Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brand Baby

The motorcycle in question, in better days.

A few nights ago, as part of our usual goodnight ritual, where Dear Alex and I talk about our respective days as an interlude before sleepy-time, we got to talking about my weekend, when I left Dear Alex with Grammy and George, to do some business of my own. I told Dear Alex that I had to move one of daddy's old motorcycles from the city to the country, and that it was now in the basement of our house in the country. "just like my tricycle?" yes, just like that. ( her tricycle is indeed in the basement) "can I see it?" Of course. "We'll see it in the country" I said. "What motorcycle? Can I see it?" Dear Alex asked. Oh, she wanted to see a picture of the motorcycle in question. Being the guy that I am, I had that picture, and shared it with Dear Alex - after a moment, she pointed to a small point on the gas tank, and asked "What's this?" She'd pointed out the emblem on the side of the tank of daddy's old motorcycle, the BMW roundel - "That's on Grammy's car!" What's that?" I said It's a logo. "What is it?" It means that this company made this thing. "Low-go?" "It's on Grammy's car, and your old mowterrcycle?" Now, she's really interested. "Can I see it?" I tell her that yes, she can see it, it's right there in the picture, but that my motorcycle is old and very different from Grammy's car, they just happened to have the same logo. "Low-go, like Grammy's car?" We looked at the picture for a while, and Dear Alex asked to see the "low-go" again, and once again, being the guy that I am, I just happened to have one ( literally) lying around the house - a spare to replace the old ones, should the restoration of aforementioned "old motorcycle" get that far. I took it into her room and showed it to her, with the picture - "Yes! That's it!" She held it for a while and the read the letters - "B-M-W" (she knows her letters) What's that word?" It's not a word, it's a name, a brand, a company the makes things like cars and motorcycles and things like that.
"Daddy's red-seat motorcycle has B-M-W!" ( I have an newer R-1100RS, black, with a red seat - weird color combination, but that's BMW)
The logo is right on the side of the tank, prominent in the pictures that she's seen. It completely astonished me that she'd ever noticed any of this, any of these things - Dear Alex likes the blue and white, and enjoyed my explanation of what it represented - the arc of a propeller - "Like on an airplane!" Something that she's seen pictures of, and she's proud to read the letters - B-M-W. "It's a low-go!" I can't predict what her future brand-preferences will be, but it's almost a sure bet that she'll be positively pre-disposed to the BMW brand. This has nothing to do with anything but her astonishing associative abilities, and an amazing awareness of the world around her - who knew that she was paying attention? As a graphic designer and part-time semiotician, I'm fascinated by her attachment to this mark, and can only wonder how it will develop. It occurs to me that I could simply stick my spare roundels to her tricycle, and she'd be very happy, and never know the difference. It'd probably make her insane with joy, knowing that she had BMW like daddy and Grammy.

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