I did a Google search for the term "brand mangling" and wasn't able to find it, so for now, I can't give credit to the person who first said it, so I'm going to take a leap of blind arrogance assume I'm the first to coin the phrase. As such, it is my humble duty to define this concept.
Brand mangling occurs when a brand switches hands, be it to another agency, another creative director or to another company. The new people see the success in the brand, so they want to keep it, but regardless, it changes - either because the person, company, or in this case, client taking it over doesn't get the brand, lacks the skill to keep it fresh, or wants to put their mark on it - usually a move of sheer ego.
What ends up is a campaign that is a shadow of its former self. It's not necessarily worse, it's just different, but it's trying to be the same. Imagine if they recast the voice of Homer on the Simpsons, and you'll know exactly what I mean.
This is the case of Fido, which was recently taken over
by Rogers Communications. Fido had built up a great brand, the cornerstone of which was their television campaign featuring the "CEO" of Fido and his group of executive dogs.
Their latest commercial features the same CEO, taking one of his "star executives" out for lunch to reward him for coming up with something like free weekends or free incoming calls from people named Steve, or something like that.
The dog proceeds to eat off of his plate very loudly, embarassing everyone in the five-star restaurant. The end.
There's nothing wrong with this ad, but it's a decidedly different flavour from their old ads, which frankly, took a long time to hit their stride.
There's no point in going on with a campaign just because. I'm a big proponent of extending campaigns over a long period of time to get the most mileage out of them, but if you're not going to keep a forward momentum, then come up with something new. If your new chef can't create your signature dish - take it off the menu.
I should mention at this point... if you do know where the term "brand mangling" came from, feel free to email me