... in branding

The intriguingly strange motor cycle product names of Pakistan

25 Jul 2016 | 128 words | branding lahore motorcycles pakistan travel

One of the most intriguing things that i noticed during my short visit to Lahore, Pakistan last week were the product names for the local motor cycles. In Lahore the Honda 70 (and its various knock-offs from local brands) is a near ubiquitous motor cycle that seems to be the primary means of transport for the cities less affluent inhabitants. At some point, while walking through the old city i noticed that the product name of the Honda is Cash Forever 70 (or CD70). As it turns out all of the knock-off versions als have cash-themed names. Cash Forever (Road Prince), Hot Cash (BMC) and Urgent Sale (United):

Cash Deposit

Cash Forever

Hot Cash

Urgent Sale

BMC gets extra points for appropriating the BMW logo for their brand.

Imagination of desperation (3): cloned vehicles

27 Jan 2008 | 217 words | border migration imagination branding

Not sure if all of them are used to get persons across the US/mexican border, but ABC news has a little item (‘Fake FedEx trucks, when Drugs absolutely have to get there‘) on what they call ‘cloned vehicles’:

Savvy criminals are using some of the country’s most credible logos, including FedEx, Wal-Mart, DirecTV and the U.S. Border Patrol, to create fake trucks to smuggle drugs, money and illegal aliens across the border, according to a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Termed “cloned” vehicles, the report also warns that terrorists could use the same fake trucks to gain access to secure areas with hidden weapons.

The report says criminals have been able to easily obtain the necessary vinyl logo markings and signs for $6,000 or less. Authorities say “cosmetically cloned commercial vehicles are not illegal.”

A fake U.S. Border Patrol van was found to be carrying 31 illegal aliens in Casa Grande, Ariz. An alert agent recognized that the “H” in the van’s serial number is a letter used only on U.S. Border Patrol Jeep Wranglers. It should have been a “P.”

Unfortunately the photos provided with the article are of inferior quality so i wont display them here. Check out the fake fedex truck and the fake border patrol truck on the ABCnews website.

EU also sponsors trash bins

20 Jul 2007 | 239 words | development lebanon european union branding

I had noticed the questionable priorities of the EUs ‘reconstruction’ efforts in south lebanon when I was down there in January. Now bech over at remarkz confirms (the rest of his post is pretty interesting as well) that there indeed some unusually incompetent people at work for the EU in south Lebanon: not only do they waste their money on street lighting, they also seem to sponsor all the trash bins:

The Iranians make themselves visible all right from billboards in villages they financed reconstruction efforts, to stickers on trucks and any piece of machinery used to that effect. Qatar has a different way of doing things: Only one or two huge billboards in the entire south with the ruling prince on it and an “I love you” type of note from Qatar. The process of naming here is crucial it creates political clout by referencing help. It is not just aid, it is aid from this or that party. Of course in can border the ridicule: The European Union for example has a sticker on each trash bin you can find in the south. But Winston Smith can tell you more about all that.

Makes you hope that they are not using the uninspiring European flag but that they at least have the decency to use stickers with the funky new logo of the Portuguese EU presidency. that would be esthetically much more pleasing if you ask me…

Coming soon: the energy dictator

11 Mar 2007 | 121 words | branding amsterdam climate cange

No, not Angela Merkel and or Vladimir Putin but a ‘mini supermarket & giftshop’ on the Prinzengracht in Amsterdam:

Not sure what to make of the name. My guess would be that the whole global warming/climate change/energy conservation hype of the last couple of month is finally showing some effects in real life and this is a sign of the the times to come. However the turkish contractor who was applying the lettering to the windows of the shop today (apparently the shop is going to open next week) attributed the ‘crazy name’ to a combination of the facts that the shopkeeper is Surinamese (implying that dictators are positive role models over there) and that the shop would sell energy drinks.

I love life...

06 Jan 2007 | 215 words | beirut lebanon politics branding dead people

Is the PR campaign by the march 14 camp against the ongoing demonstration by the opposition in downtown Beirut. They argue that the ongoing protests are strangling Lebanon’s economy to death and because of that those who love life should rally behind them (the slogan also is a reference to the martyrdom culture entertained by Hezbollah). These days large parts of the city are covered with i love life stickers (in arabic, english and french) and there are i love life x-mas trees at random locations. This afternoon in cafe De Prague in Hamra, someone had this cigarette box:

The sticker on the left reads i love life in arabic and the text on the main part (كلنا للوطن - we are all for/to the nation) are the first two words of the national anthem. Makes a nice contrast with the rest of the worlds obsession to put warning labels on cigarette boxes.

Of course this focus on loving of life does not mean that the good old Beirut tradition of sticking portraits of dead people to the walls has suddenly disappeared. People simply started to combine their admiration for life and for the dead:

In this case the dead man is Pierre Gemayel, the former industry minister, assassinated on the 21st of november 2006.

Terror soap...

19 Oct 2006 | 27 words | terrorism consumerism branding

Too sweet! wish i could buy this here in the Netherlands, but apparently this brand is available in costa rica only…

Photo by skot via boing boing

Toilet soccer

01 Feb 2006 | 220 words | netherlands soccer branding amsterdam

One of the the most notable achievements of the Dutch in recent history has been the introduction of targeting aids in the men’s rooms in public toilets. The whole thing seems to originate from Amsterdams schiphol airport (having such a fine airport makes living in Amsterdam much more bearable than it would be otherwise). It seems that having a fly depicted in the bowl of a pissoir significantly reduces the amount of misdirected urine in such places (which is a good thing).

Another remarkable trait of dutch society is how closely Heineken has managed to associate itself with a) queens day and b) the national soccer selection without actually sponsoring neither of them. They have done this by launching high profile give-away actions in the run-up to queens day and important games of the national soccer team.

Now it looks like that the marketing geniuses at Heineken have started to gear-up for this years soccer world cup. Tonight i have come across a soccer-themed orange urinoir mat (the plastic inlay that is supposed to keep cigarette butts out of the water pipe) in a Heineken equipped Thai restaurant on Zeedijk in Amsterdam:

Seems like I have again underestimated the inventiveness (utter stupidity?) of the human mind. Hope i will make it through this summer without developing a serious drug addiction…

meanwhile... is the personal weblog of Paul Keller. I am currently policy director at Open Future and President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. This weblog is largely inactive but contains an archive of posts (mixing both work and personal) going back to 2005.

I also maintain a collection of cards from African mediums (which is the reason for the domain name), a collection of photos on flickr and a website collecting my professional writings and appearances.

Other things that i have made online: