HOMESTYLE is a rebranding project for the Pearl Milling Company after their transition from the now infamous Aunt Jemima brand of breakfast products
Rebranding An Icon
Aunt Jemima products have adorned the shelves of households across the U.S. for over 130 years. During that time the racial stereotype of the “mammy” character, a southern black nanny to white children in a white household, has finally reached its retirement as recognized by parent company Quaker Oats in an effort to promote racial equality.
Though Aunt Jemima was fictionalized, she represented all of the features of the “mammy” caricature as an overweight, dark-skinned woman and was based on the real, Nancy Green. According to CNN, “The brand’s origin and logo is based off the song “Old Aunt Jemima” from a minstrel show performer and reportedly sung by slaves.” – (Valinsky, 2020, CNN Business).
Our group initially touched on replicating the premise of the motherly figure that Aunt Jemima represented. However, we quickly realized any use of another character can be perceived as a replacement for Aunt Jemima and disrespectful to her memory as many do not know she was an actual person.
Therefore, we are choosing to develop a new logomark based on the name of Pearl Milling Company. It does not have a strong presence or recognizable identity as a mark. Therefore, we are focusing on a mark that will target the younger audience who pushed the company to recognize the need for change.
Create a branding identity reflective of the quality products produced by the brand for over a century. The previous Aunt Jemima inclusions while iconic, are rooted in values contrary to the family, home-made, and classic feelings associated with the brand. Therefore, we must craft an identity that associates with the brand’s existing history and not detract from it. To complelty reinterpret the branding would seem as if they are not claiming responsibility, thus hurting its value with consumers.
The vision of the motherly figure that Aunt Jemima represented is powerful, and should not be restated. Any use of another character can be perceived as a replacement for Aunt Jemima and disrespectful to her memory as she is an actual person. The best way to represent the product would be to scrap the new name, “Pearl Milling Company“, for it is too long and somewhat difficult to remember. The updated brand is still on par with the old branding in terms of color, and font use, which is a good way to ensure loyal customers continue to recognize the product. A simpler brand name that is easily memorable would enforce better clientele as well as word of mouth.
We decided to maintain the existing colors along with making our own brand name interpreted into a similar font style. Homestyle refers back to a lot of the feelings consumers associate with Pearl Milling Company products, as well as what Aunt Jemima herself was enlisted to represent. Many can connect Homestyle to the feeling of family and togetherness like Aunt Jemima herself without disrespecting her memory or racial identity.
Social Media AD
This social media ad is based on Tik Tok platform advertisments. I focused on reintroducing the new branding to users in a way that would familiarize them with the pancakes mix and syrup just like the previous branding was known for.
Gina was interested in the print side of advertising the branding for Pearl Milling Company. She posed the question of how the logo would appear in a magzine ad, and thus the print example created by her expert hand was born here to the right.
She’s also a cool friend and classmate 🙂