In the 21st century, creativity is all but a misnomer. Nothing is original, you see. So, there are certain similarities between global brands and their Indian counterparts. Take, for example, Whatsapp – a free messaging app that is available for Android and iOS phones globally.
An ambitious entrepreneur might come up with, say, Hike. Which, as you might’ve guessed, is also a free messaging app. Another example would be how Ebay spawned OLX, Quikr, or a spate of other online sales portals. Nowadays, brands spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to come up with an iconic logo change, or new innovative technology. Sometimes though, they should’ve just copied.
What the what
Uber logo re-design
Before this particular redesign, Uber had a perfectly serviceable logo. While it wasn’t aesthetically gorgeous, it was fulfilling the chief requirement a logo has – to be recognizable all over the world. Let’s be honest, it is quite literally a 90 degree counter clockwise inversion of their previous logo. Predictably, social media went mad. A spatula is hardly a logo for a taxicab company, right? Or perhaps they took inspiration from Star Wars? Probably not.
Of course, a press release came out almost immediately, explaining how this new logo is essential to the realignment in the brand priorities. Something about ‘bits and atoms’ inspiring such a logo. That might very well be so, but when your new logo resembles a badly done henna tattoo, there might be something wrong. This was broadly hailed as an absurd decision. But then again, it isn’t close to as absurd as compared to some of the others in this list.
This piece of revolutionary technology first came up in 2012, and was available to the public in April 2014. If you were lucky though, you could’ve been one of the lucky few who beta tested it for a knockoff price of a mere $1500. It’s groundbreaking features include being able to take photos, shoot videos, and err…. Google stuff. That’s about it. If you were paying $1500 for a pair of glasses, the least you could expect is a Cyclops style laser beam obliterating your enemies. Or just fulfill the primary purpose of a pair of glasses.
To people saying that Google Glass is just a phone taped to your face – that isn’t true. If anything, it’s worse than a phone taped to your face. Jokes apart, it really will be an ingenious way to achieve different facial contortions with relative ease.
A.K.A how Nintendo tried to solve the obesity problem (This is possibly the only member of this vaunted list that is a brilliant product in its own right). Sometimes, the jokes write themselves. Other times, they’re fuelled by the collective nerd-power of the entire universe. Nigh on a few days after its limited release, a pirated version of this game could be found on the phone of any 16 year old with access to Internet. Pokémon Go forces the player to do something the current generation of teens aren’t very familiar with – walk.
The game took the world by storm, notching over 100 million downloads in under a month. Niantic – the company responsible for this game changer originally released a beta version with a reduced server capability. So, obviously, users kept getting disconnected. The fact remains that Pokémon united people of different generations in a common task – catch ‘em all.
It was like a shot of nostalgia in the arm for generations of Pokémon fans. While it did become a butt of a lot of jokes, this application might’ve just made the world a slightly better place.
All you have to do if you want to go viral on a social networking website is mock Apple. They’ve established themselves as both the frontrunners in the smartphone and laptop market, as well as the “we-make-zany-products-so-make-fun-of-us” market. The number of absurd products they release every few years has grown to such a number, that this list could legitimately just have Apple products on it.
For every Macbook Pro, they have something like the Apple Mouse. Who doesn’t remember the inverted mouse charging jokes?
Even the Apple Mouse however, doesn’t hold a candle to a certain Pencil. The Apple Pencil is a traditional stylus that only works with the iPad Pro.
“Can we use it with the newest iPhone?”, you ask. No, no, and a third time, no.
The iPad Pro itself uses the high sample rate only when it senses the stylus being used, and iPhones aren’t equipped with such technology.
“So, what’s the point?”
The founder of Apple, Mr. Steve Jobs, has already answered this. In 2007, when the original iPhone was released, he said, ”Who needs a stylus?”. Turns out, the Apple iPad Pro does. Don’t believe it? Perhaps a ‘back to basics’ approach was what inspired the Apple Pencil. Which brings us to Apple Pencil’s partner in crime, the all-new iPad Pro.
Apple iPad Pro:
Over the years, Apple has gained itself quite a fan following. Sometimes it seems that they can take liberties other brands can’t because of such brand loyalty. One such liberty they seem to have taken is called Apple iPad Pro. When it was announced in 2015, Apple were just exiting their own unofficial “less is more” strategy, and seemed to have decided that everything needed to be bigger.
The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet had an attachable keyboard before the iPad Pro, which has led to a back-and-forth exchange of jibes. If the trend continues, expect Apple to ‘reinvent’ storage as well.
Since Facebook became popular; there has been a fairly common complaint about the lack of a ‘dislike’ button. Taking heed of this, Facebook released an all new list of reactions in 2016. They were a group of emojis that could be used to ‘react’ to any status update. But you know what was missing? A DISLIKE BUTTON. Sigh.
There were users who had a sense of Stockholm Syndrome because the ‘like’ button had been their only means of expression up until now.
Others let out a sigh of relief. Why? No need to tax themselves by using, you know, words. Not that words themselves make a lot of sense on social networks! While these Reactions are widely being used nowadays, we are still doubtful if people actually take the time to choose the appropriate one, or just hit the like button anyway! Much ado about nothing, indeed.
They redesigned their logo in 2014. There was no need, considering their net worth at that time was upward of $ 10 billion, and they were reaching new heights everyday. Before we get into the nitty gritty of their logo, let’s see what they had to say about their new logo. It was basically a combination of these four images, focused on the idea of ‘belonging’ (This is screen grab from their video)
Look at it from whatever angle you want, and you’ll come to the conclusion that it rather looks like a part of the male genitalia. And once you see it, you can’t un-see it. Something that the jokers of the Internet found out almost immediately. Someone tell the people at Airbnb that there is a difference between good intentions and good design, and that one doesn’t necessarily lead to the other. Though something tells me that they’ve already realized this.
Perhaps not as well known as the rest of the faux pas in this list, Microsoft’s pet machine learning project. TayTweets was basically a bot Twitter account that was designed for human engagement. It was released with a lot of expectation, and you know how that goes, right? Within 24 hours of its inception, the Twitter account had turned into a Hitler loving sex-bot. Here’s a rough graph of its transformation.
While obviously a joke, this raises serious questions for the future of AI. In Microsoft’s defense, they didn’t program Tay to be such a monster. They just made her record, report, and understand what was tweeted to her, and tweet back in a way that was appropriate. It wasn’t their fault that the Internet is full of racist, bigoted, sexist pigs. Though this doesn’t mean it can’t be joked about.
Microsoft took down the bot in short time, but the damage was already done. As the world accelerates its search for more ‘human’ AI, be prepared to be a witness to many such bot related mishaps.
Apparently Snapdeal executives travelled from tip to toe of India to truly understand the relevance of the brand. They then spent a whopping Rs. 200 crore to come up with a new logo. Well that’s understandable considering how well rebranding works if it is done well. And, when it comes down to it, their new logo isn’t all that bad. There’s just one tiny problem - there might be a slight case of plagiarism.
There is an adage that T.S.Elliot has said to have come up with originally - that “good artists copy, great artists steal”. It is left to your discretion to choose whether the people behind the new Snapdeal logo are good artists, or great artists.
Apple iPhone 7:
To end this list, we go back to the original butt of all jokes. Yes, of course it is Apple. What list would be complete without the brand new Apple iPhone 7. This is a story that has been told every time there is an Apple release, so it can literally be told through just tweets and memes.
Oh, and by the way, the iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras on the rear now. Why? God knows.
Use your brains
Well, so that’s that. There are, of course, hundreds of others highly amusing brand redesigns, faux pas, and just simple design mistakes. There are, however, the ones we found the most amusing. To actually feature all the hilarious brand mistakes here would make this an endless list. While they are funny, none of us would want that, right?
There seems to be a trend in modern brands nowadays to go for the ‘hottest’, ‘newest’ thing, but really, it would probably a whole lot easier to avoid all this by just running it past a group of next gen teenagers. They are, after all, the people in charge of making the Internet a funny place. Seriously though, why would you want such super-brands to stop making some mistakes? After all, last time we checked, they’re still run by humans. And you never know, amidst these hilarious screw ups might lie the next big idea that changes the world as we know it.