The Unholy Alliance Between Heavy Metal and Cheap Marketing Merchandise

Once upon a time record companies were flush with money and power. They had huge marketing departments with bloated budgets. All of the tchochke dealers in the land sent catalogues hoping to sell thousands of pens, calculators, umbrellas, stress balls and other cheap coroporate merchandise. It couldn’t happen today, but once — not that long ago — this resulted in a Tchotchke Apocalypse.

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Petty Acts of Revenge logo

Band: Petty Acts of Revenge

While your own idea of what would constitute a petty act of revenge might differ the band seemed pretty fixated on low-level nuisance fires. Aine, the marketing intern at the time, took this to heart and ordered branded matchboxes.

Result

Aine learned a valuable lesson in not letting the band make the final decision on marketing strategies. The record company never released these boxes into the wild, afraid of accusations of encouraging criminal behaviour. Aine has a lot of spare matchboxes if you have a fireplace, campfire or hobo barrel that needs lighting.

Arterial Spray logo

Band: Arterial Spray

Arterial Spray was a natural logo choice for hand towels. For all your blood-sopping needs. Far from being a flop, these towels always sell out at the merch booth during shows. They often end up later, however, clogging the club toilets.

Result

Good publicity for the band but a lot of plumbing expenses subtracted from their appearance fee.

Copse of Corpseslogo

Band: Copse of Corpses

Where would you find a Copse of Corpses? Copses are found in the woods (though hopefully not corpses) so CoC’s marketing team decided to brand something practical that you would take camping or on a picnic.

Result

Now you can stay hydrated with your CoC water bottle while you’re waiting for the sheriff to arrive at the trailhead. These were a hit and another batch will be ordered as soon as the band get their act together and record a second album.

Gruesome Discovery logo

Band: Gruesome Discovery

The appropriately named death metal band Gruesome Discovery discovered that their record company had printed their logo onto reusable office lunch bags. Not only did they feel this was a bad match idealogically, but people whose spouses had made their lunch were nervous about opening up the bags with such a title on them.

Result

Peter from marketing has an entire closet full of these things but no takers. They were used in a few memorable office pranks.

Underpass logo

Band: Underpass

Unfortunately the marketing department for Underpass' record company thought that car accessories would be the most appropriate merchandise for the band. Rather than gaining them new music fans, however, this only made car owners think Underpass was a car accessory manufacturer.

Result

Lots of fresh-smelling cars. Elena in Marketing still can't get the smell out of her car. Although it's a pleasant smell she doesn't want to keep reliving the idea that got her fired.

Lucifurr logo

Band: Lucifürr

The Lucifürr pooper-scoop bags turned out to be more popular than the record company thought they would be. There are no baggies to be had in the record company office or warehouse.

Result

While popular, some critics have wondered if it’s good branding practice to associate your band name with dog crap.

4cepts logo

Band: 4cepts

Probably no one wanted a baby blanket with the word "forceps" on it, much less one with the band logo. Why relive a very (literally) painful memory?

Result

The band thought the concept was hilarious but they soon discovered that metal fans have children, they love their children and that no one who's had children likes forceps. Luckily the local dog shelter wasn't so picky and there are now warmer, cozier dogs there.

 logo

Band: Squalord

Thrash band Squalord’s name is a combination of Squlor and Lord, maybe even landlord. What do you need when you move into a squalid flat? Cleaning supplies. What is closest to godliness (the Lord)? Cleanliness. Seemed to make sense at the time.

Result

Cleaning up just doesn’t seem very metal. After ordering one box of samples, Marketing decided to nix the idea. Although their desks and cubicles sure sparkle these days.

Balzac's Ballsack logo

Band: Balzac's Ballsack

The record company had black metal band Balzac's Ballsack's logo emblazoned onto hackeysacks. The similarity between a hackysack and a ballsack was meant to be humourous, but the record company found they made fans uneasy.

Result

1000 free hackysacks delivered to local schools where they were immediately banned because of the word "ballsack".

About

This site is the unholy brainchild of Melissa Stolberg, a graphic deisgner who loves to create heavy metal logos. It was inspired by the book “Rock On” by Dan Kennedy. If you enjoyed it please share it on social media or buy me a beer (I’d say coffee but that’s not very metal).

Truthfully I am more a grunge, goth and industrial fan than a metal fan - although I do enjoy metal (I would enjoy it more if Children of Bodom would get rid of the keyboards). However heavy metal has all the best band names and logos. And hair and headbanging. Whatever your musical taste I think we can all agree that teeny-bop pop bands need to be taken out back and beaten with a pointy guitar and a Metal Master pedal until they see the light dark.

Disclaimer

All of the band names on this site are fictitious as far as I know. If I have used your band’s name inadvertendly let me know. If you want one of these as your own band name I will be delighted as long as I can design your logo! I’ll also come up with wildly inappropriate tchochkes to match. Just let me know.

I have used some photography in my tschoke mockups from uploaders krappweis, Gytizzz, and saddis at freeimages.com and a thermos mockup from psdcovers.com.

My Other Sites

I have other sites and you have time to waste. Don’t tell me you’d rather work on that spreadsheet. Turn up the metal tunes and visit:

What's Under the Bed?
A monster-detecting app
Cat Neighbourhood
Feline living without the human hassle
My Design Portfolio
A sampler of my graphic design work