BrandSnark: Good Week/Bad Week for the Big Brands

Great Week: SeaWorld, Ikea & Royal Caribbean The ocean – including all its inhabitants and dependents (like us) – notches a rare win as these three notable brands announced plans to join others in halting the use of plastic bags and straws, too many of which end up in the estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic that winds up in the ocean each year. 

Civic Week: Domino’s – The pizza titan – not content to merely fill stomachs – has launched its “Paving for Pizza” initiative, under which the company fixes potholes and other road hazards in customer-nominated towns and cities. In a press release, the chain maintained, “We can’t stand by and let your cheese slide to one side, your toppings get un-topped or your boxes get flipped. So we’re helping to pave in towns across the country to save your good pizza from these bad roads.” Thus far, “pizza paving” has occurred in towns in California, Georgia, Delaware and Texas, with more than 50 potholes having been filled. If nothing else, this program will ensure that the only time your pizza has a bumpy ride will be after you’ve eaten it.

Bad Week: Rolls Royce & Tesla – What do the iconic ultra-luxury coachmaker and the new-technology darling have in common? Layoffs. Rolls Royce announced it would reduce its UK workforce by 4,600 jobs as it begins to restructure around its core business of building engines for the aviation, defense and energy industries. Under a restructuring of its own, Tesla announced it will shed nearly 3,000 jobs. This uncertainty is why the wife and I are scrapping our plans to purchase a Silver Shadow… and sticking with the 2009 minivan.

Weak Week: iHOP Turns out that last week’s “announcement” of a name change – to “iHOB” – was every bit the gimmick it appeared to be as the chain seeks to draw attention to its impending addition of burgers to its menu (in an effort to draw more consumers into its locations for lunch and dinner fare).  Rooty tooty fresh and meaty?!? I’ll pass, thanks.