Here at Printsome, we like to ask ourselves the tough questions (not always related to T-shirt printing). Questions that have kept philosophers from sleeping and heads of state from taking the stand. Yes, we are not afraid of hard work. Today we wonder: what if two big brands switched products?

That’s the question we want to ask for this week’s creative marketing exercise. Would their message stay the same? Could they sell a completely different item with the same image? Would markets crash and consumers riot on the streets? There’s only one way to know: welcome to the Ultimate Brand Product Swap!

The brand product swap: Apple – IKEA

So Apple is one of the richest companies in the world, they only sell premium electronic gadgets. “We’re not in the business of producing cheap phones!” Or something like that Tim Cook once said, raising a fist to the air and then adding “Damm you, Samsung!” I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. Ikea, on the other hand, is not known for its good quality products, but rather a neat buying experience, and its low prices for mass-produced furniture. Let’s swap them and see what happens!

Apple Furniture: Luckily for Apple, IKEA is also a minimalist brand, so there’s not that much trimming needed here. An Apple table would be sleek and rounded at the corners, but unlike IKEA furniture, it wouldn’t be able to disassemble. Instead, that fine modern-looking table with electrical slots for pretty much any gadget you can imagine would be shipped whole to your door.

All shelving units, desks, chairs and kitchenware would be a single, solid colour. No wood, just high-grade plastic with the price tag to match. The table would never break, but then, when the new one comes out, you wouldn’t be able to keep your hand off your wallet. Because – well, the new one would have a Siri that lets you know how warm your cup of coffee is or something. Oh, and the geniuses at the Apple Furniture store would seem to know far too much about what makes your arse comfortable.


apple furniture, apple table, itable


IKEA Digital: IKEA computers would be sold in massive warehouses. They would come in any colour and pattern imaginable. They might not have the biggest RAM, but they’d be extremely lightweight. The iKEAphone would have been mass produced by a Swedish designer, and its functions would be extremely customisable; with an add-on premise, you could get bigger speakers, a faster graphics card, a bigger cell camera, etc…

Walking through the IKEA Digital store would be an experience unto itself: you’d try everything out, but it would take 5 hours to decide which IKEA computer to get and in the end, you’d spend a lot more than intended just because you’d have to get a couple of those cute iKEAphone cases. Later at home, you’d try to understand the assembling instructions, but the drawings would be indecipherable and there would be no text to read whatsoever! The IKEA computer would not be the best computer, but still, it would look really posh on top of your insanely expensive Apple coffee table.

Note: You may also be interested in How to be a Marketing Hero: Lessons from the Avengers.


ikea phone, ikea other products, ikea iphone


The brand product swap: Pampers – XTG

Pampers is a diaper brand for babies, while XTG is an underwear line for men with style*. We don’t know where we’re going with this*, but we’re taking you along for the ride*! Let’s swap them!

*Note from the editor: This “style” you speak of is entirely questionable.

*Note from the editor: Me neither.

*Note from the editor: Please, don’t.

Pampers Momma’s Boy: Pampers would have taken the men’s underwear industry by storm. The reason for their success? Men don’t need to think they’re cool, they need to feel like their buttocks are well-protected and pampered (and dry). Pampers Momma’s Boy would present a new kind of male product; don’t think sexy and stylish–think cuddled and preserved (and again, dry). Pampers adult underwear is extra-soft, with Gold Bond talcum powder fabric to instantly rectify any sweat.


Pampers pads, XTG pads


XTG for Toddlers: XTG would have redefined what a diaper is. Their pledge: “Babies don’t need diapers. Babies need to look sexy.” XTG’s patent synthetic diapers combine comfort with elegance and style for the obviously too-cool-for-school baby. In XTG’s diaper boxer shorts, babies would crap but still look über tite in their underwear. They might stink, but their diapers would still be so smart, that they wouldn’t be denied a photo shoot.


XTG pads, XTG for babies


The brand product swap: Mercedes – BIC

Mercedes is German for luxury (not technically, but stay with me). BIC sounds like a cheap company, and their products are either indispensable, broken, or missing (at least in my case). Still, they make millions. Cars and pens, people… let’s swap them!

Mercedes Ecrivain: Pens could not get any fancier than the coveted Mercedes Ecrivain class. Built with luxury in mind, these pens would be durable and over-priced. They’d mostly come in silver and black. But the best part is that you’d never lose a Mercedes pen because it would have a built-in GPS tracking system. Any pen worth over 1,000 pounds should. Montblanc, eat your heart out!


mercedes pen, mercedes penz, mercedes pencil


BIC Taxis: You’d only find BIC cars in the form of reckless-driving taxis that would be banned in most of the western world. Made entirely out of plastic, these things would be shells, cheap shells that’d get a dent even with the smallest of bumps. There would be no safety features, and the seats would tend to break loose from time to time. If you owned a BIC car, you would never lend it to a friend, because they would never give it back. The benefit of a BIC car? It would be so cheap!

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Bic cars, driving a bic, bic taxis


The brand product swap: Durex – Haribo

You’re still with us? I’m sorry about that.* The mayhem continues. What if we switched Durex condoms with Haribo sweets? This one wasn’t my idea. Blame my mates from the Printsome marketing team.

*Note from the editor: Me too.

Durex Sweets: Infused in every Durex candy would be a faint scent of aphrodisiac herbs and spices. You’d have to be 18 years or older in order to purchase Durex Sweets, which isn’t the case for condoms, but the company would have taken it too far this time. Durex Sweets would be long-lasting. Warning labels would suggest that they put everlasting gobstoppers to shame, and if you tried to break a Durex Sweet, you’d be more likely to break a tooth trying. You could trust it to work for hours or even days.


durex sweets, durex candies, durex food


Haribo Hard-Ons: Haribo would strike a controversial chord with a new product line of condoms. These condoms would be especially popular among the younger promiscuous population as you could find them in any of the dozen different flavours available. The best part would be that they stretch. Their gummy latex would allow them to fit any size. The Haribo Hard-on would also be available in a sugar-coated version.


haribo condoms, haribo sex, haribo durex


The brand product swap: Airbnb – Hilton Hotels

Airbnb is revolutionising the accommodation industry, so we decided to include it in this creative marketing exercise. On the other side would be a big hotel chain, like let’s say the Hilton Hotels. Let’s swap them and see what happens!

Airbnb Inn: Airbnb Inns would be renowned for their incredible hospitality. Their philosophy would be all about helping you get to know a place as the locals do, and for little money. Airbnb Inns would have dedicated guides that take you to the local attractions and establishments.

These guides would be included in your reservation at no additional cost. Also, every Airbnb Inn room would be entirely different from the last, making it a different experience every time you visit! Airbnb Inns would grow incredibly fast because of its revolutionary marketing strategy. Their goal? World domination of the accommodation market.

Note: You may also be interested in ‘5 Marketing Lessons You Learn from a Dinosaur Theme Park.’


airbnb inn


Hilton Homes: Sick and tired of staying in cheap hotels? Why not spend a little more and get your own room in the house of a local millionaire? Hilton Homes would connect rich people with other rich people or anyone with pounds to spend. Live the life of a multi-millionaire in his grandiose apartment, or get a view of your host’s private golf course from a penthouse guest house! It would all be online, and it would only cost you an arm to join!


luxury airbnb, posh airbnb


The brand product swap: McDonald’s – Alain Ducasse Restaurant

When it comes to different businesses in the same industry McDonald’s and Alain Ducasse Restaurant are as opposite as they come. One is known for its cheap, unhealthy fast food, while the other is the quintessential posh culinary experience. Perfect for our creative marketing exercise. Let’s swap them!

McDonald’s Raconteur: McDonald’s would take culinary masterpieces and serve them up in paper packages. All wines would be classified by generation and served via the soda fountain in an over-sized cup. The Canard de Challans aux olives would be fried, and paired well with a full Bordeaux. These would be presented at the counter, of course, on a plastic tray with funky cardboard boxes for the kids to doodle on. The service would be free because, well, the food would cost a pretty penny.


mcdonalds posh restaurant, expensive mcdonald


Ducasse and Quick: A Big Mac would never be as elegant as this one. Waiters would be watching you closely. More Coca-Cola, monsieur? At once! The french fries might be greasy and over saturated*, but they would be presented on a parchment of the finest quality, stacked like the hand-picked logs of a ski resort lodge. The hamburgers would taste like shit, but extremely beautiful; they would be the exact replica of the photo on the menu. Though the food would only cost 2 quid, the scene and service would set you back at least 100.

*Note from the editor: And not even potato, for that matter.


posh restaurants serving mcdonalds

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