Cheetos Lip Balm Anyone? Check Out These Ridiculous Brand Extensions

composite image of strange products

This post originally appeared at Mental Floss. 

When I heard about the Burger King Whopper Bar, my immediate thought was that it wouldn’t be the first place I’d go for a cocktail.

See The 8 Bizarre Brand Extensions >
Then I read they won’t be serving alcohol, and I knew I wouldn’t be going to a Whopper Bar any time soon.

This also reminded me of Burger King’s other recent brand extension – the fragrance called Flame by BK.

This meat perfume was obviously a promotional stunt designed to sell more burgers, but in general, corporate brand extensions are serious attempts to grow a brand beyond its initial range of products. Sometimes the tactic works, and other times it just leads to some good comedy.

1. Bic Underwear

We first knew them as the company that made very reliable writing instruments. Then Bic got into the disposable lighter and razor market, and we still bought their products.

But we had to draw the line somewhere (get it?!), and the idea of disposable underwear just wasn't that appealing.

2. Cheetos Lip Balm

Several brands have dipped into the lip balm product category. The basic rule is, 'if it tastes good, why not smear it on your face?' But I don't think works with cheese products.

Frito-Lay got in the game in 2005 when they launched Cheetos lip balm. Now maybe it was a great way to experience the delicious joy that is Cheetos, with only a fraction of the calories, but the dozens of negative reviews have convinced me that it was an idea ahead of its time. One thing is certain -- I really want some Cheetos right now.

3. Lifesavers Soda

Lifesavers Soda was introduced back in the 80s, and was off the shelves not too long after that. It came in five flavours, and apparently did well in taste tests before the launch.

But the name just didn't work with the product, as consumers just weren't looking for a candy they could drink.

4. Colgate Kitchen Entrees

Maybe it's me, but thinking of the taste of toothpaste while enjoying my veal scallopini just doesn't seem appetizing.

It's no wonder this brand of microwavable dinner entrees didn't last very long. Not even the potential for a dazzling white smile was enough to drive sales.

5. NASCAR romance novels

Speed Bumps, In the Groove, Hearts Under Caution -- they should sell millions of copies based on the titles alone. It was November of 2005 when NASCAR signed a licensing deal with Harlequin Enterprises to put out a series of romance novels.

The racing organisation was growing their female fan base, and romance novels seemed like a good way to continue the trend. The books are still being sold today, so it seems like this brand extension has been fairly successful. And the pit crews always did need something to do while the drivers are on the track, so I guess it makes sense.

6. Hooters MasterCard

And this has to be my favourite. I could've gone with Hooters Air, which closed up shop back in 2006, or used the Hooters energy drink for this list. But I went with the Hooters MasterCard for one main reason: I cannot imagine the stones it takes to whip this baby out when making a purchase. Having a business lunch? Let me pay for that with my Hooters Business Card.

Taking the family to Great Adventure? No problem, put all four tickets on the Hooters Gold. There should be a website just for the expressions of the people taking the card as payment. Their website says the card is issued by Merrick Bank, so I don't think it's a joke. Who knows, maybe I'll apply for my own. I've always wanted to see how the other half lives.

These last two were covered by former _flosser Ben Smith last summer…

7. Gerber Singles

8. Smith & Wesson Mountain Bikes

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