In prepping for the Peter McClellan Radio Show that I’ll be on tomorrow (Wednesday, June 16, 4-5pm on 1570AM), I was thinking back to examples of poorly executed brands that target women. Top of mind has always been the Aflac Iron Girl brand. I heard about this great concept — a duathalon just for women — a few years back. Imagine my horror when I did some online research only to find that it was called the “Iron GIRL” and a ghastly visual: the Aflac duck with a PINK un-original flowery/butterfly/person symbol for a logo. Really? I read on … “Grace, also the name of the symbol used within the Iron Girl logo, is within us all. It’s what makes women heroic, charming and limitless. Grace is with us in difficult times and happy times, silly times and sad times. Grace is with us physically, mentally and emotionally.” REALLY?
Now, to be fair, I’m guessing there were some trademark issues with the name “Iron Woman,” but really, who as a female athlete wants to be called a “girl?” I mean, imagine naming it “Iron Boy!”
And that flat, generic, overused flower/butterfly/person icon of a “logo” … Reminds me of a feminine hygiene product. Really.
I have to give credit where credit is due, because one of my original beefs of the Iron Girl branding was the pink website with decorative flourishes and frills. Nowhere was there a picture of a woman athlete! Alas, someone heard me, because the main photo on the website now has HER on it. Not that one picture makes up for the poor branding campaign, but at least it’s a start.