The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.


By Margaret Lyons in Miscellaneous on May 19, 2008 8:22PM

Fascinating article in the NYT Magazine yesterday about a Chicago company that revives old but they hope not forgotten brands like Brim, Salon Selectives, Eagle and Nuprin. After megacompanies merge, sometimes name brands get folded together. And that's where River West Brands comes in.

While [founder Paul Earle] recognizes that a given brand might not be able to survive in the portfolio of a multinational, different sorts of business models might work to sustain it. As surely as the ownership of brands has consolidated through one megamerger after another, the consumer market seems to be moving in the opposite direction, with an individualism-fueled demand for almost unlimited variety.

The whole story is interesting, but we especially like the part about "implanted memories."

The researchers found that subjects presented with a fake Disney World ad inviting them to "remember the characters of your youth: Mickey, Goofy . . ." were significantly more likely to say they recalled that as children they had met "a favorite TV character at a theme resort" than those who didn't see the ad. The fascinating thing was what happened when they repeated the experiment, tweaking the ads to include Bugs Bunny, who, of course, is not a Disney character at all. About 16 percent of subjects subsequently claimed that, as children, they shook hands with Bugs Bunny at a Disney theme park. Repeated fake-ad exposure apparently led to higher false-memory rates. In a separate study, Loftus asked subjects with Bugs in their memories what, exactly, they recalled about this incident; of these, 62 percent recounted shaking Bugs's hand, and more than a quarter specifically recalled him saying, "What's up, Doc?"

Crazy. [NYT]