Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: December 2010

When I started writing this post, I found many fragrance commercials on Youtube – enough to put in a second post.  In case you are wondering why I am writing about this topic, the following is an excerpt from one of my earlier posts:

I am always curious about the promotion of fragrances  – how does one convey the sensation of one sense (smell) by other senses (sight and sound, and touch if the container is included) ?  The task is even more difficult when each perfume contains a blend of many fragrances and every person will likey have a subjective impression of each of them.  And there are so many competing brands (including the designer’s own effort from last year) already in the market.

Here are some more eye candies. A couple of the videos have to be watched on Youtube. First up are commercials by celebrities for their own brand – Britney Spears and Beyoncé.

Radiance by Britney Spears

Britney voluntarily walks into a fortune teller, looks into a crystal ball and then walks out with the line “Choose your own destiny” – why would she go into the shop in the first place ?  You would have expected her to sing in her own TV commercial but nope. The commercial started with her leaving the stage, perhaps that is a sign.

Beyoncé’s Heat is simple and effective with her doing a cover of Fever.

Mélanie Thierry (Babylon AD and other French movies) for Belle D ‘Opium – Yves Saint Laurent

Jude Law for Dior Homme Sport

Keira Knightly for Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

Charlize Theron for J’Adore

Ryan Reynolds for Hugo Boss Bottled Day

Alright, neither Sue nor I recognize this woman rolling around for Prada – Infusion D’Iris.  But it is short and catchy.

Justin Timberlake for Givenchy Play

Continuing with the theme of fragrance marketing, I saw a bunch of TV commercials just before Christmas on UK channels and noticed many pop and even movie celebrities playing the lead in these 30-45 seconds clips.  Most movie celebrities do not let their TV commercials show in US territory but make them for the rest of the world.  Yes, you can find them on Youtube – here is a sample of what I saw.

Some clips look very good on full screen. My other posts on fragrance marketing: Diptyque * 34 Boulevard Saint Germain, ETRO Relent and Wonderwood by Comme de Garçon (and Paris Hilton).

Scarlet Johansson for Dolce & Gabbana – The One.

James Franco (Spiderman and sequels) for Gucci By Gucci – the soundtrack is a remake of Brian Ferry’s Slave To Love by Róisín Murphy – the original is one of my all-time favorite.

This guy is not a celebrity as far as I can tell.  I bought this at a duty free shop out of curiosity and not because of this video.

Audrey Tautou for Chanel No. 5

Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) is in this ad for Gucci Guilty for Her.  By the way, the soundtrack is a remake of “Stranglove” by Depeche mode – another one of my favs.

8 (107)

KaDeWe’s delicatessen is rumored to sell more than 1000 types of sausages. To test the rumor,  I started counting the number of price tags in each display case in my last post. Click here to see the earlier post (and more sausages… ).

The fun continues here … the bracketed number is the running total.

16 (123)

10 (133)

11 (144)    The yellowish Spanish sausages (Salchichon Iberico Bellato) do not look too appetizing and costs almost 5 euro per 100 g !

16 (160)

14 (174)   The salami studded with green peppers (Pepsala) looks interesting, only 2.78 euro/100g.

11 (185)

9 (194)   Some are tongues, not sausages !

8 (202)

I have only taken pictures of about 70% of their display cases with sausages inside, and I did not take pictures of those that were hanging.  Several pictures did not turn out well and are not included here.  I do not think they sell 1000 types of sausages all at the same time on the floor.  But easily, they have 250-plus different types on display on that day.

If you want to have a close-up look at the sausages, their names or prices, click on the photo for a higher res and bigger picture.

12 (12)

Rumors has it that KaDeWe’s delicatessen on the sixth floor carries more than 1000 types of sausages.  I did an estimate to test the rumor.  Here is the evidence, presented in two posts.

I have counted the number of price tags and put the number under each picture, along with the running total.

14 (26)

10 (36)

13 (49)

17 (66)

15 (81)

14 (95)

4 (99)

The sausage count continues in the next post. Click here to see it. Don’t miss the other 100’s types of sausages.

If you want to read the label, click on the image to get a bigger, hi-res picture.

On my last day in Berlin, it was raining and the wind harsh. Stay indoors was the advice offered by the hotel concierge.

KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) is the second largest department store in Europe, after Harrods in London.  But the food hall on the sixth floor, in my opinion, is bigger and better than Harrods.  They have numerous counters selling every gourmet item that you expect a “westerner” (it being located on the west German side of the Wall) would consume.  Several brands of champagne each has their own tasting areas on the floor. Lenôtre has an area in the middle of the floor and the woman behind the counter told me not to take pictures of their cakes.  The cake decorations are superb and people must have been copying them.

The best feature is the gourmet counters that allow you to consume the food, freshly prepared, on the spot – there were at least 20 or more specialties.  I had breakfast and lunch there.  There were counters for fried seafoods, lobsters (see below), sausages, roast chicken, Thai curry, Sushi, … and even a counter named Paul Bocuse which served food by his recipe, and Cantonese stir fry!  My lunch was at a counter that is dedicated to Bouillabaisse – one of my favorite ! And it was good.

All cleaned, waiting to be put in the pot.

I got a medium portion without the seafood platter but the bowl was packed with fish.  A cheap (by Swiss standard) and delicious lunch !

On the last evening of the meeting, the company organized a gala dinner at the Museum of Communications (Museum für Kommunikation Berlin at Leipziger Straße 16).  The museum is beautiful but the content is really suitable for family with children.

We had the whole museum to ourselves.  We roamed leisurely champagne in hand, explored and played with some of the interactive exhibits.

It has a four-storey high atrium and a tron-like ceiling, surrounded by columns, pedestals, and angels.

Above one of the areas where drinks are served is a suspended and deconstructed horse-drawn carriage.

Damien Hurst’s dissected horse would fit in well here.

Under the arches are selected iconic words in German or English in neon.  Macht, ziel, on, off, fake, news, code, …

Touch, Talk.

Food was good especially because it was catered.  But every dish has a bit of foam in it – I guess that is the trend.  For entertainment, a band was booked to play 1920’s music and there were performances by cabaret singers and dancers.  It was fun but I think cabaret is best viewed in a dark, smoke-filled, and more intimate venue.

After dinner, we were bus-ed to Felix, near the Brandenburg gate – apparently one of the top nightclub in town – we had our own VIP area with free drinks – overall great space with balconies, but it was really crowded.

What a way to close the meeting !

We had a private group dinner at a dining room/restaurant (“Dachgarten”) on the roof of the Deutschen Bundestag (German parliament building, formerly known as the Reichstag).  The location is truly unique; while the food is carefully prepared, it was not that special.

The original Reichstag building was built in 1890s, disused just before World War II and was abandoned after the division of Germany.  After reunification, Norman Foster renovated the building and added a glass dome.  The dome is open to the public and has a spiral ramp inside that allows visitor to walk upwards.  It is all very hi-tech – star wars death star ambience.

Not sure what this massive fin-like thing does. It looks like the back of my Aeron chair upside down.

From the top, the visitors can through an opening see the parliament chamber.  It is thus possible to see the German chancellor Angela Merkel speak at the podium.  An array of mirrors centrally suspended in the dome brings sunlight into the parliament chamber.  These features all symbolize the transparency of Germany’s democratic process to her citizens who are above the parliament.

The front of the building has a huge inscription “Dem deutschen Volke” meaning “For the German People”.  Too dark to see here.

Just before its renovation, the building was the subject of one of Christo’s art project – it was entirely, top to bottom, wrapped by white fabric. Check out the official photos and drawings of Christo’s Wrapped Reichstag on their site here.  Many pictures can also be found on Flickr.

Beside its “opulent minimalism“, another interesting thing about the Berlin Grand Hyatt is the way it provides dimmed lighting to the halls and corridors on the guest floors.  Instead of wall sconces, the light fixtures are made of a thin vertical strip of glass printed with a black and white photographic image. Each is lit from behind with a low wattage bulb resulting in a warm, slightly yellow glow.  On my floor, every image is unique and they all exude a sense of mystery with a tinge of melancholy.  The cropping of the photographs are imaginatively done.  There is something to look at on the walls of the dark corridors.  One can even use it to identify one’s room instead of a boring room number.

Inside the Reichstag

“Good morning”

No parking.


Chirp chirp

“No can do”

What are you looking at ?