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June 23, 2009

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Well,"hut" in German is "hat," so I'd say your Borsalino assessment is dead on. I've been calling it Pizza Hat for that reason for years (amusing only myself, but still . . . )

They're doing this backwards. It would be one thing if the younger generations had taken to calling it "the Hut" on their own. McDonald's can play with "Mickey D's" if they want to because that entered people's vernacular naturally, I think. Top-down slangy nicknames from corporate masters seem bound to fail.

Nancy, great post and topic!

Personally, I think of Jabba when I hear "the Hut," and I'm not even a Star Wars fan, so thanks for the hot tip on Huttese.

Perhaps the movement in the fedora direction is to avoid conflict with another red roof (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78841891)-- where I suspect a lot of pizzas have been delivered over the years: http://www.redroof.com/

All of this talk of trademark truncation reminds me of Gatorade's trimming to G (http://www.duetsblog.com/2009/04/articles/branding-letter-g-will-lightning-strike-or-will-thunder-be-stolen/) and Holiday Inn's adoption of a stylized H: http://www.duetsblog.com/2009/06/articles/w-h-o-r-u-exposing-singleletter-trademark-envy-in-hotel-branding/.

Given the present marketing obsession with owning single letters -- the ultimate truncation -- perhaps the move to "The Hut" is merely an intermediary stepping stone to the ultimate goal, the letter H?

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