Zak’s Diner and LIVE on Elgin

“You drink the label.”

I got to use the phrase at the LCBO yesterday and I’m not sure where I first heard it.

Did I read this phrase in one of David Ogilvy’s (or in one of the countless branding) books I’ve read? Or did one of my Advertising profs at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology (Terry, Bill, Al, or Nick?) share this truism?

To me, the Zak’s and Live On Elgin storefront is the label.
The logos/wordmarks all work in concert with the in-your-face details and nuances of the original facade, each expresses the unique character and anticipated memorable shared experiences of the individual and the many.

Elgin Street has always been cool to me, from being the place I went to see movies as a kid to being the Red Mile, I am so glad that the Elgin Street Renewal project kept the character of the street while making it better.

P.S. While, in this case, “Drink” is a metaphor for “experience” my visit to the LCBO was to find out if Anchor Steam Beer was available in Ontario again. It turns out that Anchor Steam ceased operations in July. When I got home I did some research into the downfall of this “original” craft beer, the new owners of the brewery decided on a rebrand and changed the label in 2021. Many bar patrons blamed that label change for the demise of their favourite beer. While it’s never just one thing (a huge increase in competing craft beer brands, the local economy, and the pandemic were cited as reasons) the change of the label put gas on that lit fire. Changing the label changed the experience.

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