Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Commercial: Liverpool brand stories 4


Superlambanana
Originally uploaded by SgtRock333
Animal magic

Animals have been used as symbols of cities and brands since dot. (Indeed, branding started as a way of marking animals.) But what happens if a city, and thereby its brand, has two animals in competition?

Since 1998, Liverpool hasn't just had it's liver bird spreading its wings over the city. Popping up on various street corners has been the Superlambanana, a rather ungodly creature that appears to be at once both perennially startled and inert.

Originally the creation of artist Taro Chiezo, the creature has become (after some initial skepticism) a symbolic part of the city re-establishing itself as a cultural hub. It takes on various different forms and identities (this one was atop the Royal Court Theatre), and while not yet taking on Cow Parade proportions, it seems to be a welcome addition.

Traditional brand theory would of course suggest, at this point, that the lamb should have been roasted at birth, that nothing should come in front of the liver bird (which, as one guide book put it, was meant to be an eagle and now resembles a 'mutant cormorant').

But as another draw to the city, Superlambanana has its uses, and shows that not only can a variety of metropolitan symbols work together, but that fruit, mammal and bird can co-exist peacefully.

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