The advertising campaign regarding this S-Type included straplines like “ The Style of The Last Generation, The Excitement of The Next” . The TV commercial featured a bygone track (just a little bit of history repeating) of Shirley Bassey as the background music. Another automobile giant, Mercedes was not outperformed by such retro positioning. The company was found to be promoting its brand by featuring an old number of Janis Joplin (“ Oh Lord, won’ t you buy me a Mercedes Benz. ” ) (Brown, 2001). Several products that are launched recently are actually imitation of old designs.
For instance the Volkswagen Beetle, Mini Cooper and Chrysler PSV are all ‘ retro’ designs that have been revived. The Volkswagen Beetle is basically an updated edition of an original design of 1933. In addition to cars there are several household appliances like toasters, fridges that are actually designed in the styles of 1950s. The success of such ‘ retro’ products depend on four A’ s which are Allegory, Arcadia, Aura and Antimony. Allegory is referred to the story and mythology that is surrounding the original design and brand. When there is a well-known history associated with the original product, an allegorical impact is likely to be created.
For instance the popularity of original beetle made it a star in the movie series. Even the film named ‘ the Italian Job’ had Mini Cooper as a star. The toasters that are designed in the style of 50s stir up memories of childhood. Arcadia is found to be mainly based on nostalgia. However, in general it reminds a non-existent past. For example, the 1950s is often considered a golden age, whereas, in reality, it was the decade of fear, of war and an atmosphere of paranoia.
Antimony is basically brand paradox. It is true that new technologies are found to be overpowering and unstoppable, but at the same time, it is also true that the complexities of new technologies are mainly responsible for creating the desire of returning to a less high tech and simpler past.
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