iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

Emerging briefly from the fray: Long time readers of Just Hungry may know that I am a huge fan of mysterious dark brown yeast extract products such as Marmite. (See my exhaustive comparison of Marmite, Vegemite and Cenovis.)

As a fan, this story in today’s morning news regarding the name for a new, ‘milder’ Vegemite (apparently they just mixed some cream cheese with original Vegemite …how, uhm, original) almost made me spit up my morning tea. I mean, the name is just begging to be mocked:

isnack2_0.jpg

Apparently, the iSnack 2.0 name caused such an uproar in Australia that it has been scrapped, deservedly. Of course, the skeptic in me wonders if this was really a stupid executive decision or a devious marketing ploy. It does remind me of the New Coke brouhaha of the mid-80s, about which similar skepticism still lingers.

What other silly food marketing or naming decisions can you think of?

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Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

As a defacto Australian, let me tell you how much scorn that name has gotten... I mean, can you imagine going to the store and saying, "Hmm, I think I'll pick up some iSnack 2.0"? No, you'd say "I want some of that cheesy Vegemite stuff." :P

Dina | 30 September, 2009 - 14:41

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

I'm confused. Maybe because I'm not Aussie- but what's wrong with the name as long as it tastes good. Now if it sucks- then I can see making fun of it. I've always wanted to try vegemite but it is not sold in stores in Texas. But I found a cool recipe for vegemite rolls- much like cinnamon rolls but use vegemite and omit the icing. And I think you can dip it in melted cheese or something. Oh well- excuse my ignorance please. LOL!!

Kim | 30 September, 2009 - 15:05

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

It just doesn't make sense from a branding perspective - who's going to go into a grocery store and say, "Why, I think I might buy some of that iSnack 2.0!" No, they'll say, "Where's that Vegemite stuff with the cheese in?"

Dina | 1 October, 2009 - 13:47

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

The name is stupid because they're trying to make it sound "hip" and appeal to younger people but putting an "i" in front of things was popular in 2003 it just looks ridiculous now. they should really just find an obscure but timeless name. luckily, they're re-opening up the competition (as it was a competition) and this time the public votes, as opposed to a meeting room full of more-than-middle-aged-old-men.

also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheesymite_scroll

best vegemite invention ever!!!

vegemite is ... well, subjective. you either love it or hate it

there's also different ways of eating it (generally on toast)

http://www.howdoyoulikeyourvegemite.com.au/

check out the website it's pretty interesting!

Jen | 3 October, 2009 - 15:07

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

The rolls mentioned using vegemite and cheese are called 'Cheesy-mite'rolls and are a favourite mid-morning snack from the bakery here in Oz. As for the replacement name.... its not great but still better.

Kylie | 12 October, 2009 - 07:23

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

Wow...just...wow. Right up there with changing Coco Pops to Choco Krispies...and then changing it back.
I hope for the sake of the marketing department that giving it a crummy name that would get people annoyed was simply a lame publicity stunt, if not, if they really thought the name was a good idea, then they really are deluded!
I must say, I've never got on board with the whole yeast extract and cheese thing - I know some people swear by Marmite and cheddar, but it does nothing for me!

pii_bii | 30 September, 2009 - 15:16

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

Baconnaise strikes me as silly food marketing. I find the idea of this to be quite horrific.

Alex | 30 September, 2009 - 15:17

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

Back in the 90s Coke had a product called OK Soda. I suppose it was supposed to appeal to the Generation X generation because all their advertising was around the soda making you feel "ok." While I found it pretty funny at the time, the product failed miserably...because really who wants a product that is just ok?

Smalerie | 30 September, 2009 - 22:18

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

Earlier this year, Tropicana redesigned its orange juice cartons, dropping the familiar image of a straw in an orange and replacing it with a very generic looking glass of juice. After passionate complaints from customers and a 20% drop in sales in the two months following the new design, they switched back to the old design. I guess this isn't really silly, just a recent example of marketing gone wrong. I googled the topic and found a plethora of irate blogs about it.

Hillary | 1 October, 2009 - 00:06

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

I'm not so much shocked as amused.

You'd think that a 3 month naming competition would mean that they would have more appropriate names to choose from. Very silly marketing choice yes, but I sure got a chuckle out of it.

http://www.theage.com.au/executive-style/and-the-winner-is--a-happy-litt...

You must admit though, this definitely tops naming a fruit drink "LOL" (http://www.techdigest.tv/assets_c/2009/03/lol-drink-83291.html)

MangoAvocado | 3 October, 2009 - 06:43

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

what an utterly crap name for a crap product, i am a vegemite addict (i eat it out the jar) im vegan too so id never try it! maby they should do what marmite did with the guiness and champagne versions they were yum! what about vegemite and apple mmmm or cinnamon :P

misslydialovelace | 3 October, 2009 - 22:08

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

Oh GOD!!! When I was 12, some Australians who were staying with my family gave this too me on saltines. I. thought. I. would. die.
And 2.0? for what killing my Mac, too? This. must. end.

Tiffany 2 | 3 October, 2009 - 23:49

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

mmm... I am in love. Cheesymite scroll is my new food discovery of the month. *angelic choir sings*

I am now dreaming of one with caramelized red onions... alas, the stores are now closed at this time so I can't try making one 'til tomorrow... shogonai...

Tanuki | 4 October, 2009 - 07:33

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

Well, call me a skeptic from the very beginning - it is more expensive than regular Vegemite, you need to use more and it has higher levels of salt and fat per serve than regular Vegemite. AND it makes crackers go soggy if left too long, so forget it for the school lunch box.

I just don't get what is so difficult about using your own choice of cheese or butter.

Frankly it smacks of another desperate attempt by a marketing team to extend a brand in order to gain further market dominance and sales. I'm predicting it will be off the shelves in a few years if not sooner.

Just to show I'm not a total grump, I hope you don't mind that I've attached the following link - it made me laugh out loud!!

khttp://moronland.net/comments.php?DiscussionID=99

I remember too, years ago, someone launched a "hearty meal in a can" product pitched at the male market - from memory it was a bean and meat type thing. In English Cananda it was launched as "Big Joes" brand. They translated this for the French-Canadian market and launched it in Quebec with a product name that meant "Big Tits" in Québécois!! Classic!! LOL

Cheers

Magpie

Magpie | 4 October, 2009 - 23:15

Good riddance to iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0)

I am a passionate Vegemite eater and have been all my life. Toast with Vegemite and a cup of coffee is my usual breakfast. Most kids are served Vegemite on toast or bread as one of their first meals once they've graduated from puree. Cheesymite Scrolls are manna from heaven.

I tried iSnack 2.0 when it was still nameless and was underwhelmed. To serve Vegemite, you have to spread it VERY thinly (just a scraping, really). This new spread needed to be spread more thickly, which was very odd to start with. The taste was underwhelming and really not significantly different; definitely not enough to make me buy it.

The name was widely ridiculed when announced. A talkback radio station suggested that using this name brought Kraft a huge amount of publicity and might have been deliberate! Apparently, the most popular name was actually "Cheesymite" but this has already been trademarked by the bakery franchise mentioned earlier.

Ali | 22 October, 2009 - 07:21

Re: iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

The decisions made in this product launch would have to go down in history as the biggest orchestrated bungle of all time.

I certainly agree with the previous comments re bland flavour, poo colour, less healthy and the need for so much more to even taste it. But now I have found another downside. The stuff goes mouldy in the jar! Never in my life have I seen Vegemite go mouldy in the jar, but now we have a new breakthrough.
Soggy crackers, etc. How much more useless can a product be? Surely this would have to be studied by marketing courses for years to come. My guess is that some recently graduated, highly accredited, newly employed marketing exec. managed to enthuse a whole department towards this ultimate failure.

An attempt to introduce it casually on a breakfast TV show in NZ, was met with "I wouldn't give it the time of day" or similar. Possibly followed by "Idiots" or "Fools".

Thank goodness, people still have some intelligence in choosing what they eat! God knows a lot of rubbish is sold as healthy. Things such as sugar blends with the word yoghurt in the name!

I hope a series of employees lost their jobs over such an incredibly stupid initiative. iMite needacrap 2

Jaypee | 23 August, 2010 - 04:18

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