Studio 360, the public radio show hosted by Kurt Andersen, found the perfect antidote to the daunting task of creating yet another Christmas-themed show: treat it like a brand and ask Michael Bierut of Pentagram – and six of his partners – to redesign it.
Bierut’s take on Christmas as a brand (via the NY Times): “If we lived in a Christmas world, all our houses would be Victorian, and we’d be riding around in horses and carriages wearing top hats.”
Here’s Andersen’s: “It’s a big brand: 2,000-plus years of what marketers call brand equity in the making.”
So, where does one even start to topple such an overarching "brand"? First, identify the problems: it’s divisive, ugly and overcommercialized, according to Bierut. Second, come up with a plan to address these problems. Renaming Christmas, of course, isn’t an option, so the idea was to create an “overall umbrella brand” that is hip and Internet-friendly.
x.mas was the result – multi-functional as a domain alongside .com and .net and as a new designation instead of, say, Xmas. Of course, the new design is friendly to corporations and philanthropic endeavors as well. Picture Apple.mas, Target.mas, Nike.mas, the International X.mas Organizing Committee and you get the idea. We hope Pentagram will tackle Easter next.
If, like us, you missed the show this morning, you can find it here on WNYC’s web site.