Posted January 4, 2012 3:11 pm by with 5 comments

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People say they want something new and different, but the truth is, we gravitate toward old, familiar images and brands. Sometimes these brands return with a clever, modern update (Can you say, “Old Spice.”) Other times, it’s just the mere reminder of why we loved them in the first place that makes us a fan all over again.

Forbes has just released their list of brands they expect to make a comeback in 2012. Let’s take a look and see if you agree.

The Muppets

This one is a no-brainer, since they’re already on the upswing. Back in November, The Muppets released a new movie which, ironically, was all about them making a comeback. Since then, Kermit and friends have been popping up everywhere, reigniting original fans and bringing in a new, teen audience.

Why have The Muppets endured? Because they’re the embodiment of hope and happiness and who doesn’t love a pig in highheels. I expect we’ll see more of them in 2012.


The European car company made a huge comeback when they hitched their cute, Italian, compact wagon to a star — Jennifer Lopez. The TV ads are a little strange. They feature a smug and satisfied JLo driving her sporty car through a depressed but peppy, urban area. While the ad gives off a “happy to return to my roots” vibe, it really comes off like Jenny from the block showing the world how she’s left this grungy world behind.

Forbes says Fiat “lucked” in a boost when JLo hit the news with her divorce and the return of American Idol won’t hurt either.

The Three Stooges

Here’s another brand that has never really gone away but is poised for a resurgence. Larry, Moe and Curly are returning to the big screen this spring in the form of Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso. This isn’t a bio pic. It’s more like The Blues Brothers and even if it tanks, it will bring a lot of eyeballs back to the original shorts. Forbes expects to see licensing deals pop up around the movie. As one of the rare, female, Three Stooges fans, I can’t wait to see what they come up with.


It seems odd to be talking comeback in regard to a brand that is less than fifteen years old. After a disastrous 2011, the online service only has two choices, reinvent or shut down. Will customers forgive them their past transgressions in order to keep the supply of movies coming? Probably, since despite Blockbuster’s attempts, Netflix still has no real competition in the space.

The company is also branching out this year with their own original programing. It begins with Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards and Steven Van Zandt’s Lillyhammer. Netflix will also pick up unaired episodes of Arrested Development. This idea really excites me. Netflix is the perfect place for all those TV shows that never got to finish their run on TV. The episodes are in the can, so why not air them.

Yes, I think Netflix will not only survive, they’ll thrive in 2012.

And More. . .

Others on the Forbes comeback list include Madonna, Polaroid and Rosie O’Donnell. I have one to add. The Munsters. Bryan Fuller, who gave us Pushing Daisies, is currently working on a reboot for NBC. The series, about a family of monsters who live like average Americans has been revived a number of times and is always a Halloween favorite. Even people who have never seen the original series, recognize the iconic look of the lead characters. It’s a franchise that could make a huge comeback if Fuller can find that balance between pleasing the original fans, while drawing in the new.

Balance is key, when it comes to revitalizing a popular brand. Consumers need to see the elements they loved in the first go round, but with a fresh spin. Not an easy task but it’s big money to anyone who can make it work.

What brand do you think will make the biggest comeback in 2012?


  • Gilbert

    This sounds amazing

  • Shadowhawk

    The Muppets film is a Hollywood disappointment, so their “upswing” is essentially over.

  • I cant wait for the re-make of the Munsters!

  • History repeats itself! Also, old school business practices are starting to make a comeback. In the internet marketing industry that I’m in, of course there are still unethical practices, however as consumers get smarter, they are choosing companies that will give them quality work. Even if it costs more initially; in the end it’s worth it!

  • I think Netflix will come back, just due to trends away from commercial based tv, I use Amazon streaming more often, as I get their stream pretty much for free, with my annual fee for expedited shipping.

    The trend could be hampered by the bandwidth caps that many internet providers impose. In my local area of Bend, Oregon We have only two choices, our local monopoly cable source, which has a cap of 100G per month or back to the telephone co, which is enacting a 250 G cap in February.

    These providers also offer television services.. hmmm see the conflict? and the City, still grants a “license” to just one cable company, and gets some revenue for that.

    As a small business owner, doing all my own web design, backups, and video uploads, downloads, the caps are problematic, but that is off topic for the post, perhaps someone will pick that up and post an article about it.