The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Signs You Know You’re In Italy …

So as you all know, I recently lost my Aunt and so travelled to Italy for her funeral.

On my return back to England – now with an ability to see through the tears – I realized there were many things in Italian cultural context that really reflected some of the unique values of the place.

From the signage that appeared on the aircraft hangers at Milan airport …

[yes, a bloody aircraft hanger]

… through to the stylish [at least comparatively to the UK equivalent, on the left] of their toy ‘play people’.

There is something so effortlessly stylish over there, proven by the fact things that shouldn’t work on paper, somehow do.

Now many would say that is the power of confidence, but I think it’s more than that.

I think the beauty of the Italian culture is their ability to be comfortable with being authentic.

Of course there’s exceptions … and yes, I’m definitely being generalistic … but there’s a wonderfulness in how much people seem to believe a successful life is more about how you live rather than what you have.

Or how something makes you feel rather than what it makes someone think about you.

Which is why I find Italian beaches are the happiest beaches because the undercurrent of competitiveness and social judgement that often infiltrates other countries sand and sea just isn’t there. Instead, there feels a common spirit of ‘happy contentedness’ … where the simple act of being in a place with people you love is embraced and enjoyed by all.

And when everyone loves and respects everyone else for living with that authenticity, then things like body shape and beach fashion just don’t really come into it … because at the end of the day, you’re not trying to impress others, you’re just comfortable being yourself.

12 Comments so far
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I still can’t believe Southern Comfort let W+K make that spot. But I’m very glad they did. It remains a fantastic piece of worK. I like this post and I like how you have articulated the confidence to be authentic.

Comment by George

Didn’t wieden take this as client acceptance to do anything they wanted with southern comfort until they lost the account? I wonder if KFC and old spice end up doing the same? Then they aren’t pretending to be “premium”.

Comment by Bazza

While I admit that there has been a couple of Old Spice moments that reeked of indulgence, the reality is that’s just Wieden exploring where they can push a brand further into pop culture.

Not everything is going to be a hit – which is exactly why they hit absolutely huge when they do get it right because they don’t have to fear failure.

As for Southern Comfort, yes – they lost the biz – but it’s not for the reason you say. And besides, they went further than this with one of the greatest films ever made: SHOTOSOCO

Comment by Rob

Are you still on wiedens payroll? Wouldn’t put it past you.

Comment by Bazza

more like still blackmailing them. only reason he got a job there and stayed for so long.

Comment by andy@cynic

If you wrote this to make yourself look better about wearing birkenstocks, you failed.

Comment by Bazza

Drat … I was hoping you wouldn’t see through that.

Comment by Rob

There is no reason for birkenstocks that anyone would believe.

Comment by Bazza

except a cry for help to be murdered.

Comment by andy@cynic

That ad got far more attention in the industry than it ever did in the real world.

Possibly becaue Clacton beach is far more authentic than the Italian Riviera.

Comment by John

if they bring back alf fucking garnett, youre a dead cert. miserable fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

The beach is our comfort zone 🙂

You made me think about this beautiful work from artist photographer Tadao Cern.

Comment by Fedelodo

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