With Easter upon us and many of us Boxer’s scrambling to build baskets and colour eggs in anticipation of the Easter Bunny, it occurred to us that Mr. Bunny’s origins are quite vague.
As a brand, of course, bunnies in general have come to be emblematic of Easter but what lore exists for the Easter Bunny? Santa or Father Christmas or however he’s referred to in various places around the world all share the same brand associations of good will and giving spirit hearkening from St. Nicholas.
But was the Easter Bunny just an iteration of the same, a lesser sequel to Santa? And really, what do eggs have to do with bunnies? The brand story didn’t add up.
Even go-to sources like Time magazine admitted, “The exact origins of the Easter bunny are clouded in mystery.” They suggest the bunny came from the pagan fertility celebration of Eostre. The eggs, they posit, were a vestige of a13th century Lenten tradition of abstinence and their colouring to mark Easter as the occasion for celebratory consumption. Eggs also symbolised the new life of Easter.
But what about the Easter Bunny itself?
History.com suggests that at least in America, German immigrants settling in Pennsylvania in the 1700s brought their tradition of “Osterhase,” an egg-laying bunny, to their new country. As this brand story goes, kids would build nests for this character that evolved into baskets.
So, brand story mystery solved. We’re just glad we’ve got an Easter Bunny – and not an Easter cuckoo bird or fox, as some other countries do.
And as a holiday that’s brand has come to be associated with sweets as much as bunnies, Boxer wishes you heaps of jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and (tipping our hat to another great brand story) marshmallow Peeps this Easter.
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A brand story
“Top of mind” brand associations of St. Patrick’s Day seem to revolve around drinking and at least in Chicago, a dyed river green.
As lovers of brand stories at Boxer, St. Patrick’s Day, as a brand, gave us pause to really consider St. Patrick’s Day outside of the confines of green beer and intoxication – what amounts to a Jester brand story, with perhaps a little Outlaw depending on the level of the inebriate. Even some Irish brand icons, like the leprechaun, fit this playful spirit.
But for a holiday named after a saint, Jester really didn’t seem to capture it all. Wasn’t there more brand story to tell?
We started with the name. Patrick was an Englishman named Maewyn, a name we can be thankful fell out of favor between his birth circa 380 and 2015. As the story goes, as a youth he was kidnapped, and sent to Ireland as a slave herding sheep. He escaped back to England, became a priest and returned to Ireland. He was named Patricius upon ordination which, translated from Latin, is our familiar Patrick.
The Irish are known for their gifts of storytelling and that’s apparent in many of the legends of St. Patrick, like his driving all snakes out of Ireland by beating a drum (either a response to St. Patrick’s poor percussion talents, or I would guess they left due to lack of food, like many of the those who emigrated to America when my relatives did). Legend also has it that that sun did not set for twelve days and nights after Patrick died on March 17.
Blarney or not, these legends certainly cast St. Patrick, and the day that honors him, as part of a larger brand story–an Explorer conquering new lands with the derring-do of a Hero rescuing the Irish people from snakes and the temptations they likely represented.
And of course, like most of you, my part-Irish roots will beckon on March 17th with a nip of Jameson. After all, St. Patrick’s Day, will always mostly be, a Jester brand. But don’t forget to toast the real brand story of this holiday–the Hero St. Patrick really was. Sláinte!
Statistically, January is the most depressing month of the year, with the last couple of weeks being the worst.
Well, we’ve nearly made it through dry January, almost completed the ‘Lost’ boxset (we know, we know!) and although our tummies may not be as flat as we hoped, we’re quite comfortable in pin pointing that small hiccup on the fact that the choc selection box was a gift and it’s rude to refuse a gift right? Okay, so while we may have failed a resolution or two, we say chin up people! It’s nearly pay day and we’re sure we’ve just seen a ray of sunshine forcing its way through the snow clouds/rain clouds/grey clouds and in order to celebrate we bring you Boxer Loves – the things that have made us smile this month. Onwards to February – it’ll soon be Easter before we know it….