Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Great (IP) Brands (Products) Never Die

During the last election cycle, US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked the beloved US children’s television show, Sesame Street, in a debate with Barack Obama.  In a bizarre exchange, Romney basically said he was going to shut down the Public Broadcasting Service show—Big Bird, the Grouch, the Count, Bert, Ernie and Elmo were in trouble.  My children, who watched the debate, were horrified.  At the time of the debate, my children were ages 8, 5 and 3 (we had to work to get them to focus).  After the debate, they would say things like, “We hate Romney,” and “Romney hates kids.”  I tried to explain to my kids that Romney is not against Sesame Street; Romney just doesn’t like the fact that the government is partially paying for the production of Sesame Street while our country has so much debt.  I also pointed out that Sesame Street is a very popular show and that a firm in the private sector would be sure to “pick it up”—they probably wouldn’t miss a show.  (trying to be objective here)  But, my kids were not having it.  They still, to this day, dislike Mitt Romney.  And, if you ask my now four year old what her religion is she says, “Democrat.”  (So much for Sunday school.  And, I do confess that there are other reasons my kids support the Democrats and they also think President Barack Obama is “very cool.”)

Here is another teaching moment.  The beloved American snack food and brand, the Twinkie, is reborn.  Last year, the Hostess company announced its bankruptcy.  Some of its brands were American icons such as Wonder Bread and Twinkies.  CNN reports that a joint venture of private equity firms is purchasing the Hostess snack food business, including Twinkies, for $410 million.  CNN has also reported that the “Wonder Bread” brand and Hostess bakeries has been purchased by Flower Foods for $360 million.  Looking forward to seeing Twinkies on the shelves again—although I confess I prefer Sno Balls. (I wonder if my kids are now going to love a joint venture of private equity firms.)

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