Dear Dulux,

Dear Dulux,

Thank you for giving us one of the most recognisable brand “mascots” of all time.

Your colourful friend is one of the most iconic brand demonstrations of Ferdinand de Saussure’s seminal theory about the arbitrary nature of the linguistic sign and the signifier and the signified…the fundamentals of what we now call semiotics.

Why is a table called a table? There’s no rationale – it’s completely arbitrary. Other than in the instance of onomatopoeia – splash, bang, beep, whoosh etc – pretty much all words are arbitrary. 

What has a sheepdog got to do with paint?


Have you ever seen a sheepdog down at your local B&Q trying to work out the difference between Eggshell and Vinyl Silk?


The objective fact is that a sheepdog has about the same to do with paint as a penguin has got to do with paperback books.

But when we see a penguin, we think of a paperback book. Or a chocolate biscuit. As well as black and white flightless seabird.

When we see a sheepdog, we think of you Dulux. 50 years ago that wasn’t the case.

The fact that you have created such an inextricable connection between two arbitrary concepts – a pot of paint and a sheepdog – to the extent that our hearts are warmed by the celebration of this same sheepdog’s hypothetical 50th birthday is, to my mind, a pretty amazing demonstration of the power of branding…and your investment over the years.

And although I really love your Let’s Colour Project – which I thanked you for here – it’s great to see your sheepdog back on our screens once again…to be honest, the fact that he’s 50 is neither here nor there.

Thanks Dulux.


PS – And what a perfect soundtrack to have selected – perfect nostalgia for the ears…


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