Category Archives: luxury

Smart Thinking. Beautiful Work.

I recently visited Leagas Delaney while teaching in London. Smart thinking creates beautiful work is at the heart of their work.

We learned about luxury branding from Britain’s top independent advertising agency. Taking a deep dive into two cases, Patek Philippe and Glenfiddich, our presenters pealed back the layers from problem, to insight, to ideas, to results. And what amazing results there were.

A fifteen-year relationship with Patek Philippe speaks volumes about the power of agency/client relationships. Across time the Patek Philippe brand has stood for enduring values and campaign after campaign expresses these values with beautiful work.

Glenfiddich, a brand with a long history rooting in a pioneering spirit reflects the power of ideas. Leagas Delaney’s work reinvented the codes of the whiskey category, while sustaining the equity for the brand with smart thinking.

Smart and beautiful.



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Filed under brands, culture, luxury, tradition

1000 MIGLIA – the tradition continues

Mille Miglia is a luxury branders dream partner with a tradition rich in Italian and racing history, a global following, and a website populated with Italy’s ultimate luxury brands.

Mille Miglia established by the Brescia Automobile Club in 1927 evolved out of a racing rivalry between Brescia and Milan. At the time, the club had significant political influence because of board members with ties to the ruling national Fascist Party. At its origin the race was elite, with only marginal benefits for the general population – improvement of roads.

Early organizers understood the need for publicity and turned to an influential sports writer for the Gazzette dello Sport. With his help, and in an effort to flatter the government in Rome, the race was designed to begin in Brescia and end in Rome. The symbolic seeds of luxury and prowess were well sown and their efforts were immensely successful. For thirty year, from 1927-1957, Mille Miglia was the ultimate auto race successfully competing with the French Grand Prix and building a worldwide following.

However, in 1957 a tragic accident in the village of Guidizzolo killed five spectators and signaled the end of competitive racing in the Mille Miglia. Then, in 1977 Mille Miglia was revived as a historic race with the addition of antique cars parading along the original roadways across three days. Since then the race has come to symbolize the rich history of Italian culture, calling citizens into the streets to celebrate.

Today the elite tradition lives on, though reaching far beyond those who drive the coveted luxury Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati, and Porsche cars that pass by. In the finest of Italian tradition people fill the streets, sit in cafes to “take a coffee,” or pose as street performers. Above the streets fly old (horizontal stripes) and new (vertical stripes) Italian flags (the significance of which is the subject of a future post). And red remains the symbolic color of luxury and prowess – the most coveted color car a photographer can capture as it slides past on its way to Rome. Last Sunday, as I stood on Via Emilia, having just captured what I thought to be a wonderful photograph of a yellow car with its driver waving from the window, an Italian friend said to me, “Oh no, you must have a red one.”

Only one question remains – why is the distance measured with the, oh so American, mile? According to a charming story on official website one of the original Mille Miglia creators remarked that as the Romans measured distance in miles, they would simply follow Roman tradition.

Tradition is the essence of Italian life.

All photographs copyright: Jean Grow

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Filed under brands, codes, culture, insight, luxury, tradition