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Author: Business Insider

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Surprising stories about how the biggest, household name brands affect our lives and culture — for better or worse. Host Charlie Herman finds tales of tragedy, love, strange histories, unintended consequences, and accidental success.

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55 Episodes
While we finish up our new season, check out this episode from Twenty Thousand Hertz. It’s a podcast that tells the stories behind the world’s most recognizable sounds. This episode is about THX, that deep, swelling effect you hear right before a movie starts. Turns out, we might never have heard that sound if it weren’t for Star Wars.
In this bonus episode, we open up our customer service lines to answer a burning question from one of our listeners: Is there really a Hidden Valley? And does it have a ranch?
BONUS: Brand Aid

BONUS: Brand Aid


What’s the right way to sell people hamburgers, cars, or anything, really, during a global pandemic? In this bonus episode, Charlie talks to Business Insider’s Tanya Dua and Meredith Haggerty from “The Goods” by Vox about the state of pandemic advertising and what it can tell us about the role of brands in our daily lives.To read more of Tanya’s reporting about brands, advertising and marketing, subscribe to BI prime:
While we work on a new season of episodes, here’s another podcast to check out: Proof, from America’s Test Kitchen. The Proof team tackles big questions about what we eat and explores the hidden stories behind the foods we love. In this episode, we learn who killed the "Miracle Berry." In the 1970s, it was poised to become the sugar replacement of choice. So why haven’t you heard of it?Subscribe to Proof:
Jack Daniel’s is the top-selling whiskey in the world. For more than 150 years, it’s been made using time-honored methods that go back to when Jack Daniel made the whiskey himself. (Yes, he was a real person.) But who taught “Mr. Jack” how to make that whiskey? Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man. Unlike Jack Daniel, though, most people don’t know his name, so one woman has made it her mission to tell the world his story one sip at a time.Sign up for our newsletter:
April Fools' pranks come and go, but one joke item that’s stood the test of time is the whoopee cushion. Today, we trace its history from ancient Rome to now. Where did it come from? Why is it funny? Will it stay popular? And if everyone knows its name, why does no one company get the credit for it?Sign up for our newsletter:
The 1980’s TV commercials for California raisins have been called some of the best ads ever made. The claymation raisins singing and dancing to Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” became a kids TV show, recorded an album that went platinum, launched a range of toys and costumes, and starred in an Emmy-winning Christmas special. But were they a success for the raisin industry? Or did the dancing California raisins cause more trouble than they were worth?Sign up for our newsletter:
44: All That Jazzercise

44: All That Jazzercise


Since Jazzercise started over 50 years ago, hundreds of thousands of (mostly) women have come together to exercise and get fit. But if you think Jazzercise is just jazz hands and shoulder rolls, you’re missing out on the bigger story, one about women becoming entrepreneurs and running their own businesses.
43: A Tale of Two Spams

43: A Tale of Two Spams


In Hawaii, Spam is served at grandma’s house and in high-end restaurants. It’s beloved. But in the continental U.S., the canned pork product is often the punchline of jokes. Why does Spam have such different meanings in different places? The answer involves World War II, Monty Python, and a troupe of singing saleswomen.Sign up for our newsletter:
42: The Widow Clicquot

42: The Widow Clicquot


More than two hundred years ago in Napoleonic France, the business world was walled off to women, and champagne was a luxury reserved for the ruling class. So then how did a young widow take over her husband’s struggling wine business and turn champagne into an international phenomenon? And how does her legacy continue to shape what we drink today?Sign up for our newsletter:
41: The Red (M&M) Scare

41: The Red (M&M) Scare


From the mid 1970s to the mid ‘80s, red M&M’s disappeared. American consumers had become worried about the safety of red food coloring after some questionable Russian studies prompted the FDA to look into whether one particular dye might be causing cancer in rats. But years later, the red M&M made a triumphant return, thanks in part to a college kid in Tennessee and an inside joke that took on a life of its own.Sign up for our newsletter:
40: The Marlboro Woman

40: The Marlboro Woman


Marlboro cigarettes are synonymous with the rugged figure who sells them: the Marlboro Man. But the cigarette he smokes was originally marketed to women, and its journey from the lips of debutantes to the hands of cowboys takes us from first-wave feminism to the frontier of advertising. PLUS: Did Lucky Strike make the color green cool? And how did Marlboro find ways to market cigarettes despite increased regulations? We cover it all in BTYB Uncut.Sign up for our newsletter:
Trailer: We're back!

Trailer: We're back!


Starting February 19, we’re back with new stories about the brands you *think* you know. Tune in this season to learn about the women who paved the way for Marlboro’s most famous mascot, the red scare that changed M&M’s history, Spam’s double life in the U.S., and more!
39: Scoot Over?

39: Scoot Over?


About two years ago, companies like Bird and Lime deposited thousands of dockless electric scooters in San Diego. Some people loved them… and some people hated them. While city officials considered what to do, two guys decided they’d had enough and took matters into their own hands. What followed were lawsuits, a physical alteration, and a growing new business. Plus, in a new segment, we learn what a beloved brand of chocolate has to do with inflation in the U.K.Sign up for our newsletter:
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) caused a stir when it reversed its “no girls allowed” rule for the Boy Scouts last year. But it turns out, this isn’t the first time the BSA has gone coed. We take a closer look at what happened, and one Sea Scout reflects on how gender affected her experience in the Scouts.Subscribe to our newsletter: An earlier version of this episode made reference to new Boy Scout (now known as Scout BSA) troops including girls and boys. While there are now all-girl and all-boy Scout BSA troops which sometimes participate in activities and events together, there are not currently coed troops.
When Leo Fender and Les Paul met, they didn’t have much in common — one was an introverted tinkerer, the other a rising star. But their electric guitars defined the sound of rock ‘n’ roll. Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix brought Fender and Paul’s rivalry alive onstage in a “battle of the brands” that spanned decades.Sign up for our newsletter:
Meet our new host, Charlie Herman, and hear what’s in store next week, when we return with a brand new episode of Brought To You By… Coming up this season: a decades-long guitar battle, the first time the Boy Scouts of America went coed, and an electric scooter uprising in San Diego.Sign up for our newsletter:
Household Name will be back with brand new episodes soon! But in the meantime, check out "Lost at the Smithsonian," a new podcast from Stitcher. Comedian and pop culture fanatic Aasif Mandvi gets up close and personal with the most iconic artifacts at the National Museum of American History.Sign up for our newsletterSubscribe to "Lost at the Smithsonian" in Apple PodcastsCORRECTION: An earlier version of this episode misstated the name of Jim Henson, the creator of "The Muppets."
36: A town called DISH

36: A town called DISH


When a small town in Texas changed its name to DISH, the satellite TV company gave its residents free TV for a decade. What DISH Network didn’t know was that the name change was a way for one local politician to get revenge on another. PLUS: we take to the phones and answer your questions on our Customer Service line.Sign up for our newsletter:
Enron collapsed nearly 20 years ago, but chances are something you use today was affected by emails sent by 150 of the company’s top employees. These emails — about meetings and energy markets but also affairs, divorces, and fraud — have helped create new technologies, fight terrorism, and added to our understanding of how we communicate. But should these emails have been released in the first place? PLUS: “Uncut” reveals Enron’s former CFO’s second act.Sign up for our newsletter:
Comments (19)

James C

nnjnnnn😂😂😂🦍🦍🦍😍😜😣😑🤫🤒😫;)B-);)B-):^):-)o:-):-)୧(^ 〰 ^)୨ᕦ⊙෴⊙ᕤᕦ( ⊡ 益 ⊡ )ᕤᕙ (° ~͜ʖ~ °) ᕗ୧(^ 〰 ^)୨ᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤ୧| ͡ᵔ ﹏ ͡ᵔ |୨ᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ୧| ͡ᵔ ﹏ ͡ᵔ |୨ᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ༼ᕗຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕙ(☉ਊ☉)ᕗ( ͝° ͜ʖ͡°)ᕤᕙ(☉ਊ☉)ᕗ( ͝° ͜ʖ͡°)ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ(ಠ_ಠ)ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕙ(ಠ ਊ ಠ)ᕗᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤ( ͝° ͜ʖ͡°)ᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ༼ᕗຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤ༼ᕗຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗ୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨ᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤ༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕙᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ୧| ͡ᵔ ﹏ ͡ᵔ |୨ᕦʕ •ᴥ•ʔᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ(ಠ_ಠ)ᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤᕦʕ •ᴥ•ʔᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ୧( ಠ Д ಠ )୨ᕙ(☉ਊ☉)ᕗᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤ( ͝° ͜ʖ͡°)ᕤᕙ(ಠ ਊ ಠ)ᕗᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ(ಠ ਊ ಠ)ᕗᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ༼ᕗຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗᕙ (° ~ ° ~)୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨ᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕙ(͡°‿ ͡°)ᕗᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕙ(͡°‿ ͡°)ᕗᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕙ(͡°‿ ͡°)ᕗᕙ(͡°‿ ͡°)ᕗᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ༼ᕗຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗ୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨ᕙ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)ᕗᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦʕ •ᴥ•ʔᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤ୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨ᕙ (° ~ ° ~)୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨ᕙ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)ᕗᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕙ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤ (° ~ ° ~)ᕦ[ ◑ □ ◑ ]ᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅᕤᕦ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨ᕦ༼✩ل͜✩༽ᕤᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗᕙ༼◕ ᴥ ◕༽ᕗ

Nov 24th

Cliff Bates

Can you do a show on Lane Bryant I want to hear skinny girls complain and say what Lane Bryant should and should not do.

Aug 20th

Austin Peek

Jesus, these girls voices made me had to stop listening.

Mar 7th

Meagan Cahuasqui

I think this is my favorite episode of the podcast thus far

Mar 5th

Talia Spierer

I own croc wedges... not sure how I feel about it

Jan 30th

Paterka Town

I'm so glad I stumbled upon this pod! I really like the length of the show and really dig the slices of info. The hosts play well off of one another without overwhelming the show content. Keep it up!

Jan 28th
Reply (1)

Michael Dobbins

Good content and entertaining but the nasally lisp of the shows host almost makes me not want to listen

Jan 8th

Dustin Padgett


Dec 7th

Daniel Marak

This whole episode was just a teaser for another podcast. A waste of time.

Dec 5th

Ebeth K

this is great. This year I traveled and we tried to stop at Cracker Barrel as it was the only place open besides iHop. They were ALL packed....hours of wait to get a table as everyone brought their families there. Needless to say, we did not stop.

Nov 26th


This episode feels cut short. Learned almost nothing from it.

Nov 24th

Tyler Stevenson

ahahaha you never got to any point. not once.

Nov 21st


Wish they'd actually dug into the lawsuit. why bring it up and not explain why it's being brought against the gangs? This episode would be a lot better with that context

Nov 6th

Marc Kiven

the show is ok but your ads are awful and way too long. enough to dissuade me from listening.

Oct 4th
Reply (1)

Veronica Alzate Acosta

Can you make an episode with Juan Valdez?

Sep 12th

Daryl Sande

Re:. the coca cola president. Nice hatchet job on President Fox. UNSUBSCRIBED!

Aug 22nd
Reply (1)
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