Brand Awareness – The Lone Ranger


Here is the new look Lone Ranger and Tonto.  I grew up with Clayton Moore and Jay  Silverheels black and white repeats in Australia and had the Lone Ranger action figure and Silver in the early 1970’s.  Although unlike Simon Pegg I did not find Tonto sexually attractive with his clothes off…

I own DVD episodes and my mother in law bought me a complete action figure just like the one I had when I was a kid. Mine is probably at the bottom of a sandpit in South Australia somewhere. ..

I cannot relate to a Lone Ranger that does not wear sky blue.  Tim Burton kept the mask (which looks like a left over from Batman)  and the white hat but made his outfit black. I just don’t get it.   I feel angry.  He has messed with a brand that I love.  He has messed with my memory of that brand.

Bad guys wear black and why does he look so intensely depressed?

Tonto looks like The Crow meets Edward Scissor Hands on a horse.   Tonto is not meant to be scary. Simon Pegg won’t fantasise about this Tonto. Marilyn Manson might…

Branding is important from the get go.  Lone Ranger is more than a brand.  It’s an icon.  A tradition.

Imagine years from now when they do a Star Wars remake ( They will…) Chewbacca has Green Fur and Darth Vader is dressed in all white or pink or glowing yellow.  Would the fans be just a little bit disillusioned?  Their grandparents and great grand parents will have introduced them to the brand just like they were introduced to icons like Mickey Mouse and The Lone Ranger when they were kids.

Brand awareness is permanent.  Once you make something that’s popular for the world to see and the world accepts it there is no going back.  You can’t change the brand.  Imagine purple Smurfs,  Teenage Mutant Ninja Wombats, an audible Donald Duck, Micky Mouse with a low pitch voice,  A green Spiderman, Homer Simpson thin and smart. A right handed Ned Flanders.  It would not work.

What the producers of this remake are not paying attention to is the power of the brand and it’s nostalgic pull.  Lone Ranger makes me think of my child hood, of security, of happy times.  Mess with the branding and you mess with the association.  When I heard it was being remade I was excited. I wanted to go to see the movie in a flash because  it reminded me of that magical Christmas in 1976 when Lone Ranger entered my life under the Christmas Tree.

That’s a big part of the attraction, like Star Wars episode 4 in 3d when they get to it.  I’ll be there, just like I was there for the anniversary in 1996 and the original as a kid all those years ago.

Last night we watched Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris just hoping that our restaurant  might  appear.  To our surprise it did.  We saw The Shakespeare Bookshop and there right next to it was a glimpse.  The film went to a lot of places that we had been to over several visits and brought back strong and pleasant nostalgic memories.   Midnight in Paris is just like Notting Hill to us because Notting Hill reminds us of 2 years of living in London and all the sights that appear, we have been to or walked past frequently.

Nostalgia is powerful.

So Hollywood remember that when you turn our dramas into comedies and our heroes into dark depressing caricatures, you are messing with the brand and when you mess with the brand, you mess with the fans.







About spellsingerthemovie

I am a huge fan of Fantasy books. My favourite without question is the Spellsinger series by prolific author Alan Dean Foster and we are going to do everything it takes to put this amazing book series onto the Big Screen! View all posts by spellsingerthemovie

5 responses to “Brand Awareness – The Lone Ranger

  • Steve P

    Wolverine was always a yellow spandex guy to me, though the Hugh Jackman version pulled off the black look. This is probably more the exception than the rule though.

    Lone Ranger was 1 generation before I was born, but I totally agree with your description of Tonto here. Eeep!

  • mcolmo

    This is the Zorro I used to watch as a little girl.

    The only detail is, that it was in Spanish, LOL! I loved the intro song:


  • Eward Mikan


  • The Lurking Librarian

    I’m more concerned that they got a white actor to play Tonto instead of a genuine Native American – I thought the world had moved on from that sort of thing by now….

    I must say, when it comes to viewing a movie adaptation of a beloved story, I am usually more concerned with an actor’s ability to capture the personality of a character, rather than how much they look the part.

    For instance, comparing the way that Gerard Depardieu and Jim Caviezel played “The Count Of Monte Cristo” – Caviezel looks the part almost perfectly, whereas Depardieu doesn’t look the part at all….. but Depardieu better conveys the character’s cool, calculating ruthlessness, as well as his decadent, self-indulgent attitude towards life…. thus, of the two, I prefer Depardieu.

    I think you guys are jumping the gun in writing off this “Lone Ranger” on the basis of a single publicity still in which the character is not wearing blue…. you don’t know how well these actors will do when it comes to capturing the characters’ personality, and perhaps that will make up for your misgivings with regards to their wardrobe.

    • spellsingerthemovie

      Dear Lurking Librarian,

      Re Johnny Depp

      Last year, Depp revealed he has Native American heritage.

      He said: “My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek.”

      I think you missed the entire point of the article. Yes story is important but our article was about branding branding and adhering to the brand is crucial to connecting and reconnecting to fans.

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