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Rebranding Swine Flu

May 6, 2009

This image has been going around in e-mails about how not to get Swine Flu. I got it from Stacy. The picture that is, not Swine Flu. Oh, I’m sorry. I meant to type H1N1. Seems the government is making a concerted effort and the media is sorta following along to call it H1N1 now to avoid scaring people about The Other White Meat and messing up the hog market. Poor pig farmers had finally gotten the term “earmarks” into the lexicon to replace Pork Barrel Spending when their product became linked with a pandemic. And lovely images of people wearing masks, breaking news headlines and surging sales of hand sanitizer. Eating pork does not expose you to H1N1 according to the CDC. But licking the snoot of a piggie with the virus might do the trick.

On the question of branding, while funny, it was a smart move by the pork people. The smartest thing they’ve done since the invention of center cut, thick sliced premium bacon. Mmmm. Bacon. Get that virus away from the brand. The question I have is this: Is it possible? Every anchor I hear on TV dutifully calls it H1N1 then to clarify the communication says “Swine Flu.” Associations are sticky. Brands with hysteria and sickness and death associations are very sticky indeed. In addition to promoting the new name, H1N1, they need to reinforce the message that eating pork is safe. Because I’m skeptical about the term “Swine Flu” going away entirely. Checked this out with Google Insight and Swine Flu is kicking H1N1’s butt in search despite the PR push.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    June 16, 2009 1:56 pm

    Its just more propaganda. They have scared all they can scare with a name like Swine flu. Imagine when the name swine flu is in the past and you never hear it anymore. They will stop relating it to swine flu and suddenly people are being destroyed by some creepy H1N1 Virus. Harder to keep yourself light hearted with a name like that.

  2. mich permalink
    August 19, 2009 7:03 pm

    i think that mom is crazy by leting her kid do such thing and eaven take a picture of it!

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