Big, big news today in the world of media rebranding. When Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletter arrived in our e-mail this morning, something seemed different. At first, we couldn’t quite place it. What had changed? Certainly not the content! It’s January, so it’s cleanse time, obviously. Today’s letter was, in fact, a callback to the newsletter’s golden era: Gwyneth is extolling the exact same cleanse she told readers about way back in July ‘09, only now it’s goop-branded. And that’s when it hit us: goop? What happened to good old GOOP? Has Gwyneth put the alphabet on a macrobiotic diet?
Now, to be fair, Gwyneth has always displayed a complicated relationship with capitalization. As with carbohydrate consumption, she goes off and on in a rather extreme fashion. When the newsletters first started, the sender showed up in your inbox as Goop. And just in case you didn’t understand who was sending you the e-mail , the subject line read, helpfully, something like “It’s Goop - DO” or “It’s Goop - MAKE.” Perhaps the concept was cooked up by Moses or Apple in that early-toddler stage where much of language usage is focused on shouting action verbs.
The official branding, though, as seen in the logo, was definitely GOOP. Back then, Gwyneth signed her letters with a pixelized version of her signature. But as some point, she switched to a simple Love, gp — the lowercase, initialed signoff often representing, as all close readers of e-mails know, a play for a heightened sense of intimacy between reader and sender. And still more changes, that would hit with all the force of a tsunami, were in the offing.
First, as if she’d spoken with an adult human being who was attuned to the needs of busy readers, Gwyneth started putting clues about what was inside the newsletters in the subject line. (Personal favorite: “BE - Judgement.”) And in mid-December, along with the rollout of her app that allowed iPhone owners with a spare $3.99 to learn where she has her gynecological needs attended to, Gwyneth also began a soft rollout of the lowercase logo, but still kept Goop in the subject line, so if you just deleted without clicking on the newsletter (not that we would do such a thing!), you wouldn’t notice. Until today, when the goop transformation was complete.
Or so we thought. Until we e-mailed for comment (it was our reporterly duty on such a story), and got an autoreply back from The GOOP Team. C’mon, Gwynnie, what is it?!? Allow us to suggest a solution to your problem. gOOp. Or GooP? G**P? You know what? You’re right, this is tough.