2015 Ford Mustang Will Make its World Debut on December 5

Ford Mustang Finally Lands in Europe

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The sixth generation of Ford Mustang will be revelead on December the 5th in six different cities around the world. Ford Mustang will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014. Read More.

Seven Best Cars as Voted in the Golden Steering Wheel Awards

Seven Best Cars as Voted in the Golden Steering Wheel Awards

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If you love cars and especially the best cars available, then you must have heard already about the Golden Steering Wheel Awards. Learn about the seven best cars of the year as voted by millios of readers and experts of the field. For more, check my storify.

CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report, 2013

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CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report is an important publication that indicates and evaluates the environmental strategies of the world’s 500 biggest companies.
If you think that the fight against climate change should unite us all,

read more on this story..

The World’s Most Valuable Brands of 2013

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Interbrand, Best Global Brands of 2013

I’m pretty sure that if Steve Jobs had still been alive, the day that Interbrand released its rankings would have been a day of celebration for him. To cut a long story short, Coca Cola lost the first place on the list after 13 years, as now it is Apple that looks the world from above. Who would have thought only a few decades ago that a small technology company would have managed to overthrow what it is the most recognizable brand in the world for half a century now? I guess it would have been an almost impossible guess; however, technology nowadays is just as important as the drinks we drink (probably), since five companies managed to make it to the top ten of Interbrand’s rankings (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Intel).

Generally speaking, I don’t think that Apple’s success must be perceived as an unexpected surprise. As a matter of fact, one only has to think of how familiar we are with the company’s products in order to understand that it didn’t make it to the top… without our support! Apple’s value is estimated at $98.3 billion, while Google, which came second on Interbrand’s rankings, is worth $93.3 billion. Coca Cola fell on the third place after a long reign as the world’s most valuable brand. IBM was fourth with its value at $78 billion and finally Microsoft ended up fifth in the highly competitive race.

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Apple’s Logo

As it concerns the automotive industry, there was strong competition between Toyota, Mercedes and BMW. Toyota will enjoy for this year the 10th place on the list, with Mercedes and BMW following at the 11th and 12th places respectively. As it concerns Germany’s most recognizable car manufacturer (that is, of course, BMW), the news are definitely encouraging. 2012 was the brand’s most successful year ever and everything indicates to the fact that there are still more good news to come for BMW in the future. BMW increased its sales by 40% on the Chinese market; given the facts indicating to the huge potentiality for growth on the Chinese market (as China’s expanding middle class is growing more and more demanding), BMW is expected to do even better in the near future. In addition, China is also expected to be BMW’s biggest market for the sale of electric cars, along with the U.S., that is.

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BMW

Interbrand has been releasing its rankings since 2000. There are several factors and criteria that determine the rating of the brands that appear on Interbrand’s list. First of all, the brand in question must have a presence on at least three continents, while at the same time at least 30% of its revenues must come from outside the brand’s home region. What is more, Interbrand also takes into consideration the financial performance of the brand’s products and the brand’s influence on the customers’ desires and preferences.

One thing is for sure, if you merely look at the Interbrand’s rankings: Americans must be particularly happy, as the first five companies are all based in the U.S. No surprises here, though; the United States of America are still far ahead in innovation and technology compared to the rest of the world. As for Facebook, yet another American brand, it gained 43% during the last year, which makes it the top riser among all other brands on the list. It is currently positioned on the 52nd place. However, given these speedy rhythms of growth, next year it might climb much higher.

Google

Google

To sum this up, maybe it is not a coincidence that as I was writing this post I opened a bottle of coke. Then, I started researching on Google while using Microsoft’s technology embedded on my notebook. As for Apple, well, my iPod must be somewhere around here, as I am writing down these lines; not to mention that I cannot stop thinking of the moment my environmental-friendly BMW vehicle, that takes me anywhere I dream to go! So, here you have it: indeed, these brands are shaping out our lives! Enjoy!

Advertising Week 2013

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Advertising Week 2013
World’s premier annual gathering of marketing and communications leaders each year in New York City.

Advertising today is like the air we breathe; it’s everywhere! But, what is advertising, after all? Well, for sure it’s something profitable… and enjoyable! More than this, advertising goes together well with consumerism. Today, consumerism is an essential part of the way economy functions; moreover, it is a fundamental part of our everyday lives. Advertising came to strengthen and further promote these new realities that constitute a large part of our modern lives. You might know what they say: the best minds of our generation are working on advertising! It might sound like an exaggeration, but it certainly holds some truth; it can easily be proven after all if one decides to spend some time in front of his or her TV and catch up with some of the latest ads. Nowadays, some of them even look like short movies.

Maybe you have heard of Mad Men, one of the most discussed about TV-series of the last years. It tells the story of the pioneers of advertising back in the sixties. The whole world was changing at that time and a bunch of (m) ad men in New York were there to grasp it! Watch it if you want to have an insight on the fabulous world of advertising, as I’m sure that most of the participants of Advertising Week 2013 have already done so!

The 10th annual Advertising Week took place in New York and gathered no less than 90.000 (!) people. Almost 200 scheduled sessions were held in what it is to be considered a unique event throughout the whole year for all of those mad men out there! The main issue to be explored in these types of events is usually the same and it goes like this: what is the future of advertising? For sure, there is no one that can predict the future, but, on the other hand, everyone has his or her own ideas to share and this is what it is all about, after all.

With so many presentations and panels (the total number of speakers was 798!) it is easy to assume that a wide variety of issues were discussed. The small presence of women in the top ranks of the industry was one issue that drew much attention and in my opinion for a good reason. Speaking for myself, living in the year 2013, I would have expected that we would have managed much more in terms of equality between genders.

Moreover, CBS informed us that they are willing to focus more on video on demand services. CBS will offer 21 series on video demand this year, 8 more than the previous year. Given the fact that audiences tend to enjoy watching their favorite shows when they want and not when they’re supposed to, CBS’s particular plans make perfect sense.

The extent of the constant changing landscape of advertising was also thoroughly explored. Nowadays, to choose on which platform to run an ad can be a very much complicated decision: it led one panelist to express his nostalgia for the days when he only had to run a print ad and a radio spot!

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Mascots of all our favorite products parade to Madison Avenue.
Advertising Week 10 in New York, September 23, 2013

A fun event that accompanied the festival for yet one more year was the parade to Madison Avenue of brand characters. Sitting comfortably on their mini coopers (check on a mini cooper review to see why this is the case if you don’t believe the mascots!), familiar mascots of all our favorite products reminded us that advertising can be fun and creative. What is more, the results for the members of the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame (where consumers vote for their all time favorite brand characters and slogans) gave us the following results: StubHub Ticket Oak and the Most Interesting Man in the World along with the Nike’s famous slogan “Just Do it” and PlayStation’s “Live in your World, Play in Ours” are now officially people’s favorites!

Overall, it would take many thousands of words to summarize what has been discussed about at this prestigious event. The point is that the sky is the limit! (as always with advertising!). Since technology brings changes, many ads are now being redirected towards the vast landscape of the World Wide Web. In the given context, entrepreneurship must become the second nature for every person that wants to make it big in the world of advertising. On the other hand, remembering again the Mad Men, this must have always been the case.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2013

Pebble Beach Concours, Logo

The love for the old is something totally comprehensible. We will always like new things, buying the latest gadget fills us with happiness and pride. At the same time we will always feel nostalgic for all things old; and if not all then at least for a number of them. Old cars is the ideal example to explain our dedication to objects that were once representing the best of our efforts but nowadays are nothing more than a good memory. It is true; we can’t see many people driving around London or New York with their first cars which they bought when they entered college! In most of the times actually their first car could have been turned into piles of metal that were later recycled.

Still, some things never grow old especially when they were made with great care and represented once innovation and entrepreneurship. Vintage and antique cars are exhibited in a big number of auto shows dedicated to their everlasting charms. People are willing to spend large sums of money in order to acquire a car that has been out of production since decades, a car that seems to belong to a different era.

The Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance is probably the most prestigious motor show of antique cars. It is a charity event that manages to raise big sums of money from buyers eager to spend even a small fortune for a car that once dominated the streets but it is today almost a museum exhibit! Why is that? I would say it is probably nostalgia for the times that passed (and the cars that were once made).

Alfa Romeo 8C

Mercedes Benz 300SL

BMW 507, 1957

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Lamborghini Countach LP400, 1976

The Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance was founded in 1950 and it never stopped presenting to the world the best cars destined to charm us till… eternity (or almost!). Various new models of cars were also presented on this charitable event combining in that way the classic with the modern as I can easily assume that the guests of this automotive show must be pretty demanding. Talking about new cars, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to check on BMW’s latest models which certainly bring the best of innovation and tecnology for your pleasure and only…

 

And the winner is….

Winner of the Show: 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve

This year’s winner was the 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve, a car that certainly looks to me like the cars Hollywood stars are driving in one of those Scorsese films which are dealing with New York in the 1930’s-1950’s and so on… It looks an antique, it is an antique and finally, it used to be a…taxi in Puerto Rico! Yes, it’s true but times are changing and now its lucky owner probably has different plans for this unique and classic car.

In total, 248 cars were presented from 12 countries. Some worth mentioning were the BMW 507, the 1957 Aston Martin DBR2, the 1965 Porsche 911, the 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 SS, the 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, the 1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage or the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C2300 Touring Corto Spider among many more…

1965 Porsche 911 Coupe

1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS

Ferrari 250 GT LWB, 1958

1979 BMW Gruppe 5 Turbo

Various special events entertained the guest during the three days of this auto show and I couldn’t but have mentioned here the Jaguar cocktail party along with Playboy Magazine. Jay Leno was there too. Given the opportunity, Jaguar presented to the world its brand new Jaguar Concept 7 Project with the American television host driving himself the car. Jaguar, Playboy girls and a number of VIP’s surely made a hell of a party! And if you are wondering, yes, the Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun was there too…

BMW 507, Quite possibly the most beautiful BMW ever made.

To sum up, we have all collected things from time to time. I don’t know how it would feel to collect antique cars though; a rather expensive hobby for me, however, I totally understand what makes someone to wish desperately to buy one of these old little miracles that still survive today. We can feel nostalgic about periods of time that we lived; it happens all the time with our childhood years basically. I would only add though that occasionally we can become even more nostalgic for time periods that we haven’t lived. Trying to imagine how it could have been back in those days, we can create worlds that never existed but still bring comfort to our minds. Maybe this is the driving force after all for all of us drawn by the classic things that belong to a different, even remote, era…

Keep Calm and Hit the East Coast!

Summer Pleasures

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The summer is here at last. What matters for most us during these hot days is to find ourselves somewhere close to the sea – any sea! – or to look towards the ocean and to let ourselves free of all worries and concerns… even if it is only for a little while. Let’s face it: we are all so similar in our aim and target of being by the sea or by the ocean! Summer holidays may mean different things for each one of us, as for some summer holidays might be more important or significant than for others.

So many of us think of summer holidays in terms of lying peacefully under the hot sun, taking a dive once in a while, and also enjoying the refreshing drinks under the umbrellas! We like to swim a little bit, stare at all those beauties that are fully exposed around us – whether it is women in bikinis or the natural picturesque landscape. Others like to hit the beach bar that offers tequila shots and house music… loud music! Some like to read by the beach and others tend to become little children again by building little sandy castles on the shore along with their children.

But then again, are we all of us only relaxing and relaxed only when we go holidaying by the sea or the ocean? Well, maybe not all of us like to have it lazy and there might be some among us – summer fans – who cannot simply stop being dynamic and like to have fun in a more sporty manner. That’s why we have water sports! And by water sports I don’t necessarily mean only two racquets or one ball. By water sports I mean a number of totally different things: Jet Ski, water ski, sea biking, kitesurfing and of course, what else? Surfing itself!

To surf is to…

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… to be and to become! As it concerns “to be”, surfing is certainly a way of life, it is one might actually call lifestyle. And ‘to become’ means that one needs to make it as a surfer, which is not the easiest thing to do! To surf is to balance on the waves, to find your way to deal with the sea and its sometimes unpredictable ways… It takes a certain amount of energy, as you constantly have to try to do your best! I admit, I’m not the best man for the job, but some claim that this shouldn’t stop me – or you, or anyone else from trying! Surfing is cool, one might say… as it is all about keeping yourself cool and in good balance under the hot waves of sunshine.

Channel Islands 2013 East Coast Tour

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A fascinating event for surfers and all the fans of this sport takes place as we speak in the U.S.. Channel Islands, a prestigious surf boards manufacturer, organizes a tour along the West and East Coast of the U.S. where surfers can gather and together celebrate their passion for the sea and the sport. MINI is a proud sponsor of the East Coast Tour 2013 but this is does not come at all as a surprise. MINI has engaged itself into sport events over the years; it has a partnership with Burton snowboards and had been sponsoring all of their important events.

During the East Coast Tour MINI will also present its brand new MINIVan which is a MINI… still, it is a bit larger than usual. The MINI ClubVan is designed primarily for the commercial sector trying to bring some style in running the businesses, aiming to make a difference by simply adding on that cool and urban attitude that so many of us identify with. Instead of a car with no character, MINI invented the Van with the strong urban character to stand for the spirit that some of us might identify with. A cool thing to do, one might argue!

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Moreover, during the surfing festivities, MINI will try to convince the surfers on how useful the car can be for their purposes as well. The cars will be equipped with a surfboard roof rack for everyone who wishes to make an impressive entry to the beach along with his MINI and his/her favorite surf board of course! The East Coast Tour 2013 started at the 1st of June in Deerfield Beach, Florida and it will take place in seventeen different locations across the coast up until mid August.

So… the question remains: “to surf or not to surf”!? My answer would be “to surf” and not forget about the most important detail: to stay cool and have fun. Keep calm and surf on! In the end, it’s all about the balance and the attitude! Enjoy!

The MINI Life Ball Series

Life Ball, Vienna

What is it that matters most of all things in our lives? This is actually a question with as many answers as courageous people daring to take it as a challenge.  That because what makes the difference in our lives is doing things, is making things happen, acting for a good cause or in a positive direction. We spend our lives doing – or at least trying to do – what’s best for us and for all those persons who matter the most in our lives , such as family, friends etc. This is only natural and fair enough, one might argue.  However, it is precisely when we do something about and act in the direction of helping other peer humans – people we have never met personally and whose names we do not know, but who find themselves in deep trouble – that we, humans can be proud of our actions. This is the reason why charity matters; charity is about empathy and about making a point about the fact that we are not alone in this world.

Vienna’s Life Ball AIDS charity

The Life Ball is the biggest annual charity event in Europe in support of people with HIV or AIDS and it is also one of the world’s biggest charity events in general. It takes place in Vienna since 1993 and it is organized by the nonprofit organization AIDS LIFE, which was founded a year earlier. It is a big event that attracts much attention also due to the fact that many celebrities usually attend this charity event. Personalities such as Liza Minnelli, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Sharon Stone, and Heidi Klum among others have been attending this event over the years.  This year, notable people like the former President of the U.S. Bill Clinton, Sir Elton John, the Hollywood actors Hilary Swank and Melanie Griffith, Fergie and Barbara Eden among others showed up at the Life Ball.

Naomi Campbell, Life Ball Vienna

Linda Evangelista – Life Ball

Elton John, Life Ball Vienna

The event opens each time with a big concert and includes a variety of fashion shows and fancy events that aim to also raise funds (aside from awareness) for an issue of public importance such as the fight against HIV and AIDS. It might be true that we have managed to decrease sufficiently the victims of this horrible disease in the West, even without discovering the cure for AIDS, but elsewhere, such as in Africa, AIDS continues to be a huge threat. The number of HIV deaths in the developing world is totally disheartening. I personally hope that things will only get better in the near future…

One of Life Ball’s most prestigious shows is the fashion show, which is organized each year by a different acclaimed fashion designer. This year, it was Roberto Cavalli’s turn to present to the world his talent and part of his responsibilities was to recreate a MINI, as it happens each year. MINI has long been an official sponsor of the Life Ball charity event and this year it presented a unique MINI Paceman as Cavalli himself envisioned it! The result was… a piece of gold! Cavalli decorated the MINI with gold elements inside and out in what came to be a shining and extravagant MINI Paceman… your MINI Paceman might not end up being decorated with gold but still, it is quite hard to resist to its charms and qualities…

Life Ball 2013, MINI Paceman

Roberto und Eva Cavalli

There are thirteen special edition MINI models that have been created so far and this contributed with more than half a million Euros for funding the fight against the terrible disease.  As a matter of fact, Roberto Cavalli’s golden version of the MINI Paceman broke all records: it was auctioned for 150.000 Euros, which will, of course, be donated to support the fight against AIDS. During the previous years, designers such as Donatella Versace, Gianfranco Ferre, Testino, Franca Sozzani, the creative team of DSQUARED and Agent Provocateur (among others) have tried their best in presenting a unique and highly imaginative MINI car.

Mini designed by Katy Perry

My personal favorite is still the 2009 MINI Cabrio created by The Blonds, one of Hollywood’s fashion favorites. The design was inspired by Kate Perry herself, according to the creative team. I guess that any fashionista that respects herself/himself , but also the rather bitter issues concerning the world around us, would have been proud of such a MINI.  I wonder what next year’s edition will bring!