Aston Martin tops list of Cool Brands 2007

LONDON - Aston Martin has emerged top of the 2007 Cool Brands list, holding off competition from iPod, YouTube and Google in a top 20 dominated by digital technology and online media.

The resurgence of the James Bond franchise with 'Casino Royale' has helped Aston Martin beat Apple's iPod into second place in the list of the top 500 Cool Brands, with YouTube ranking third in the list compiled by a 2,000-member strong YouGov and CoolBrands Council panel.

The top 20 was dominated by the global online and digital brands, including Google in fifth, Sony PlayStation in sixth, Apple in seventh, Nintendo in ninth, eBay in 13th, iTunes in 19th and Amazon in 20th.

Also featuring strongly were Bang & Olufsen, which completed the top four and Virgin Atlantic in 10th. More car brands featured with Ferrari in 11th, making it second in the automotive sector, Ducati 12th, and Lamborghini 17th.

Other non-digital brands that performed well were Rolex in 14th, Tate Modern in 15th, which was also nominated as Britain's Coolest Place, Prada in 16th, and Green & Blacks in 18th -- the only traditional FMCG brand to make the top 20.

The issuers of the report said that the top 20 brands in the list were split along the lines of status symbols -- the likes of Rolex and Ferrari -- and products and services that were valued for their day to day necessity, such as Google, Amazon and YouTube.

Cool Brands said that the report indicated that "coolness" was a quality that could not be bought.

"The results show that the brands that make the top five shun advertising and marketing, preferring to let their reputation or results precede them."

The compilers said that while "coolness" was entirely subjective, consumers were judging brands on their stylishness, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness.

The judging panel included Niku Banaie, managing partner of Naked Communications, and Nicki Bidder, editor-in-chief of Dazed & Confused,

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Cool Brands Council, said: "There seems to be a real divergence between aspiration and practicality but both are deemed cool, which goes to show how the needs and desires of consumers are developing."

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