Bond car tops list of Britain's cool brands

LONDON Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:57pm EDT

The new Aston Martin DBS is seen at the Frankfurt International Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt September 11, 2007. Aston Martin nudged out Apple's iPod music player and video Web site YouTube in the 2007 list of the top 500 coolest brands in Britain from consulting firm Coolbrands. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

The new Aston Martin DBS is seen at the Frankfurt International Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt September 11, 2007. Aston Martin nudged out Apple's iPod music player and video Web site YouTube in the 2007 list of the top 500 coolest brands in Britain from consulting firm Coolbrands.

Credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A fast car with a James Bond image held onto its place atop a list of the coolest brands in Britain in a newly released survey on Thursday.

Aston Martin nudged out Apple Inc's iPod music player and video Web site YouTube in the 2007 list of the top 500 coolest brands in Britain from consulting firm Coolbrands.

Although much of the top 20 places in the list were dominated by the online, technology and gaming categories, Aston Martin's profile has been boosted by the success of the latest Bond flick "Casino Royale".

"The success of "Casino Royale" and the rekindled love affair between the British public and Bond as a result shows there is a deeply ingrained association with the man and the car in the minds of Britons," Coolbrands said in its report.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez said Aston's top place two years' running in the survey of more than 2,000 people conducted by polling firm YouGov showed that the growth of its brand was consistent and ongoing.

"Our exciting, design-led program of new models and unparalleled attention to detail has made a major impact in the world of international culture," he said in a press statement.

Apple's iPod music player was runner up to Aston Martin and its software iTunes just made it into the top 20 at 19th place. Apple, which declined to comment on its success in the list, was voted the seventh coolest brand in Britain.

YouTube, the video Web site owned by Internet company Google came third place in the survey. Google, which was the only web-based company to make it into the top 20 in 2006, placed fifth place, one up from last year.

Google officials said they welcomed the news but declined to comment officially on the ratings.

For the hippest holidays, Britons are eschewing European countries for the more exotic with Japan and Brazil heading the list of coolest international destinations.

Despite London not making the grade, many of its attractions and venues are considered among the coolest in Britain.

The Tate Modern museum is the coolest attraction and the report points to the gallery's "continually innovative program of exhibitions and installations" as a key factor behind its success.

British men are more likely than their female counterparts to perceive electrical equipment as cool, while women consider food and drink brands such as Green and Black chocolate or Ben&Jerry's ice cream as cooler.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of The CoolBrands Council said the top 20 list was a reflection of our changing needs, wants and interests.

"Some things can become cool by virtue of their necessity or prevalence in your life, like Google, or Amazon. On the other hand, the things you really want, but may know you'll never get - like a Rolex or a Ferrari - are considered just as cool."

The Coolbrands report is based on a YouGov survey of more than 2000 members of the British public and the Coolbrands Council consisting of advertising executives, journalists and fashion designers among others.

"Cool is not an easily definable formula - if it were every brand would be trying to harness and replicate that formula," said Lee Farrant, CoolBrands Council member and partner at RPM, a British marketing agency.

"It is elusive but you know it when you see it."

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