Umami - 5 Fake Rebrands - Great Marketing Idea?

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5 Fake Rebrands - Great Marketing Idea?
Author: Victoria Jones

Burger King surprised a lot of people yesterday by announcing that they would now be renamed ‘Fries King’. This unleashed a torrent of confusion and hate across the web, including twitter and facebook.

This called to mind a few other companies that have tried to do the ‘fake rebrand’ as a marketing campaign in the past. The common theme seems to be backfiring.

Pizza Hut


I’m sure some of us may still remember the marketing campaign from around 5 years ago, when Pizza Hut started advertising themselves as ‘Pasta Hut’. Again, the stunt caused confusion, with many people thinking the advert to be a genuine renaming of the hut, and turning to the web in dismay with comments such as ‘Will they still be selling pizza?’


More recently search engine Yahoo decided to change their logo every day for 30 days – to the mass confusion of the design community online. I lost count of how many articles I read questioning just what the point of the stunt was…

Yo! Sushi

While this might have been less of a rebrand than a crazy new product, the recent launch of the Yo! Burger caused a stir on the foodie world – would Yo! be opening new restaurants?


For April Fools day, popular link site Reddit changed it’s homepage layout to look just like it’s main competitor Digg, including changing the name in the header to ‘Reddigg’. Howver, in the spirit of April Fools I think everyone could see the rebrand was a joke (and a bit of friendly banter between competitors).

From this I think we can learn… only use a ‘joke rebrand’ stunt on April 1st. Otherwise you will do nothing but confuse loyal customers, and even make them feel a little betrayed.  People invest a lot in the brands they align themselves with, so fake rebrands as a joke or marketing campaign will very often backfire…

Article by Victoria, who thinks ‘Umami’ should rebrand as ‘Salty’

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