In a world where hazy hipster photography and technology have converged, anyone can crank out a “vintage-inspired” photo in seconds. For snobs who once prided themselves on knowing enough Photoshop actions to be unique or people who go through the trouble to use analog photography to achieve the same results, the camera app world is annoying. So you had to know this was coming…the anti-Instagram filter, Normalize. This app can take any retro photo and apply a filter that reveals the original photo.

Big brands easily lend themselves to a spin-off, whether it’s mimicking, opposing or tweaking. The Andy Warschach project combines famous art with blot tests. Album covers are recreated to exclude deceased band members. And drinking games are created for popular TV shows and movies. One thing you can be sure of, if your brand succeeds, it won’t be alone. Brand hacking is just the nature of competition.


Every brand has the opportunity to play both sides of the fence—to brandalize and be brandalized. Both create exposure, fill a newly discovered niche and keep everyone on their toes. It’s part of brand evolution and you have to be willing to consider change and listen to your customers’ needs. Remember there’s always a way to make it better. And if you don’t, someone else will.

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