What I didn’t divulge previously was that we reached France via Munich in a little zippy vehicle that within 30 minutes of exiting the BMW Welt, was motoring along at speeds that occasionally reached 110 mph. Don’t look at me, I wasn’t driving. (BTW, the BMW European Delivery program and the car’s presentation to its new owners, along with a visit to the Welt and factory and museum, constitute one of the finest examples of how to sow brand loyalty I’ve ever experienced.)


But before our visit to the Welt, we spent a night in Munich and had dinner with old friends. As we were on our way to dinner, we encountered this example of how some brand names just don’t translate:



Back in the hotel room, we witnessed an even more compelling example of not only how brands may not always translate, but how their marketing as well can perplex and even sometimes horrify:



Words failed me when I first found this in the minibar and fail me still.

It’s that time of year again, and it almost passed me by. I’ll blame jet lag – we just got back from two weeks in France, and boy are my arms tired. Yeah, that one never gets old.


So yes, there was blog fodder: I also never tire of the French talent for punny shop names (as I’ve already shown you). Condrieu, in the Northern Rhone, offered up this gem:



A courant d’air is an air current; courant also means “current,” so this is a clever name for a hair salon that’s not catering to the blue-haired set.

Condrieu also offered up a zippy wine-tasting machine in a much less cleverly-named shop called La Bouteillerie, but since the thermometer was showing body temperature and the shop was climatis

é, we chose wine-tasting over getting trendy haircuts.

Anyway, I cannot believe I’ve been doing this for four years. It is, as we say in France, dingue. I am lucky that the branding world keeps providing me with ample subjects for commentary.