How a car accident makes you grateful

The trouble with all the yellow-peril reporting that’s far more prevalent than it should be in Aotearoa is when something happens to you that may get people thinking about a stereotype.    Back in March, of course, we had one writer justifying racism toward (east) Asian tourist drivers in the Fairfax Press, when the facts […]

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Cities are, or at least should be, driving globalization

  My friend and colleague William Shepherd directed me to a piece at Quartz by Michele Acuto and Parag Khanna, on how cities are driving globalization more than nations—a theme I touched upon on this blog in March 2010. As he said, I had called it three years ago, though admittedly Acuto and Khanna have […]

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How brands fool us

The Google experience over the last week—and I can say ‘week’ because there were still a few browsers showing blocks yesterday—reminds me of how brands can be resilient.    First, I know it’s hard for most people to believe that Google is so incompetent—or even downright corrupt, when it came to its bypassing Safari users’ […]

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In the MG world, the Chinese understand Britishness better

Take a car range that’s not selling too well, and try to pull the patriotic heart-strings to see if you can move a few.    Trouble is, this ad for the MG 6 Magnette, which is running on some of our sites, is pretty awful.    It’s not convincing, for starters. Brand Germany has its […]

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Optimism marks out the Indian decade

Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication I’ve had a wonderful time in Pune and Mumbai, two cities to which I had wanted to go for some years. Like some New Agers say: be careful what you put out into the universe. It can come true.    My main reason for going was to address the […]

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With ‘Wellywood’, Wellington Airport misses the point about how to brand a city

I think this shows just how badly Wellington Airport CEO Steve Fitzgerald misses the point: Being niche and understated is cool positioning for a local audience, but to be relevant on the world tourism trail, we need to shout about why we are great.    Actually, not always. And even if we did have to […]

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Wellington needs a new brand for a new decade

A very good Vista Group luncheon (Jim, Natalie, self), where we discussed: the Gap rebrand; The Hobbit, unions and the BNZ Centre boilermakers’ strike; and my mayoral campaign.    On the first topic, we concluded that it was down to a simple cock-up. None of us could see any reason for the Gap to rebrand […]

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Paul Henry is only the tip of the redneck iceberg

Yesterday, I began watching the Indian media get hold of the Paul Henry story. Indians are, rightly, up in arms with the TV host’s insult of Chief Minister Smt. Sheila Dikshit’s name—this, plus the incident questioning whether Governor-General HE Sir Anand Satyanand was a New Zealander, shows a pattern where Henry thinks poorly of people […]

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The rise of the city brand

I don’t have the other writers’ permission to show their side of this Facebook dialogue, but we had been chatting about growing the creative clusters here in Wellington as one of my mayoral policies.    I wrote: Mostly by focusing on growing creative clusters and taking a bigger slice of the cake. So it is […]

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A new book on nation branding

I still need to get a few book reviews up, and here’s a good one to begin 2010 on. Nation Branding: Concepts and Country Perspectives, edited by Nishit Kumar and Anil Varma and published by ICFAI Press, is a very complete book giving a snapshot of the discipline’s practice in the late 2000s. There are […]

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