The unveiling of the new Vegemite’s name almost eclipsed the AFL Grand Final over the weekend and polarised Australians.
Kraft launched a campaign calling for Australians to name their new product, which received more than 40,000 entries. The winner, ‘iSnack 2.0’, was chosen, it has been claimed, to align the new product with a younger market and tap into the credentials of Apple’s iPod. The move aligns historically with the brand, as the original spread was named through a public contest held in the 1920s.
Dean Robbins, a West Australian web designer, won the contest, saying:
Its been difficult to contain my excitement; I actually leapt out of my chair when I heard the news. To think that I could go down in Australias history is overwhelming.
The online backlash was overwhelming, with #Vegefail rising to one of the most discussed topics worldwide on Twitter. One popular retweet mocked the name’s incohesiveness with Australian national culture:
“I said do you speak-a my language?/She just smiled and gave me an iSnack 2.0 sandwich”.
Academics have also joined the dissent.
“The name doesn’t actually capture the new product or say anything particularly meaningful about it,” said, RMIT professor of marketing, Con Stavros. “Putting an ‘i’ in front of a word is somewhat unoriginal, while adding ‘2.0’ is possibly confusing.”
“Credit should go to Kraft for generating such a high level of interest in their new product. But considering they apparently had tens of thousands of suggestions for a name for this new type of Vegemite, I’m surprised this is the one idea that came out on top,” continued Stavros.