Yesterday morning, i was shopping at Pet Smart and two displays, side-by-side, stopped me dead in my tracks. Both were we pet products (bowls, toys, apparel) and both carried the name of an American pop culture icon. On the left, in shades of aqua and dusty orange, was Martha Stewarts pet line and on the right, in blacks and reds, was Bret Michael's line. I was puzzled.
I've seen Martha's line before, but Bret's was something new to me. it got me thinking about brand image, especially when the name is not an expert in the field. Where is the Jack Hanna line?
Martha Stewart may have been in prison, but every since i planned my first wedding, I trust her with design ideas. Her wedding magazine was single handedly responsible for getting my creative juices flowing. She had so many great ideas, that I couldn't use them all. it nearly made me want to become an event planner, just so that I could see them all to fruition. i also love her Every Day Food magazine and line of cooking products. She has great ideas regarding home decor and organization. So what does she know about pets?
Martha knows this guy.
About eight years ago, Marc Morrone's show would air early Saturday mornings. This guy is nuts, but in a lovable way. He's also something you need to see to really know what i'm talking about. I love the "reindeer" in the clip.
Every episode he had every animal running amok on his set. Watching him wrangle the animals was highly entertaining, yet he also gave solid advice. i was hooked on the show. The Martha connection? She produced it and often joined him for segments or he would join her on her show. She may not specifically know pets, but she has this zany expert in her corner.
And if that's not enough, her line has some cute things.
Bret Michaels is an odd competitior to the Martha Stewart brand. After doing some research, I am still unclear how Michaels decided to get into the whole pet product business, other than he loves animals. Someone, somewhere decided that this would be a great brand idea, mix pets with an aging musician and you get products that "show off your pet's inner rock star".
i thought Poison was an alright band in the 80's. They had some good songs. My guilty pleasure television viewing leans towards any reality show on VH1, so i was gleeful over Michael's show Rock of Love. On the show, which ran three seasons and inspired contestant spin-offs, twenty-five, mostly much younger and nearly all very skanky women, competed for the heart of Michaels. They were pitted in silly challenges to prove their love and devotion to Michaels, all while cat fighting amongst themselves. it was highly entertaining.
I think without the context of his reality show, the pet product line would just seem odd. However, as one of his next moves after a canceled show and in the midst of his trying to revive his music career, it just seems desperate. It seems as desperate as his "Rock Star" image that he keeps pushing. The fact that on every episode of his show he mentioned that he is a "Rock Star" and that he does "Rock Star" things, while living the "Rock Star" life...probably means that he isn't one anymore. it's as desperate as that dumb bandana that he's always sporting.
He actually comes across on the show and in interviews as a really nice guy, he just seems like he's desperate to cash in what he considers his image, even if it no longer fits. Here are some of the products from Michael's line.
The doo-rag is hilarious and completely cringe worthy. Please don't do that to your dog! i'm definitely a fan of the Stewart products. I actually own the pet bowls pictured above and they work great. I love the lids. The Michael's line looks really silly to me, but i probably know people who would favor it. I'm off to waste some time on youtube looking up old Marc Morrone clips, that guy cracks me up!