Soul Mates: Sub-Zero and Wolf

October 25, 2006

New movies in search of a hook always seem to have pedigree to fall back on. How often have we heard, ìÖfrom the director of XYZ, ì or ìÖfrom the people that brought youÖ?î

Back when spin-offs were all the rage on TV ñ think Happy Days spinning off Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy or All in the Family spinning off The Jeffersons and Maude (which itself then spun off Good Times) ñ the promise within was the same: a shared creative team bringing you more of what you already love.

In the packaged goods world, of course, we tend to call spin-offs ìextensions.î Godiva extends into ice cream or Nike extends into sunglasses. The rationale behind The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as launching pad for The Colbert Report (to cite a more recent example) is really not so different from Starbucks extending its DNA to the Hear Music line of CDs.

Sub-Zero is probably as strong a brand as there is in the luxury appliance market, yet its very name kind of limits how far it can be extended. Enter the spin-off strategy. Wolf, a luxury stove/oven brand owned by Sub-Zero, shares a comparable aesthetic and level of performance. More interesting though is the endorsement at the bottom of their print ads: ìWolf is the corporate companion and kitchen soul mate of Sub-Zero.î


I love that. The kitchen soul mate. Thatís the whole story right there. As Sub-Zero is to refrigeration, Wolf is to cooking. As The Mary Tyler Moore Show is to Rhoda, Sub-Zero is to Wolf. This is definitely a spin-off worth watching.

Jonathan Paisner -

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