Hamilton Nolan · 07/02/15 02:30PM

Three Hidden Reasons Why Brands Struggle with Authenticity.” All three reasons are “Brands are illusory constructs built upon a foundation of cynicism for whom the concept of ‘authenticity’ is wholly nonsensical,” but it doesn’t say that in Ad Age for some reason.

Hamilton Nolan · 03/27/15 10:16AM

Why are hedge funds rushing to rebrand themselves as anything besides "hedge funds?" As one hedge fund manager explains, "Labels can create a lot of emotions."

A Case Study in How the "Brand" Concept Makes Case Studies Stupid

Tom Scocca · 07/07/14 04:15PM

The New Yorker website, not to be confused with the New Yorker print magazine, is thinking about status today. In an item on its "Currency" vertical, the online New Yorker introduces us to researchers who have gained fascinating insights into how people police the abstract status identities they've constructed around their preferred "brands"—or else (maybe?) how people who have attained the factual condition of attending Harvard or of running long-distance obstacle courses disdain people who claim to have done those things without having done those things:

Taco Bell Spinoff Explicitly Branded With Death Symbols

Hamilton Nolan · 04/24/14 09:03AM

Despite decades of devotion to low-quality garbage food, today's Americans think they're "too good" for a "fast food" restaurant. You wouldn't be caught dead in a "Taco Bell?" How about this rebranded fancy Taco Bell, though?

You Hate Global Warming? Man, Chipotle, Like, Totally Agrees With You!

Adam Weinstein · 03/05/14 11:35AM

Do you, like, care about the environment? Yeah, cool, me too. And you eat organic, yeah? Right, right. But sometimes you just want a burrito, man, like, a big fat flour roll of stuff, and Chipotle's the place, yeah? Oh hey, did you see the news yesterday? Global warming may ruin their guacamole!

Americans Will Be Drugged to Believe Their Soda Is Sweeter

Hamilton Nolan · 12/03/13 10:06AM

In the future, soda will not be some grotesque concoction of artificial flavors and sugar. In the future, soda will be a grotesque concoction of artificial flavors and mysterious taste bud-modifying chemical agents. Progress!