A LEASE ON CANADA
“He said he heard about a couple living in the USA He said they traded in their baby for a Chevrolet” - Less Than Zero by Elvis Costello
As brands seek innovative ways in which to engage people there may be a way for a brand to engage an entire nation and, importantly, make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. If individuals are willing to change their name to that of a brand and couples are willing to name newborns after a brand then branding a human collective is the logical evolution. So what if Canada leases its name and visual identity? This can be done peacefully and profitably:
Step 1: Define Canada: Canada issues an agency RFP (including non-Canadian agencies to ensure the proverbial objectivity-check) with the deliverable being the brand idea that is Canada. The brand idea is published resulting in a collective understanding of and (hopefully) belief in the brand that is Canada versus the common way in which Canadians currently define Canada: by what it is not. Now Canada can Facebook. Wallet sized versions of the brand idea are downloadable so Canadians can carry it with them not only as a confidence instilling reminder but also to serve as handy beverage coaster.
Step 2: Determine The Right Brand: After vetting by Parliament and the partner agency for fit and appropriateness (ineligibility immediately includes brands containing the names of other countries such as American Apparel, ill-fitting brands such as Murder, Inc., people-brands—no ‘Oprahland’, and existing country/city brands) the 3 most appropriate and highest bidding candidate brands are put to a national referendum; brand democracy in action. The winning brand is permitted to change ‘Canada’ to its name everywhere and substitute it’s logo for the maple leaf on public contact points. Private enterprise is exempt. Rest easy Canadian Tire. Referendum and name/logo conversion costs are covered by the winner creating a myriad of unique brand contacts including currency, government documents, tourist t-shirts, foreign and domestic press, the flag, the anthem, that little sign in front of our U.N. Ambassador, international sporting teams, atlases, US tv weather maps, and the space shuttle’s arm. These contacts transcend most others since they are identity-defining, rich with socio-emo equity.
Step 3: Price: Parliament’s call but the ask starts at $240,000,000,000 assuring the very next day each Canadian 18 yrs and older receives $10,000. And since the name is leased, Canadians simply find a new lessee when they get bored or believe the brand has evolved. Just like updating your wardrobe or (in) significant other.
And if there are no bidders?
Step 4: Rebuild the Brand.
Skip the steps and post a brand you believe best suited to replace the name Canada (and logo to replace the maple leaf) and why you think that.
Next post: REMEMBER WHEN THE BOARDS WERE WHITE? Selling the naming rights to NHL teams. That league really needs to leap into the 1980’s.