Audi’s first ever plug-in hybrid ..
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
We all know Lamborghini are the brand to beat when it comes to designing a car equivalent of Hannibal Lector, but since the mighty Countach in the late seventies, their cars – although still maniac serial killer machines – lost some of the Countach’s originality. Lamborghini set the bar so high, they shot themselves in the foot, as even they couldn’t create an equal with the Diablo. The world was shocked when the Countach hit the roads, but every car since has been expected to be a little crazy.
Well now Lamborghini have designed a car worthy of Countach status in design concept, originality and flare. In fact, I’m not even sure it’s a car – front on it resembles something from Battle Star Galactica.
Meet the Egoista, it’s name translated as ‘selfish’. It’s monstrous, it’s ugly, it’s anti-social, it runs on the blood from stillborn kittens… it possesses all…
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Here’s a couple of old Toyota concept cars I find rather interesting but never knew about until today.
First the 4500GT. What! That’s a Toyota? Shocking, I know. What’s even more surprising is that it’s from 1989! That’s nearly a quarter of a century ago! I still think it looks pretty modern. Unfortunately it never made it into production, instead it just showcased Toyota’s 1UZ-FE V8 engine which would then later be used in the Soarer/SC400. I still can’t get over the design. With hindsight you could that it was way ahead of its time. I can’t think of many other shooting breaks from the late 80s/early 90s. Most of the ones I’m aware of came out in recent years.
Second is the FXS Concept. The name stands for “Future eXperimental Sports car” so while this was shown in 2001, there’s still hope 12 years later. Maybe. Well, it is…
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In 1974, the John Z. DeLorean Corporation was established, and in 1975 the DeLorean Motor Company came into being. That same year, DeLorean created the Composite Technology Corporation to develop new construction materials, some of which would be used in his dream car. What would be in that dream car? DeLorean said it should be “fun to drive, safe to operate, and long-lasting.” And of course it should have super-cool gullwing doors. And what could be longer-lasting than unpainted stainless steel for the body?
Photo Credit: Paul F Aubin
Source: About.com Exotic Cars
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).
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….
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…
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…
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…
The most amazing is probably the Mini Cowley Caravan, an adorable trailer that comfortably sleeps two and comes with a twin-burner gas stove; a water tank with pump and sink; and a solar panel that charges the on-board battery, with a 230-volt connection that powers a fridge, TV and audio equipment.
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To have a vision means to look towards the future and picture it in a way that others cannot imagine. The future is always unwritten, but that doesn’t mean that it will stop some people from trying to imagine it, to capture it in the grasp of their imagination and to try to make it a better place for all of us. Martin Luther King had a vision, for instance. His words are legendary: “I have a dream!”. Unfortunately, he didn’t live enough to witness his dreams and visions coming true. Leaders of the world ought to have a vision as well; especially in these times of uncertainty we live in since the dawn of the economic crisis. Do they really have? Well, that is certainly a matter of debate!
Having a vision also involves being optimistic and creative, opposite to envisioning dystopias and disaster. The easiest thing to “predict” for the future is potential ecological disasters or other terrible things about the world we live in. And unfortunately, many people are often tempted by apocalyptic prophecies and gloomy images of an uncertain future. Just take a look on how many movies about the end of the world have been made in the last years! Too many for my taste, might I add!
The hard thing is to envision a future that will make our lives better, as it would also involve much more input of energy and good will into building it and making it happen. And just like some great historical figures managed to envision positive changes, whether these changes happened or not, there are also some others that struggle hard to make our lives better in a more modest, still important, way. Take the designers of the MINI for example; their MINI Vision that was recently presented to the world brings an image of an enjoyable and playful future to us.
Personalization is the key. The MINI Vision will offer the Driving Experience Control which will turn your MINI into a personal object of desire. The driver will have the chance to change the colors and the atmosphere of the car by simply pressing a button! Don’t tell me that you don’t remember that there was a time when we dreamt of these to happen! Pressing a button and turning everything the way you like it… Well, apparently this time has finally come and today you can simply make it happen!
If you can’t wait till MINI introduces its vision of the future of cars, there is always a MINI Cooper for sale now that will satisfy your needs and desires as you will keep an eye open towards the very near future. The future is almost here and now: a car’s interior to change at a press of a button! In the MINI Vision in particular, colors can be changed immediately depending on your mood and only. A special feature would be the “MINI Disco” floor, by the use of which you will be able to change the colors, light and forms around you. What is more, you will have the option to “play” with the car’s central display: you can choose between the classic analogue style and a futuristic 3D look. However, something tells me that most of us would have gone for the latter option, after all! Is there anyone actually that isn’t looking forward towards a 3D future? Just think of the movies; there is no going back from the revolution of the 3D, right!?
The presentation of the MINI Vision was in the form of a virtual 3D hologramme, enhancing in this way the expectations of a MINI that incorporates 3D technology. The MINI vision is certainly stands for a new identity for the car: a more and more personalized car, as a prolongation of your own self. Individuality matters not only on the way we decorate our houses and choose to dress ourselves. It matters on anything we wish to own and more or less anything we feel attached to or connected with. Till now it was quite easy to choose the color of our car; these days will be over soon, as the new generation of cars such as the MINI Vision might take us, at last, to a reality where our own cars will be that place with a disco floor and a kaleidoscope of colors, in the shades or our own dreams.
In other words, prepare yourself for the drive of your life! Each mile will bring you joy!