Everyone from The Village Voice (“douchebags“) to Vanity Fair (“terrible people“) is so excited to make jokes about the new Ed Hardy-branded condom that they completely missed one rather salient fact.
People, it’s not an Ed Hardy-branded condom. It’s an Ed Hardy-branded lubricant. The condoms are being produced by the designer’s Audigier label and branded “Monsieur Bond.” Oh yes, and there’s a Sexline branded line of erotic toys.
All of this highlights a larger point: that the once branding master and designer Christian Audigier may be going off the brand extension rails.[more]
Ed Hardy lube is just the latest questionable extension of an overextended brand that, by all rational expectations, should have collapsed under its own weight long ago.
The problem is not so much that the Ed Hardy brand is ubiquitous (which it is); the problem is that the overexposed Ed Hardy brand is turning into a joke and contaminating Audigier’s other brands.
As the mocking headlines attest, despite having distinct brand lines, nobody is even bothering to differentiate any of the designer’s offerings anymore. Ed Hardy is Christian Audigier, Christian Audigier is Ed Hardy and, well, who cares any more?
Then again, maybe that’s Audigier’s bigger goal. Audigier recently veered completely into Spinal Tap land by creating a brand with “no name, no logo and no brand.” He had to call it something, so he went with “The Same Guy.” The joke’s on us. Or is it?