Brands and the City, Part #2

Eat the city, drink the city, wear the city. Is it possible? With brands, there’s nothing beyond the bound of reality. The second part of our Brands and the City review is championing brand’s editions dedicated to metropolitan areas and smaller locations around the globe. Vodka, soft drinks, travel guides from luxury makers, burgers, accessories, coffee products, sneakers and a range of other goods, which pay tribute to various destinations, are now in the spotlight.

Absolut has the made the greatest contribution to the collection of urban-inspired products. The Pernod Ricard’s brand has released a bunch of editions as tribute to cities around the globe (primarily, American ones), with the bottle designs and flavours highlighting the area’s nature and style. So, far, the geographical collection of the brand includes U.S.-related Absolut Brooklyn (the latest product in the range), Absolut Boston, Absolut Los Angeles, Absolut New Orleans, as well as Absolut Vancouver (as homage to Canada). The ‘Absolut Cities’ campaign features both limited-edition vodkas and imagery dedicated to the biggest cities of the world (Istanbul, Sydney, St. Petersburg, London, and Vienna to name a few).

Coca-Cola‘s Fanta also celebrates urban settings with a special range. Fanta Japan launched a series of fizzy drinks, which taste and the vibrant label design was inspired by different locations: two of them, Fanta LA and Fanta New York, are dedicated to cities, and the rest products in the line pay tribute to countries, Italy and New Zealand.

The iconic American company, McDonald’s, honoured its U.S. cities with the ‘Stars of America’ burger range, which was launched in Germany-speaking counties and Spain. The global fast-food chain rolled out the campaign in Austria and Germany, promoting its purely American burgers such as New York Classic, Big Texas Bacon, Manhattan Grilled Chicken, LA Beef Barbecue and more.

Nike, being one of the biggest fans of the urban culture, last summer released a series of sneakers, ‘embodying the spirit’ of five NYC boroughs—Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem, and Staten Island. The collection of the shoes (each version of a different colour), was presented as part of the 1LOVE campaign, which was dedicated to the Big Apple and street sport.

Image: Sneaker News

adidas Originals is another sportswear brand, which has created an broad portfolio of products celebrating cities. The range of colourful sneakers relevant to cities across the globe include the footwear dedicated to London, Stockholm, Berlin, Birmingham, Oslo, Toronto, Tokyo, Paris, Cardiff, Manchester, Dublin and more.

Image: Hypebeast

In August 2010, Starbucks launched a line of ultra-premium, single-origin coffees called ‘Starbucks Reserve,’ which were launched in the key markets across the United States. The collection, celebrating exotic destinations around the planet, was launched with Galápagos San Cristóbal coffee on August 31—now, consumers also can purchase Organic Peru Tingo Maria, Colombia Asoapia, and El Salvador Montecarlos Estate Pacamara from the company’s online store. Being not purely ‘city’ edition, it still pays tribute to geographical locations and can be added to our list by right. Plus, it was presented only in select stores of the biggest cities across the country—New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Miami (consumers can also buy the product from the online store, as stated above).

Image: Starbucks

The city theme was explored by another coffee brand, Nespresso, which presented two coffee machines that feature silhouettes of Paris and New York buildings. To support the launch, last spring the brand kicked off a competition, encouraging people from all over the world to photograph the places that best characterize their favourite cities.

While the brands above created products which celebrated various locations with flavor and visual elements, Bond No. 9 dedicated itself to just one city, New York, and its scents. So far, the fragrance producer, which round logo features the NYC abbreviation in the center, created the High Line, Washington Square, Astor Place, Brooklyn, Lexington Avenue, Cooper Square areas editions to name a few as well as fragrance created in honour of the Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue iconic retail landmarks.

Louis Vuitton pays tribute to major metropolitan locations by presenting city guides to people who love to travel. Starting 1998, the brand, which signature bags and suitcases have been an epitome of comfort travelling for decades, also releases city guides and postcards celebrating world cities. The brochures detail the best of most visited cities around the globe and reveal the secrets of this fabulous metropolises (by providing addresses of ‘must see’ places). Last year, the brand also presented three slow-motion educational videos revealing secrets of Berlin, Paris and New York.

Image: Luxuo

The city trend was also employed by another fashion icon, Dior, which created a four-part saga to promote its Dior Lady bag and iconic colours of the house—red, grey, blue, and black. In four stories, each filmed by its own director, award-winning French actress Marion Cotillard, every time takes up a new role in a new city. David Lynch directed ‘Lady Blue Shanghai,’ Olivier Dahan had his ‘The Lady Noire Affair,’ in New York, Jonas Akerlund showed ‘Lady Rouge’ in Paris and John Cameron Mitchell’s short-film ‘Lady Grey’ comes as dedication to London. The product doesn’t feature the city emblems or anything else reminding about the city, but still it connects the piece with these metropolitan areas through colour they represent.