Fictional brands are often afterthoughts, quickly slapped together to give the appearance of a fully developed world. Every now and then, however, a fictional brand stands out from the pack, sometimes even putting real brands to shame. The best fictional brands can transcend their humble beginnings as mere props and become as impactful as any real brand. Lets take a look at five of the greatest fictional brands ever created.
5. Dunder Mifflin
Dunder Mifflin is the fictional Scranton-based paper company that employs the characters of the American version of The Office. Unique among the brands on this list, Dunder Mifflin squeezed it’s way on to the list by actually making the jump from fiction to reality.
The immense success of the TV series means that even several years after its cancellation, Dunder Mifflin paper products can be bought at any Staples store.
4. Oceanic Airlines
Lost viewers will remember Oceanic Flight 815 as the oft-mentioned reason the crew were stranded on the island, but the history of Oceanic Airlines runs much deeper than just one show. The preferred airline of many TV favourites like Richard Castle (Castle) and Sydney Bristow (Alias), Oceanic Airlines first appeared in the 1996 Kurt Russel vehicle Executive Decision, wherein Oceanic Flight 343 is hijacked by terrorists.
Oceanic Airlines has also appeared in animation (Futurama), video games (Dead Island), and even comic books (Daredevil).
3. Morley Cigarettes
What do Chandler Bing (Friends), Spike (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead), and Brenda Walsh (Beverly Hills, 90210) have in common? They all smoke the fictional Morley Cigarettes. George Costanza (Seinfeld) once took up smoking Morleys in order to get out of his upcoming marriage, Red Forman (That ’70s Show) made his son Eric smoke an entire pack of Morleys, and Agents Mulder and Scully (The X-Files) were perpetually beset by Morleys brand icon, The Cigarette Smoking Man.
Morley Cigarettes first appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, smoked by psychiatrist Dr. Fred Richman. The brand was created in order to ensure that the film industry was not giving away free product placement to cigarette companies.
Since then, they have appeared in dozens (if not hundreds) of TV shows and movies, cementing the brand as the number one choice of cigarette for fictional characters.
2. Jurassic Park
I know what you’re thinking: “Jurassic Park is the name of the movie, not a brand.” The truth though, is that it’s both. Jurassic Park is one of the few films to share its name with its titular fictional corporation, and have a branding strategy to match. The iconic T-Rex skeleton silhouette serves as both the company logo and the centerpiece of the film’s marketing strategy.
The branding in the film also goes a step above most others, with a gaudy style that seems to fit perfectly for an over-marketed zoo / amusement park. Expect to see a lot more of this brand once Jurassic World hits theatres this summer.
This 1984 Bill Murray / Dan Aykroyd / Harold Ramis / Ernie Hudson flick barely edged Jurassic Park out of the top spot. Like Jurassic Park, the Ghostbusters logo is both the titular fictional company logo and the centerpiece of several massive marketing campaigns.
The logo is so well designed that it regularly shows up on lists of the most recognized brands even 26 years after the last film hit theatres, and the marketing team behind the first movie could clearly see that in the way they stuck that logo on everything.
This is the kind of logo that real companies should be striving for. In-film, the logo appears on the Ghostbusters firehouse headquarters, their car (the also iconic Ecto-1), and as patches on the shoulders of their uniforms.