Didn’t See It Coming with Marc Stoiber

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The Carolina Hurricanes, Justin Trudeau, and the art of the pirate brand

February 19th, 2019

This past week, hockey commentator and icon Don Cherry took the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes to task, calling them a 'bunch of jerks' for celebrating their wins post-game with silly pantomimes. The Hurricanes, far from being cowed by Cherry's curmudgeonly comment, printed 'Bunch of Jerks' shirts and embraced the moniker as part of their brand. 

This is classic pirate brand (or outlaw brand) behaviour: taking the status quo and turning it on its head. 

Often, the pirate brand isn't intentional. Harley Davidson wasn't always the brand of outlaws and rebels. But the art of listening to your constituents, then giving their sentiments a creative twist, can lead to powerful results.

Another brand that might find itself in pirate territory? Canada. As a Canuck, I've often bemoaned our stereotypical 'nice guy' image - until the age of Trump. This comes to light in a recent Family Guy episode, where Peter Griffin and Donald Trump beat each other to a pulp - only to be saved from themselves by dapper Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Turns out, being conciliatory and collaborative might be a more powerful brand than we thought!

For more on this, check out this podcast - an interview I did on CFAX with Mark Brennae. Enjoy!

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