“Fun size” salad packets from Dole would be the most sadistic “treats” to give youngsters on Halloween, almost certainly guaranteeing your trees will be festooned with toilet paper by the end of the night.
Alas, you won’t be able try it out. The image here is a Photoshop job by Adam Padilla, the founder of creative agency Brandfire.
Still, Dole had a pretty curious reaction to Padilla’s efforts.
Joining in the suddenly hot trend of friendly cease-and-desist letters, the food marketer playfully warned Padilla not to mess with its trademark again without talking to them first. But at the same time, it whipped some of its own “fun size” salad concepts—posting them right along with the warning.
Response to Dole’s post on Twitter has been generally positive, with most people applauding the brand’s seemingly savvy social-media voice. But is it that savvy? A vocal minority of replies has been lambasting Dove for taking Padilla to task—playfully or not—for what amounts to satire, which is generally protected from claims of trademark infringement.
Playful cease-and-desist letters are great when there’s a fairly obvious case of infringement, as with Netflix and the Stranger Things bar, or TGI Fridays and the Moneygun party. They’re less fun when they’re trolling a harmless gag in social. In fact, in their faux affection, they might be even more infuriating.