Relaunching brands: How to stage a comeback

Bridget Angear

Let's go back to 1968. Elvis Presley, despite huge success in both his music and acting careers, had seen his popularity wane in the past few years.

Since leaving the army in 1960, he'd been churning out commercially viable but musically uninspiring movie soundtracks which the public was beginning to lose appetite for. The arrival of fresh, authentic and cool bands such as The Beatles served to further position Elvis as over-produced, over-staged, and overblown.

In 1968 his manager Colonel Tom Parker fixed for him to take part in a television Christmas special for the TV network NBC. An event that the network and the Colonel envisioned would be similar to an Andy Williams-like (traditional folk singer) sequence of Christmas carol performances.

With the benefit of hindsight, how could this have been anything but another nail in the coffin of Elvis's career?