductible business expense, and when you’re a business owner, those are greatly sought after and used to the fullest extent your CPA will allow.
All of this brand placement is not without great purpose. When you search the hashtag #bridgestonearena, you'll find pictures of hockey games, selfies at hockey games, the artist’s promotional post about the show, selfies at concerts, people drinking in the various bars and clubs, the view from their seats and the ticket stubs to the greatest show of their lives thus far. But you know what also appears in many of those photos that appear on instagram that are also shared to twitter and Facebook for all to see all over the world? Yep, the Bridgestone logo. If not the logo, then the name is in the caption and likely paired with other hashtags. So now Bridgestone has made an impression on people who aren’t even at the arena. We are not the agency that does the branding for them, nor have I ever worked for Bridgestone’s marketing and brand compliance department, so I can’t say for a fact that this was the intent, but it is definitely an observable outcome.
Bridgestone makes tires; it’s something you use every day, but you don’t think about the brand of tires every single time you get in your car. You just want to get to your destination on time without a flat. Maybe car aficionados take more notice, but to most, it’s just a financially painful necessity that comes up every 60,000 miles. So I have no doubt that all those Bridgestone logos you have seen are stored deep within your memory, and when it comes time to shop tires, they’re hoping you remember that time you were drunk in the bathroom at the Amy Schumer show holding onto the branded toilet paper dispenser for dear life.