the grass is greener on the internet

Joy. Now without a trademark.
September 3, 2009, 11:16 am
Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , ,

Perhaps it’s coincidence. Or perhaps a very savvy media buyer.

Whichever it is, today I saw two campaigns with similar taglines in the same stretch of road.


BMW has been using ‘expression of joy’ and ‘joy now comes in 26 models’ for a while now. Part of me loves the smooth simplicity of it, and part of me wants to throw up. Then again, BMW is nothing without cliche…


I have to admit I saw this from a bus edging forward in morning traffic, so the thought process went something like this:

  1. Joy? Hmm, new BMW ad?
  2. In a smartphone? Hmm, that looks like an iPhone, since when are they doing billboards?
  3. Is that a LG logo?

The LG campaign is for their new GM730 smartphone, which does look a lot like an iPhone…in other words, like a lot of other smartphones out there. How they expect you to remember which one it is from a billboard without a thorough Google I’ve no idea.

I’m not sure whether they intended to build off the iPhone and the BMW campaign – guessing not, as the site is either made for children or Asian teenagers. (Although come to think of it, the Asian teenage market is probably looking at BMWs too.)

Interestingly, neither have actually attempted to register ‘joy’ as a trademark…though the word has already been trademarked for various goods like shampoo, surgical gowns, mining equipment and whips. Hmm.

There’s a certain strange synergy about it.

Speaking of billboards I don’t understand, what do you think when you see this…


Am I missing something here?


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Blood types. O A B AB.
Trying to get people to give blood.

I know that billboard. Since when is an iPhone devoid of “Joy”? Not much of a differentiator, methinks.

My phone prior to my iPhone was an LG. I liked it because it was heavy (the Bang & Olufsen thing)
and the battery cover was made from brushed metal (dents rather than cracks – and looks cool).
Why then advertise based on the availability of apps (the implication of the billboard) and joy?
Isn’t that saying “Like an imitation of an iPhone?” Why not make a heavy metal one and drive it as
“Like an iPhone but made better”.

Alas my poor cracked iPhone casing…

Comment by Adam

You can save lives – A nd O are red because they’re blood types – the ad is about donating blood. The slogan with the quirky highlighting only really makes sense if you see it in context, realising that it’s for the Red Cross.
There are other slogans with using the same device and their website is covered in it:

Comment by Dirk Gently

Hey there,

Interesting that the two campaigns have quite similar taglines.. I’ve actually seen the LG ad in my lift for the past two months, and pretty sure the BMW campaign is fairly new as the last activity was the “art of driving” which found trouble.

I also got the red cross ad, but it was only after seeing it a few times that it became clear – before that i just noticed the branding. They have ramped up their campaign – I’ve noticed online – which I think is really good to see.

Cheers Brett

Comment by nextbrett

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