My learned friends at truly madly deeply in Australia have written about an article about a chapter in a book on advertising entitled “Hegarty on advertising: Turning intelligence into magic”.
The article refers to a discussion on the world’s greatest brand that the author, a creative director at an advertising agency had at a conference.
He opined that the greatest brand of all time was the Catholic Church. It’s an interesting thought although the key is your metric for measurement. If longevity and awareness are key to brand success then the Catholic church must be right up there.
However, as we all know the Catholic Church has some issues. According to this article in the National Journal, in the face of sex scandals and dwindling membership, Catholicism is struggling to stay relevent.
Following sex abuse cases, cover ups and other scandals, attendences are dwindling. In Australia in the mid 1950s, 74% of Catholics attended Mass regularly. By 2011 that figure was down to 12.5%.
So sure, most of the planet has heard of the Catholic church. But they’ve also all heard of PanAm, DeLorean, Betamax, The Edsel and of course new Coke.
A better question today might be, not what is the greatest brand ever, but how does a great brand stay relevant?