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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Ducati voted Britain's coolest brand
A Ducati motorbike
Ducati's image built on 'passion and performance'
If you are sitting at your Apple computer wearing an Alexander McQueen number and sipping an Asahi beer, you could well be the epitome of "cool".

Those three brands are among 52 identified as the coolest names in Britain.

Top 5 cool brands
Alexander McQueen
Bang & Olufsen
Agent Provocateur
Tate Gallery
Star Wars films and the cartoons The Simpsons and South Park also made it onto the list.

The catalogue of brands was drawn up by a panel of experts from advertising and marketing, along with television presenter Dermot O'Leary and DJ Carl Cox.

They decided the coolest brand of all was the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati.

Passion and performance

Marcel Knobil, chairman of the brand specialists Superbrand that organised the survey, explained why Ducati had made it to the number one spot.
Boys playing with Scalextric cars
Scalextric appeals to adults too

"They are based on something that is authentic and real and don't need to use lots of advertising to get their message across.

"Their image is built on passion and performance and those who buy their product also buy into this dream," he said.

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen took the number two spot.

The judges decided he was cool because he produced high quality clothes but "lived by his own rules".

Defining cool

The electrical brand Bang & Olufsen was third coolest brand, followed by the luxury lingerie label Agent Provocateur and the Tate Gallery.

Mr Knobil said the difficulty for companies trying to appear cool was defining its meaning.

"That is the magic of it, it is undefinable.

"If you look at cool brands they share a fusion of vision and originality," he said.

The full list

Outside the top five, these were the coolest brands chosen by the panel:
Alexander McQueen
McQueen is the "bad boy" of fashion

  • The London Eye

  • Sportswear manufacturer Adidas

  • Computer firm Apple

  • Japanese beer Asahi and Red Stripe lager

  • Beauty product firms Aveda and The Healing Garden

  • Perfumes Cacharel and Opium

  • Women's magazine Cosmopolitan, style magazine Dazed & Confused and listings magazine Time Out

  • Fashion labels Diesel, DKNY, Kangol, Hope and Glory

  • Designers Tommy Hilfiger, Vivienne Westwood, John Rocha, and Jean Paul Gaultier

  • High street chain Top Shop and fashion chain Moist and Selfridges

  • The Star Wars saga

  • Cartoons The Simpsons and South Park

  • Japanese character Hello Kitty

  • Music channel MTV

  • The airline Virgin Atlantic

  • Camera manufacturer Olympus

  • Haagen Dazs ice cream

  • Coffee machine manufacturer Gaggia

  • Goldsmiths College, London, where artists Damien Hurst and Lucian Freud studied
    Apple computers
    Computers can be cool

  • Car makers Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen Beetle and Lambretta scooters

  • London bar Denim, London private members club Home House, and nightclubs Manumission and Po Na Na

  • Restaurants Yo Sushi! and Wagamama

  • Oakley sunglasses and Tag Heuer watches

  • Scalextric and Microsoft's Xbox games console

  • Office furniture company Vitra.

Which brands do you think are missing from the list?

This debate has now closed, read a selection of your comments below.

What an odd collection of "cool" brands they chose! Most of them are what I view as trashy and downmarket. For clothes, I'd have to add Burberry, and Thomas Pink shirts. Airline: Cathay Pacific [but only Club class]. Automobiles: Bentley and Jaguar. Audio: Linn, Quad and Mission. Though I do agree on Ducati!
David Moran, Scotland/Australia

What advertising and marketing people find cool is a generally a good guide as to what's uncool.
Dave Sambrook, UK

They are soooo far behind the times! Oakley's are over and Beetles have been bettered. Cool is constantly revolving and unfortunately the panel is obviously two steps behind.
Andrew P, UK

Fifa World Cup, let's face it what else makes the whole country come to a standstill?
Amit, UK

Gavin, UK

I think Trabant should be on that list.
Ahmed, UK

The Stella Artois beer chiller
Wayne, UK

David Johnson, UK

Sony, Cartier, Roland
Jonathan Jones, UK

"Camera manufacturer Olympus" - how is that cool?
Tim, London, UK

I can't believe that the experts on cool innovative hardware, Sony, are not on this list!
Conal, Ireland

Where are the names like Oxfam and Fair Trade. Easily the coolest names around!
Bex, UK

As an Anglo-Finn, I am very surprised not to see TVR or Nokia on the list - of course I have one of each, but cool really is subjective! PS I agree about Apple, but Top Shop?!
David Wrede, Scotland

The irony is, these brands are likely to become less cool as a result of this poll - the ridiculously trendy types aren't going to want to be seen patronising brands that everyone else thinks of as cool...
Stephen, UK

Audi, who make the most stylish and beautifully made cars that most people can afford (e.g. the TT and new A4 cabriolet). Sony, who make the best and coolest TVs, and of course the PS2.
John, London, UK

Ducati is a popular and well known brand, but surely based upon the criteria used (..."They are based on something that is authentic and real and don't need to use lots of advertising to get their message across"...), "Harley Davidson" beat them hands-down. How many other companies are revered so much that people routinely get their brand tattooed on their arms?
Stuart Fishwick, UK

The new Mini. The icon reinvented. Everyone loves it....even Madonna has got one!
Toby Deane, UK

Sony's PS2 should be on the list as should Bassett wine gums, Black Rock Hens, Thornton's ice-cream and Rover Metros
Jim, UK

Coolest brand? Ben Sherman!
Mike, EU

Missing: sport shoes: PUMA
Silvia Pezzali, U.K.

Heinz tomato ketchup
Imogen, UK

Lexus cars and Rockport shoes I feel are missing. These two are discreetly desirable and they can both be used without making an elitist statement yet provide a quality feel good factor for the user.
Frank Chapman, UK

I think Smeg Fridges should be up there, very cool indeed.
Paul Rodgerson, UK

Dr Martens!
Dave Jackson, UK

Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is cool!
Charles Lancefield, UK

Euro, coolest currency around
Bernard, UK

The Gibson Les Paul....every rock and roll guitarist's favoured axe (apart from mine!).
John-Joe Reilly, London, UK

Foster-Lindburgh bar fridges, Triumph motorbikes (Steve McQueen said so!), Sony, and the Lowry.
alex, UK

And here I am viewing this with my Apple Mac G4, so I feel fairly cool, but I am eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream, not Haagen Dazs, so that probably balances my coolness out.
Matt, UK

Clothes: Boxfresh and Hennes. Shoes: Swear and Acupuncture. Gadgets: Samsung phones and laptops. Cars: TVRs and Jags. Appliances: Smeg, Smeg, Smeg, very cool. Restaurants: Nobu.
Bob, England

The Lotus Elise as long as you've got the roof off.
Hamish, UK

I think Dr Pepper is cool.
Gemma, UK

Omega Seamaster Chronometer Watch!
Nick Patel, UK

Jelly babies and Dr Who are the coolest things in the universe
Alan Leake, England

BMW M3 Levis Jeans Prada Suits
Ajit Das, UK

Where is Dyson?
Mark Freuder, London, UK

See also:

13 Aug 02 | Science/Nature
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