[not the war]

(My) Motherfuckin' Brands pt.IV

If a student of marketing wanted to know how it works out, I would suggest her/him to start from the case history of an American brand, Gulf (Oil Company), by reading it into the slightest details. That brand's fortune and misfortune—as well as its revival—condense all the possible interactions between history and industry, distributors and consumers, research and marketing, political affairs and banking. All that resulting inside an intertwined case worthy of the petroleum business. Gulf is important as a self-centered brand too, since I've already written about: not occasionally it pops up from the issue no. 50/2 of DMLR*News Gold edition. In the early 1970s #Gulf  was for me an ideal brand associated to some racing cars driven by Pedro Rodriguez, at first winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours (1968 on Ford) and then a Porsche leading driver by John Wyer Automotive team. As a ten-year-old I wasn't a consumer of fuel so Gulf represented just a bright orange-colored disc painted on light blue, fast and furious, prototype cars. As soon as the sport car regulations ended that age, I felt a sense of disappointment. When in 1980s I had a driving license and could drive my own car, Gulf was going to leave its position as one of the major oil companies, for this brand progressively abandoned the markets of gasoline in Europe and the Gulf filling stations turned into Q8. Here I can't tell all the industrial and financial controversies the Gulf oil company went through, I just say "put importance into the history (yes, Kuwait matters)".
Meanwhile that Ford and Porsche sponsorships had mediated the fame of the brand forever. To the point that in recent years Gulf has rebuilt a part of its notorious appeal—2004 its racing colors become a trademark!—even tough limited to some precise countries. The survival of this maimed brand, despite the defunct oil company, has been made possible for the autonomous strength any brand can establish thanks to its familiarity with the consumers, or respectability in marketing terms. Nowadays Gulf benefits from a different marketing approach by the brand licensing company, a true "new economy" business. A brand's revenge.

PS. 2018 I went to Geneve, Switzerland, for the annual motor show. The fairtrade official time stood up in the form of a TAG Heuer giant wristwatch with the Gulf logo and color scheme. Thus an icon synonymous with car racing.


Sign "O" The Times

June 7th, 1987. Sunday. The first time I saw #PRINCE  acting live! He started playing his guitar and singing on the tune of Sign "O" The Times. The concert was scheduled for his first 4-date presence in Italy. I think so. The concerts took place in Milan. All the controversial performances by Prince were undoubtedly fueled by dance, music, sex, romance. Any concert by Prince gave rise to the perennial question, "how heck could he be such an awesome entertainer?" I wasn't a fan of the very first hour, but when two years earlier I had listened to the Minneapolis-based sound of "When Doves Cry" I began to feel it was something I liked too much. While the indoor show associated to the two-discer launched in 1987 was probably the best musical party he could put forward to an Italian audience. The ticket for the concert was black with a golden engraved PRINCE and a peach-colored splash filled up with the marks of love, peace and... the cross—since they redeem us all. Most of the songs of that album bewitch me from then on, even though I have collected almost all the works Prince released in his highly prolific career. After that live performance, I began to believe that Prince was the greatest of all times in the music scene. I went on to attend at Prince concerts until 1993—finally in Zürich when the o(+> symbol was overwhelming his name and emblazoned on the masterhead of T.A.F.K.A.P.'s CDs thereafter. So every year, when it comes the 21st of April, I like to think about the privilege I was one of the music followers that have seen Prince acting on the stage! And sometimes my sadness vanishes in April.
PS. Let's consider the o(+> symbol as a brand that Prince had adopted to communicate his project to be indipendent from the major music companies in order to produce and dstribute his music without any compromise. (That's why the marketing matters with this piece of personal memory).


(My) Motherfuckin' Brands pt.III

Hello Moto! Let's get started. It's always funny to uncover data about your brand new phone and its features. And will I be up to it? This one is a #Motorola (model g7 play) I've bought at the beginning of the year: 5,7" HD display, 23GB storage, 3000 mAh battery, Android 9.0 operating system. At a glance the fingerprint reader seems to me the salient news. But at the further blink I unveil the facial recognition to unlock the phone hands-free. Since the smartphone market has suffered a blend—while some marketing experts say it went saturated—the competition among the leading brands has been focusing on hi-tech development of these products. Now the smartphone technology enable to disappear lost in our photos, movies, shows, games every time we want.
"Somebody's not happy?"
Before the last one three more Motorola devices came through to me in the last 20 years, so there is a brand continuum going from 1998 until now. The previous products were in order of appearance: Motorola8700, Moto EX300, Moto E. This loyalty to the stylized M made me get through very tough moments in life, as the loyal consumers usually write. The first phone was simply a GPS useful to voice call or send some early messages. In the 1990's one could bring the portable cellular only inside a spacious pocket or fixed on a belt like a colt! Those years that Motorola phone would have listen to a lot of conversations while I was seeking, finding or leaving a job in a completely distorted rat race for the pointless human resources—they did run times of job automation...
But in 2011 I could redeem thanks to a 89-euro little Moto as high as 10,6 cm for a 2,8" display. "Snap and share life as it happens" reads the leaflet. The Internet had erupted into your cell phone. High speed download and easy to use touch screen with simple user interface. But the ultimate social upgrade was to find what you want with Google maps. Since I didn't want anything else of what I already had that promise ended up worthless. The toy resulted so fine because it was highly intriguing and very limited at the same time. Really easy to get lost. Indeed from MotoEX300 I started writing onto the social media, Twitter above all (November 2012).
Five years later Moto E was built to keep up with me—text from the Motorola official guide. The screen was 4,5", swipe it left or right to see more pages, then search by typing or speak for a voice search 'cuz the phone can hear me for real! Powered by Android this 112,70-euro Moto phone plugged definetely into the social media, Instagram and Linkedin. A generation of mobile phones that meant to relegate the voice calls at the bottom if compared to the time passed over with Chrome, Gmail, Google Play and many other apps. Thus the warning: while driving ALWAYS keep your eyes on the road! They really seemed to smart up people when these are using the smartphones almost everywhere. Maybe the smartphone smarted me a little up. Moreover the photography grew important from that third M device. I like to shot me in curious poses of obvious decadence or picture my favorite dishes as a self-made cook. Many pictures I've taken by the smart phone have been published on Twitter.com/donro59—an exhibition of plain selfishness or feelings?


(My) Motherfuckin' Brands pt.II

Why is #Pirelli  a lovemark for me? Probably, because of its being associated to the so called Italian industrial miracle that had been following the World War II. Baby boomers (as I am) know very well the correspondance between birth rate and economic prosperity. Then my father was actually a blue collar engaged in the automotive industry and in the 60's the rule one-car-for-every-family was really like bread and butter. In addition my primary toys are models of racing cars and for some time I stomped on the go-kart powered by pedal. That kid has gone forever but a day-by-day driver is always on the road. He's been transporting women to parties, friends to venues, and children to school. I have become anyway a great regular driver, the kind you find in a classic race of endurance such as the 24 Hours of LeMans (just where the cars went into the myth). No crush experienced in 40 years of driving under rain, snow, heat, or fog. Let me say: maybe the fortune helps the excellent ones! And a skilled driver always prefers to lead the car equipped with Pirelli tires, because "power is nothing without control!" The long P stands for patience too: oh driver, be patient... This thought belongs to all passengers even though they don't say a word about the rubber train under them.
Now you know how we have been going steady for sure.

 [ballpoint pen]

(My) Motherfuckin' Brands pt.I

First synonymous with ballpoint pen to many people around the world, #Bic  is still a global brand, whose plusses are low in price and reliable writing. During the years this French business has diversified its production but always respectful of its own 'philosophy' and kept on manufacturing humble but essential products, i.e. razor and lighter as cheap as ready-to-use-and-throw-away. But for me the pen is mightier than sword, indeed I prefer putting Bic on paper.
Have you ever consumed all of the Bic pen before someone stole it? Have you ever felt regret about a lost bic? Say NO—as Noblesse Oblige.
The story so far. Almost a commodity if you think of your bic comparing it with other classic writing pens. Don't let me be misunderstood yet because I remember—once upon a time—when I had bought a gift for my godchild in order to introduce him to the drawing. Fine, I had choosen for him a 12-piece coloring crayons box marked Bic Kids Evolution. It's a triangular wood-free pencil that offers great performance despite the irregular use made of a pencil by the children. That is ultra resistant, easy grip and last but not least no splinters from a piece of colored material that could usually end up in the mouth of a kid. Good choice? Say YES, Dad!
From parents to kids, that's the way a brand's positivity goes on.

 [hard times]

World Poetry Day

Inspired by the quarantine today I recollect this 3-haiku #Poem !
a small crowd gathered
around the harsh post office
others were police.

too much contagious
for polite transmission, damn!
my hands itch to touch.

nightclubs closed as were
cinemas and theaters
crusty old soldiers.

PS. Would you be the first to recite those lines by heart?


Brand Activism

We Inter-fans are incapable of passing twenty-four hours without her! Every day the social media offer us something to remember or celebrate about this football club 112-old-story. What exactly? For example, a famous player's debut, a legendary match, the winning final of an international cup, a goal scored in a spectacular manner, the mourning for an unforgotten coach. Every day. Recently—just in March—FC Inter has been taking more social than sporting initiatives since the Covid-19 has interrupted the entertainments and sports in Italy. Some matches have been played on but without a live audience, indeed called with "closed doors". So the FC Inter management has turned to #Brand Activism . To conceal the general disappointment of giving up the sporting side and the temporary farewell to the fans, the president Steven Zhang gets involved in activism to back up the city of Milan in the game struggling with a virus. First he's speaking at the FT "Business of Football Summit" about the measures that have been put in place in China and the new ones introduced these days by the Italian government aiming to the public health. Secondly he's announcing the donation of 100,000 euro to the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "L. Sacco" of Milan. FC Inter feel the duty to support that hospital as the contribution to the welfare of their local community. Inter-Activism: for the fans will start to feel at ease again.

PS. Happy Birthday Inter!

 #Made in Italy

Italian Sounding

Do you know what #Italian Sounding  mean? For sure it's not referring to the Italian traditional music—see previous post. The term has much to do with marketing, packaging and labelling of food products made in Italy. The consumers should be aware of the consequences caused by Italian Sounding as bad practice and unfair competition, both inland and abroad, that is the good cause aiming to protect Italian excellence in food and beverages. And yet there is anoher "sounding" to be taken seriously into consideration. Let's read some lines from a UN report on the agricultural job market...

"The Italian food system is considered sophisticated to the point of straining Italian workers and farmers: despite a GDP estimated at 2.84 trillion dollars, world-class innovative companies, modern production capacities, small farmers are exploited in Italy (...) As a developed country and the third largest economy in Europe, these levels of poverty and food insecurity in Italy are unacceptable. The Italian government should understand that food charity is not to be confused with the right to food".

PS. How does it sound like? Source: Radical Party newsletter #62 (Feb. 2020).

 #Made in Italy

Bella Ciao

The yearly Italian song festival shut up shop. It has been traditionally held in February. Its sound effects are lasting on air for months, sometimes for years, rarely forever... But no winning song from that contest could obscure the fame of #Bella Ciao , an Italian noteworthy melody that has become an international hymn for many generations in riot—on the other hand a song written by unknown authors. Among the numerous versions of Bella Ciao I have chosen (and retweeted today) a cover made of it by Goran Bregovic´ & The Wedding and Funeral Orchestra. The related YouTube video shows how much his arrangement was very involving the audience in that tune: it starts like this!

Una mattina mi son svegliata
O bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
Una mattina mi son svegliata
E ho trovato l'invasor

PS. Meanwhile Goran Bregovic´ did appear on dmlr.org in a previous magazine called S.O.S..


Den lille Havfrue

A long time has passed since I met #TheLittleMermaid  (Den lille Havfrue), made by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen in 1913, and commonly considered the trade-mark of the tourism of Copenhagen. I easily found The Littel Mermaid at the harbour, she was glancing at the visitors. Now I have written the following micro poetry while thinking of this sculpture's story—in 1964 The Little Mermaid was decapitated by an unknown culprit!

sitting on her stone
a little mermaid lost the head
more loved than ever.

PS. Haiku as a virtual Valentine's card.


Ars Brevis

I stumbled across the Grook—an ultrashort poetic form—thanks to the "Tourist" brochure when I was visiting Denmark, so I have to write in the past tense! That pubblication had gone to press with an article by Piet Hein titled "Why Danish Design?" at page 47. To conclude his article Hein let the poet have the last word... writing a grook about the Denmark's country size, so small if seen from foreign land but so big if seen from the inside eyes. Later I would appreciate that Piet Hein was scientist turned writer, inventor and poet into the bargain. Main topic: "the compatibility of seemingly incompatible opposites; the world of science and the human world, nations, ideologies, the rectangular and the circular trends in the patterns of civilization, between which latter two he found exact mediators in his "superellipses" (source: "Tourist" brochure, 1988). Recently I noticed there is a website dedicated to him, #www.piethein.com , so if you like to know more about Piet Hein, from his parents to the sculptures and grooks, just visit it!
PS. As for the poet inside me go to Twitter.com/donro59.


Groucho retweeted

These days the social people crowded on Twitter have been writing about the news of Emoji 13.0. Among those short messages I have kept in mind two statements with regards to #GrouchoMarx ! One reads: "There is now a Groucho Marx emoji. Very cool". Another posted: "New emojis of 2020. I love the Groucho Marx one because the kids of today won't know who that is". So I verified the fact is true, since 117 new emojis have been approved. And one of these new emojis (Emojipedia.org/disguised-face) recalls the artist formerly known as Groucho, but Julius Marx for real. By the way I should add the fact that on this website I paid a little but sincere tribute to Groucho as you can read on that magazine written in 2000. Twenty years ago, sob!
PS. Shalom.


Viral Year?

The New Lunar Year (of the Rat) begins with a sanitary emergency rather than with some wonderful fireworks.
How many people have been infected in Wuhan, China? 10,000 or 80,000, maybe 200,000! The number of many human beings submitted positively through a virus test don't equate with the cipher of the estimated infected people. And this time predictions, estimates, models, statistics are a matter for the Journal of Medicine, not the Journal of Marketing. In any case of seriousness in present or future days, HAPPY NEW LUNAR YEAR! So far so viral.



The DMLR Guide has been updated as usual. The list is now hosting a prime group of Chinese websites according to the importance of that Asian hauling economy!
Alibaba.com represents an e-commerce hub for B2B and B2C purposes—if you had read the page titled CHUAN... well, it greatly contributes to the promotion of the Chinese SMEs worldwide.
Shenyun.com presents the performances of several artists but probably affects the fact that many Chinese have been living and working outside the mainland China, so they like to preserve local tradition and history eventually cancelled by the Cultural Revolution.
Amityfoundation.org belongs to the non-profit sector and operates beside foreign organizations to support good actions by providing cultural, social and educational services for people in difficulty.
People.cn is simply the soft core of the People's Republic thus expressing many official news created to detect the living standards of the whole China, including day-to-day shots from the rural provinces and natural environment, so you don't miss it!

P.S. The complete reiew of websites is available at DMLR Guide.


Back to... Diary

The cover of the 2020 Weekly Diary reads "Live life in full bloom". It's a 7-euro pocket notebook distributed by Legami that in Italian means something like "bonds" or "bind me!" that depends on which vocal one puts the accent on. Tradition wants that I open the diary one of the first days of the year, take my favorite ballpoint pen and finally write the first entry. Usually it falls in on the personal data page where it's required to enter clearly your first name, family name, home address, business address, e-mail, numbers of identity card, passport, driving license, bank account, and so on. All those lines are not necessarily completed but somehow this diary forces me to go over myself without uncertainty about who I am for the new year. This time the personal page ends with the in-case-of-accident-please-notify line, where I wrote "never to hutter a word".
P.S. Since many posts on this blog start from the notes I'm writing daily on the diary, as business address I filled in with my web domain www.dmlr.org.


Once upon a time in China

On the verge of writing a brand new magazine for the Gold series, I have embarked on the case history of China—not so much on the business side but its plain history. Well, if you would like to discover Huang-kuo (Once upon a time in China) just click here.


Two Search Engines

I like to revamp some very old pages or slices of my own website {www.dmlr.org. This time I come up with the archive or index first published in 2002 and newly muted just now. To keep anyone updated or interested in visiting www.dmlr.org—even though I can't ignore its life cycle—I have set up the index sorting out the original articles I wrote from 2009 to 2019. Eleven years restored in a scarce space. One more thought on the archive: it consists of a double list going into Italian and English text as option for the reader. It's worth reading Donro19 to recover articles, magazines and posts, with or without translation. Otherwise just type in the search-box down here any keyword terms or phrases to optimize your own time on this website!

search tips advanced search
by freefind

 ©2019-2020 Roberto Dondi -- dmlr.org(sm)


B-SIDE pt.II | #S T A Y T U N E D ! DMLR 1997-2017 | BLOG_IT