Can it be a coincidence that TUI's 'smile' logo - the red scrawl
that now decorates all of German tour giant Preussag's holdings - bears
such a striking resemblance to the 'sausage' icon for The Guardian's
mythical 'Joy' brand?
Enquiring minds want to know: was the TUI master brand borrowed from the
bogus brand? Or were they simply separated at birth?
In July, the cunning minds at The Guardian hired design consultant Steve
Hilton from Good Business to whip up a brand without a product.
The Guardian needed something universal to investigate how easily a
brand could be launched and marketed. Hilton held a pitch for the bogus
brand and hired Karmarama.
The agency produced the 'Joy' logo, spelling the name out, adding a
chubby red crescent above the 'o,' and tacking on the gloriously vacuous
strapline, 'think, run, kick, hum, sit, cheat, tan, but do it with
The Guardian ran ads in the newspaper and on bus sides. 1562 responses
were logged on the web site and phone line. Asked what they thought the
ads were promoting, the largest number, 19%, chose - you guessed it -
travel. Suspicious or what?
A spokeswoman for World of TUI puts the matter to rest. The logo, she
says, originated with Preussag's TUI brand in Germany, where it has been
in use for years. A likely story ...