It’s Easter Sunday (or just plain Sunday depending on your beliefs), and anyone out and about over the past few days cannot fail to have noticed the chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and miscellaneous cakes (the Kat, it will be noted, deftly sidesteps engaging in extended debate over whether the hot cross bun is a member of the cake family or whether it is merely a type of bread (as some would have you believe), preferring to concentrate on more IP-centric matters…) that mark this particular period in the calendar. The egg is a symbol of new life (or, if you think back to the 1980s, possibly salmonella – the Kat, however, does not wish to dwell on this particular image for obvious reasons, even though it is tangentially relevant to his point), and Easter is traditionally perceived as a time of rebirth – from eggs and chicks to frolicking lambs and fields of daffodils and tulips. A chance encounter with a car advert (bear with me, this is not as incongruous as it might seem) got this Kat thinking. Let him explain:
“What do you call a skip with wheels?”… but even so, a day spent in damp clothes was apparently worth more than the loss of face that accompanied being seen in a Skoda. While not the pinnacle of humour, these jokes certainly got a laugh around the playground – but then again so did a number of other things which, in retrospect, were not all that funny even at the time. Nevertheless...A Skoda.
"What do you call a Skoda with twin exhausts?"A wheelbarrow.
"Have you got a wing mirror for a Skoda?"Okay, seems like a fair swap.
Then Volkswagen got involved, and things began to change. From a partnership agreement in the early 1990s through the final takeover in May 2000 to the public face of Skoda that we see today, the brand has been reinvigorated – reinvented even: a Skoda is now a car to be proud of. The cars themselves were always tough and reliable, but the public's perception of them has completely turned around. Which brings the IPKat to ask whether readers can think of another brand resurrection akin to that performed with Skoda. He can think of a number of brands that have had new life injected into them, such as Cadbury’s “Wispa”, Fiat’s “500”, and even “Old Spice”, but none that have undergone such a complete reversal of reputation. Is Skoda the only modern day brand phoenix?
The history of Skoda here