Mrs.Pauls / Van De Kamps Goof spot

There is a commercial going on here in GA that I thought would be a one time occurance. It reveals a little too much.

The end of the spot reveals that Mrs.Pauls and Van De Kamps fish are one in the same. I assume that for marketing reasons civillians can’t for one reason or another know, the brands are to be seperate.

The Pauls spot appears to be identical to the Kamps spot, except that it was obviously recorded over it. (Even using the same exact slogan/tagline, which rivals would dare not copy)

Was this on purpose? If not why hasn’t it been fixed? Its been going on for a while now.
One of my first questions I ever posed on the boards was why the need for dual brands. This furthers my curiosity.

Why are brands segregated in such ways? Money must be spent on duplication efforts. If half the money spent needlessly on brand segregation was spent explaining who owns what, perhaps the other half can bring food Items that are regional to other states.

This question is the same as why is the same mayo sold as Best Foods west of the Rockies and Helman’s east of the Rockies.

Yeah, what is up with that? I am against this, personally. Makes things confusing. Fills with Grrr.

Likely the cause is mergers/buyouts. Regionally distributed goods from Company A may have developed quite the brand loyalty, while Company B’s product is not in the market. Company B buys Company A, and decides to keep the Company A Branding in that market to maintain market share, rather than introduce an unknown entity and risk losses. Many times there is market research involved behind this decision.

That almost all brands are truly national is a comparatively recent phenomenon. In the past, most brands were local or regional only because of problems with production limitations and transportation difficulties.

Those older brands have large and loyal audiences that are considered to be major assets. Lots of products have hurt themselves in the market by changing a brand.

Other issues also come into play. Dreyer made ice cream in the west and Breyer made ice cream in the east. When Dreyer wanted to go national, it decided to market its ice cream as Edy’s so that it wouldn’t cause confusion.

While national branding has advantages, it can be offset by the large differences in tastes and preferences among regions of the country. Changing the taste of a product from the northeast to the southwest can create problems that are more easily solved by rebranding.

It’s a tricky issue to navigate and there’s no one right answer, which is why you see firms coming to different conclusions about what’s best for them.

Yeah, Mrs. Pauls and Van de Kamps are kept as separate brands because the owners perceive them to have regional strengths. As to the ads, both those brands were acquired (with others) out of bankruptcy in a transaction which closed just about a year ago. The fish business was actually among the healthier of the businesses acquired, so management is probably just now getting around to focusing on it. Look for a package redesign and relaunch to accompany the ads. You can learn more about the company which owns the brands here.

And Best Foods / Hellman’s is a similar story. They used to be seperate companies, with Hellman’s operating out of NYC in the east, Best Foods based in CA in the west. They both expanded, and eventually Best Foods acquired Hellman’s. They kept the Hellman’s brand because of the regional strength. Today, both brands are actually owned by Unilever.

Just to muddle up the mayo - I recently managed to have a jar of Best Foods in one hand and Hellman’s in the other and looked at the ingredients. Pretty much the same stuff, but NOT identical - some of the ingredients were listed in different order, signifying different relative amounts of them.

Not necessarily; I’m not up on food laws, but drug and cosmetics labels are allowed to show ingredients present in concentrations less than 1% in any order they want to. I’d be surprised if food labels weren’t the same.

I knew it! I knew it! I couldn’t find a jar of Hellman’s out here, but I could taste the difference even without a comparison.

It is wrong to pollute mayo in this way! We need to protest!

So why is it Alhambra water in Northern California and Sparklets water in Southern California? Did they used to be seperate companies?

And what’s the deal with Carl’s Jr. and Hardees? They look the same and both have that star logo. I haven’t eaten at Carl’s Jr., though. Are they the same restaurant?

CKE Restaurants, Inc owns both. They acquired Hardee’s in 1997, eventually slapped the star on it, and started aligning the operations.

I should have made it clear that CKE is derived from “Carl Karcher Enterprises”, the corporate name Carl’s Jr. first went public under. Carl’s Jr. has displayed the star logo since the 50’s.

Besides Hardees and Carl’s Jr., there’s Checkers and Rally’s. They have nearly identical images and very similar menus. Usually, these sorts of things happen after mergers – the company either decides to convert all their locations to one of the two chains, or maintains both, often with one borrowing from the other. (Sometimes, even if they do decide to convert all their locations, a few of the less profitable ones will be left behind for a while.) This website discusses some of the mergers; it’s rather tongue-in-cheek and is often opinionated.

Another situation in fast food (and there are many): Showbiz Pizza, which had a complex history closely intertwined with Chuck E. Cheese’s. Showbiz bought Chuck E. Cheese’s when it was doing poorly, and eventually all the Showbiz locations were converted to Chuck E. Cheese’s. Shocking fact: Chuck E. Cheese’s was founded by Nolan Bushnell of Atari, largely to promote Atari’s video games.