Decathlon shops in three Belgian cities have temporarily been renamed as ‘Nolhtaced’ (apparently pronounced Nol-ta-ked). This name reversal is meant to draw attention to the store’s new buy-back service (a.k.a. reverse-shopping) where customers can sell their old sports goods to be repaired and sold again (with a warranty).
It’s a smart way to inform people about a new service that you’re offering. People are generally not eagerly paying attention to changes in policy and services that you (as a brand) think they should know about. So when you want to inform them, you need to be creative. Instead of spending budget on more expensive channels, like tv ads, to generate awareness of your new buy-back service, Decathlon disrupts people from their auto-pilot by creating confusion at first (“What’s up with that sign?”), which then hopefully leads to curiosity to find an explanation (Let me ask someone/Google it”). Ideally, this would be received as a creative and somewhat funny way to communicate changes to your brand. We love the simplicity of it!