Featured image for Dieline’s Friday Wrap-Up: Fishy Rebrands, a Cheetos Statue, and Hidden Valley Ranch Home Decor

Dieline’s Friday Wrap-Up: Fishy Rebrands, a Cheetos Statue, and Hidden Valley Ranch Home Decor

by Bill McCool on 10/14/2022 | 5 Minute Read

Apparently, I have become a “hostile” and “passive-aggressive” managing editor over the company Slack as I habitually abuse the thumbs-up emoji.

In a news story making the media rounds that's clearly engineered to make folks over 35 angry (or just Fox boomers, I’m not sure), a single Reddit user complained that the Gen X favorite is “super rude” and that they only use it sarcastically. While this is the kind of piece generated to drum up clicks (guilty), it's worth noting that plenty has been written in the past year about the generational emoji gap, and there's something to be said about just how long we’ve been living with the Facebook thumbs-up sign of universal approval. Even though Facebook (er, Meta) discontinued it in 2013, we've been under that thumb shadow for quite some time. I don’t know what that next YES or OK emoji will be, but maybe it’s time to start gently putting those thumbs down to rest.

In the meantime, I’ll be building my perfect $28 Taco Bell order since some dummy who doesn’t know what a combo meal is went on Fox Business to use his lunch order to complain about inflation.

Also, it’s 28 spicy potato soft tacos.

Anywho, on to the links.

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All One

Psychedelics and mushrooms have been touted as an effective way of treating severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health-related conditions. Dr. Bronner’s, the makers of fine print enthusiast soaps, got the message, as they now offer psychedelic-assisted therapy as part of their health coverage.

“The health and well-being of our employees is the primary driver in how we think about benefits and compensation. Offering coverage for ketamine-assisted therapy is in the interest of providing tools to our workforce to have the best quality of life and best options for mental health care,” explained Michael Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner’s, in an announcement. “Our family and company are no strangers to depression and anxiety. We are deeply concerned about the mental health crisis society is facing, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Considering all our advocacy on this issue, this employee benefit is the next logical step.” 

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Fishy Rebrands

Can you rebrand a fish? 

In this piece from John Kazior over at AIGA, he looks at branding studio Span’s work trying to do just that for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Carp—here renamed “Copi,” as in copious—are known for being an invasive species of fish running amok in midwestern rivers and destroying natural habitats. 

But, as Kazior argues, you can’t really rebrand a living creature. Once you do that, it becomes a commodity. Of course, this invasive species comes courtesy at the hands of the US government:

“It is the natural arch of capitalism to sow ecological crisis. To create scarcity in order to drive up value. With Copi, the US government is trying to brush over an ecological catastrophe that it created in the name of a healthy, profitable catfish market. Suggesting that the only way to live in harmony with a species is to make that species into something to exploit has unfortunately become the norm in capitalist society. Examples abound in whales, tuna, cod— follow pretty much any fish you recognize as sold in markets or restaurants, and you will find ecological mess in its wake. And in combination with warming waters, global fishing stocks, both freshwater and saltwater have been devastated by rapacious industry.” 

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Better Hidden Valley Ranch Homes & Gardens

Sorry to yuck your yum, but let’s get this out of the way—not only is ranch an abomination, but it also has no business going anywhere near a slice of pizza. I say this to you, the reader, but also to my children, who are definitely not reading this and require at least four Dominos ranch cups whenever we order.

But would I sport a shower curtain all done up in Hidden Valley Ranch bottles and slices of pizza? Yes, yes, I would. And you can read Chloe’s piece about the Hidden Valley home decor by going here.

He’s Got Legs, and He Don’t Know How To Use Em’

Maybe it’s all the kickboxing, but Mark Zuckerberg is no longer a floatingMeta body

Meta announced that avatars would be getting legs to a VR room full f disembodied torsos jumping up and down in celebration. I know that I could say, boy, Zuckerberg and company could literally be fixing “X” and easily insert any of the world’s catastrophes there. But every time there’s a smidge of Meta news, I hear Doris Roberts from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation saying, “I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.”

(Also, FWIW, they used motion capture to give ol' Mark those legs, so it's not even a genuine thing yet.)

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The Higher the Cheeto, the Closer To God

Last week, the Canadian town of Cheadle, located in the province of Alberta, was one statue richer when Cheetos dropped off a 17ft monument to cheese-dusted fingers everywhere. Of course, Frito Lay selected Cheadle as the town’s name bears a slight resemblance to cheetle, aka the “brand name for the powdery residue that gets on your fingertips while eating the savory cheese snack, Cheetos." 

The statue features cheetle-dusted fingers raising a Cheeto to the heavens. While the brand said it was “Looking for the perfect home for its statue” in a press release, visitors only have until November 4th to visit the celebration of unwashed snack hand. Meaning this is a Cheetoh without a home.

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Starry Eyes Forever Shall Be Mine

As rumor has it, Sierra Mist will be discontinued in the new year and replaced by the Gen Z-baiting Starry (check out Rudy’s piece here), a clear shot across the bow in what will inevitably be the lemon-lime soda wars.

Of course, while Sprite downplayed its starburst in its recent brand refresh, it looks like Starry co-opted it for their visual identity. Who knows why we need stars to convey lemon-lime flavors and products? Either way, someone better tell 7 UP to get their head up from their desk.