The Credible Marketer (II): The Gladiators & Strong Brands

I was so excited at the return of one of my favourite childhood programmes I made the whole family sit and watch it with me. My boys are 9 & 10 and we’re at that tricky stage where finding anything we all want to watch is near on impossible, and crow barring them away from YouTube takes serious effort.

So I did what any self-respecting parent does when faced with this kind of situation – I bribed them with crisps and Fanta –and we all settled down together to watch it.

The second the theme tune came on… I was hooked.

While we all sat around marvelling at the enormity of Giant’s biceps (the size of watermelons) and at Fire’s speed (she can run 100m in 11 seconds) it struck me that one of the reasons for the show’s success, and why it was able to captivate both parents and kids a like, is that it’s a really strong brand.

What does The Gladiators teach us about what makes a strong brand?

Stick consistently to what you know you do well. The same music, the same lyrics, the same ‘games’, the same eliminator. Most reassuring, though, was that the most important part of the show – the Gladiators themselves – most definitely didn’t disappoint. The BBC have managed to assemble the most impressive group of superhumans around. Muhtar Kent (ex chairmand & CEO Cola Cola) says “a brand is a promise well kept”. Well, The Gladiators certainly didn’t disappoint for me on that front as I was transported back to my childhood. 

Leverage your Key Brand Assets. The Gladiator logo, branding, colour pallet, and even the audio and programme format. The Gladiators is a great example of something we talk about all the time in our Key to Brand Management programme: build memory structures using distinctive brand assets.

Evolve for modern times. For long term growth, it’s really important that a brand evolves to stay relevant in order to recruit new consumers. With the addition of Bradely and Barney Walsh, and a new generation of Gladiators, the programme has nailed it for my kids too. In partnership with the consistent use of key brand assets, this is a winning formula as far as brand management is concerned.

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