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Screw Branding Brando

from the NY Times

The Brando Brand

Perhaps one day movie stars and celebrities will leave their names and likenesses to the public domain. That would clear up what might be called the Brando problem — the case of a major public figure who dies and leaves behind a potent if contradictory image and no clear commercial legacy. The effort to create a Brando brand out of the Marlon Brando trust is in the hands of his rather oddly assorted trustees: a producer, an accountant and his former personal assistant. So far, their major activity has been suing companies for infringing upon Brando’s name, which is trademarked.

Creating a meaningful brand out of Brando — as opposed to merely warning off those who use his name without permission — will be no easy task. The search for the truly marketable Brando is likely to take some interesting twists.

Will it be the young man who starred in the drama “The Wild One”? The sullen but brilliant stage actor? Will it evoke thoughts of Don Corleone or Jor-El or Maria Schneider? Or will it be the figure who retreated to a private atoll in the South Pacific, where the trustees are planning to build a Brando-themed, ecologically minded resort?

[ click to read full editorial at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on April 22, 2009 by Editor

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