One of Canada’s most recognizable brands is nameless.

In Canada, no name is iconic.

(Despite the fact that it doesn’t have one.)

Rolled out by the grocery chain Loblaw in 1978, no name is a brand that quickly made waves as it did away with brand names and simply called their products what they were.

Beer is beer.

Honey is honey.

Cola is cola.

Unsalted butter is unsalted butter.

Grape jelly is grape jelly.

You get the idea.

Along with the very specific brandless names, the packaging doesn’t change color.

Everything is yellow — a bright highlighter yellow that sticks out like bottled up sun in the aisles of Loblaw’s stores.

The font doesn’t deviate either: Helvetica, all lower-case.

no name is a brand that is purely functional.

Almost comedically so.

If Aaron Draplin and Jerry Seinfeld were tasked with designing an entire line of generic grocery store goods, I imagine it would turn out something similar to no name.

Recently, however, they’ve added some flavor.

Towards the end of last year, no name rolled out a brilliant advertising campaign that can best be described as “stating the obvious”.

Their Twitter banner reads “twitter page”.

Their website reads “website”.

Their ads on Taxi’s read “taxi”.

Their billboards read “billboard for outdoor ads”.

(Yeah, I know, they got a bit long-winded with that last one).

The campaign was rolled out to not only spark a few laughs but to also advertise a stark change in the company’s minimalistic packaging…

A red checkmark of sorts.

The checkmark tells the no name customer that the company has verified that there are only 10 ingredients in the product — a godsend for health-conscious parents who don’t want to feed their kids shit they can’t pronounce but don’t feel like rifling through everything on the back label.

Thus far, they’ve seemed to dominate the campaign, quickly amassing 55,000 Twitter followers to add to their already heaping cult-like following.

Slow down on yellow.

With all that said, here’s what I’m walking away with from no name’s advertising… less is more.

Customers appreciate simplicity. And, more so, customers appreciate brands cutting the bullshit and shooting them straight.

no name seems to be doing both, with grace.

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer.

Stranger than fiction by Honey Copy is a curation of stories about bat shit crazy marketing ideas that have made brands some serious cheddar. If this story made your mouth water, why not let me tell you when I write the next one?

Originally published at on May 26, 2020.




I write pretty words and sometimes sell things.

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Cole Schafer

Cole Schafer

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things.

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