Grantland Exclusive: The Re-oranging of the Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns

This week, capping off a two-year rebranding initiative, the Cleveland Browns unveiled their new logo, an orange helmet. It was widely noticed, however, that the new design bore a striking similarity to the outgoing logo — also an orange helmet. In an exclusive scoop, Grantland has obtained a copy of the marketing questionnaire that led to the Browns’ new identity.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Cleveland Browns’ Brand Revolution Survey 2k15: The Re-Oranging: Brownpocalypse: The Final Chapter 2.0. Your input is vital to us! Please answer the following questions using as few or as many words as you require.

  1. How much do you love the color orange? A lot, right?
  1. Imagine Browns long-snapper Christian Yount in an orange helmet. Now imagine Browns long-snapper Christian Yount in an orange helmet. Which Christian Yount would you rather take parasailing?
  1. “I like my football team to be __________.” (Fill in your own responses; examples might include vibrant, visible from long distances, zesty, barely changed from the last time I saw them, orange.)
  1. How orange would something have to be to keep you from noticing whether it was competitively successful or not? Answer honestly.
  1. Picture a color. Now take it up a notch!! How do you feel? Great?
  1. “I would never lose faith in team executives simply because they were (circle all that apply)” anxious, overmatched, depressed, error-prone, power-mad, blame-averse, desperate.
  1. Do you know what we should do with our draft picks?
  1. DO NOT WORRY. Question no. 7 was a test to see how much you know about football. We don’t need help running our franchise from fans in a branding survey! We finished 7-9 last season — our best result in years. (That said, do you know a lot about football? Please enter your email address.)
  1. Orrrrrrrrrrrrranggggggge. Yes?
  1. Imagine the following scenario: Browns long-snapper Christian Yount is responsibly driving Browns QB Johnny Manziel home from a fund-raising gala. “Christian,” Johnny says. “We’re facing some big questions leading up to this year’s draft. How do you think we should proceed?” The car is orange. How does Christian answer?
  1. Please rank the following in order of how much they alarm you: Orange Crush (nickname for defense), Orange Power (nickname for offense), Orange Grove (fan zone), A GM Who Illegally Texts Coaches During Games.
  1. It is said that no words rhyme with “orange.” Which player should we start at quarterback?
  1. Recently, the media has reported that Browns QB Johnny Manziel entered a rehab program following his checkered rookie season. At the same time, Browns WR Josh Gordon is facing a second lengthy suspension for violating the NFL’s substance policy. In your opinion, a corporate rebranding initiative is/is not the best way to make troubled young men step up and face the music. (Circle one.)
  1. We’ve been talking a lot about orange, yet brown is also a color. The team is called “the Browns.” Why didn’t you renew your season tickets?
  1. New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers. Please rank the logos of these respected NFL franchises in order of whether you know of any job openings in their front offices.
  1. “My primary feeling for team executives whose job performance is flatlining is (circle all that apply)” sympathy, loyalty, admiration, envy, lust.
  1. On a scale of 1-10, how important do you think it is for front-office employees to remember the names of first-team players? E.g., say you happened to know that Carl from the scouting department had repeatedly misidentified CB Joe Haden as “Joey Van Halen,” C Alex Mack as “Flaxon Porterhead,” and QB Connor Shaw (mysteriously) as “Tiny Miles O’Galahad.” Would you consider it your duty to report this to your supervisor? What if CBS Sports had recently labeled your corporate culture “toxic”?
  1. Answer without thinking: Why are you so terrified of change?
  1. A football team’s brand should be: (a) a bulwark of stability in an ever-shifting world; (b) the last rock to cling to on the cliff’s edge of reason; (c) the life raft in which you’re finally made to choose between cannibalism and starvation; (d) a color you can legally wear hunting; (e) all of the above. [NOTE: Answers a–d also count as “all of the above.”]
  1. Imagine the following scenario: Browns long-snapper Christian Yount is responsibly supervising QB Johnny Manziel and WR Josh Gordon during a spirited round of Wii Golf. “The ultimate horror,” Johnny says after a swing, “is the slippage between our idea of a thing and the thing itself. This is why branding, which is designed to elide that slippage rather than confront it, can never be considered an art.” Nothing in the room is orange. How does Christian answer?
  1. If you sustained a sudden concussion, what color would you see in your head?
  1. Exciting news: Our Brand Reboot 2kXV now includes the Dawg Pound logo! We’re rebuilding the Pound’s ID concept from the ground up, incorporating an entirely different cloud of signifiers to more authentically reflect what today’s football fan wants from a trademarkable dawg face. Want a sneak peek? Compare this old, tired, played-out dawg:

To this radical new dawg:

Would you agree that Dawg No. 2 knows what is up compared to Dawg No. 1? Also, do you think Dawg No. 2 knows how to fix our tight end problem?

  1. Dawg Pound follow-up: Dawg No. 2 is significantly oranger than Dawg No. 1. That’s not a question; it’s a wonderful, wonderful fact.
  1. Hypothetical: If you wanted to ask Dawg No. 2 about the tight end thing, how would you go about contacting him? Some type of ritual? A séance? Feel free to include nontraditional thinking in your response.
  1. Please answer y/n: If you had inside information leading you to believe that your franchise’s QB of the future was currently locked in a padded room in Santa Barbara, rocking back and forth and muttering to himself about the impending advent of a locust-deity called Kthalek-Thnoor, would you attempt to enlist Dawg No. 2 in an interdimensional strike against the locust kingdom?
  1. Would you consider it your duty to inform Carl from scouting in the above scenario? What if you knew that Carl had repeatedly misidentified said QB as “Frangino Griffiths”?
  1. Marcus Mariota: possibly capable of communing with Dawg No. 2, and, if so, worth trading up for in the draft? Explain your reasoning.
  1. What would you think of a brand concept that was simply the words “HELP US” written in thousand-foot-high orange letters?
  1. Imagine that problems at work had left you adrift in a universe of despair, such that life became a series of doorways, each opening onto a previously unimaginable new vista of hopelessness. How would you get back on top in the AFC North?
  1. Name a cheerful color.
  1. Imagine the following scenario: Browns long-snapper Christian Yount is responsibly accompanying WR Josh Gordon on a tandem bike ride along the Cuyahoga. “The question,” Josh says, “is whether the optimism encoded in the symbol qualifies as real despite the cynicism of the motive that encoded it. If not, we are lost. Lost.” The sun looks a bit like a dawg. But which one?
  1. It is said that orange is the new black. Do you think the Patriots are aware of my LinkedIn profile?
  1. Is there a shade of orange that looks more like 10-6? Is there a shade of orange that looks more like 9-7? Is there a shade of orange that could reorient the cosmos? Is there a shade of orange that would make it impossible to lose five straight games at the beginning of a season?
  1. Is the symbolism of despair doomed to be beautiful?
  1. Look at it:


Do you hear the locusts rustling?

  1. Look at it:


Did it look back?

  1. If (a) the logo is a football helmet, and (b) the team’s actual helmets match the logo-helmet exactly, such that (c) each actual helmet is both itself and the logo it is intended to carry, is this correspondence (d) a crisis of representation or (e) a profound resolution to such a crisis? Just go ahead and pick a letter.
  1. How much do you love the color orange?
  1. Should we make this thing blue?

Filed Under: NFL, Cleveland, Cleveland Browns, orange, brands

Brian Phillips is a staff writer for Grantland.

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