Thursday, July 12, 2007

Inspired by Concorde

People don’t like to see a Lovemark leaving the market. They get mad, and when they’re Inspirational Consumers, they do something about it. A classic example is the effort to give that languishing Lovemark, the Concorde, a second chance. It seems there are Concorde supporters out there who are determined to see the sound barrier-buster back in the air. This group, led by Concorde ex-pilots and ex-passengers, have called themselves Club Concorde. Club President Paul James showed true commitment back in the good old days by chartering a Concorde to take paying guests from London to the Pyramids. Now there’s a guy who knows how to combine Lovemarks! Club Concorde’s idea is focused: get the Concorde flying at least six times a year with flights limited to their own club members. Life membership is only around $20, and already 30,000 Inspirational Consumers have signed up. One person who is sure to have signed up already is Garth, who submitted a story about Concorde on “As a child I folded this plane in paper and dreamed as I watched it fly. As an adult I lived under its flight path and watched it thunder by. The ultimate in power, speed and beauty! The emotions and memories that this plane brings will remain forever, even if Concorde can no longer fly.” My thought? The man we need for this job is Richard Branson. Come on Richard… what sweet revenge for the Dirty Tricks Campaign!


Susan956 said...

It's a pleasant surprise to read the approx $20 fee to join the club as so often these sorts of activities pitch a price way beyond average. At least this cost would be a contribution I'm sure many would be willing to pay simply to support the venture even if they didn't particularly want to, or could not, take up the options.

I've read a few Lovemarks that I think are beautifully phrased. Perhaps Garth's could be used as a basis for an ad somewhere and he could receive a flight?

Don't know enough about the Branson issues to comment aside from saying that people often work to de-petal tall poppies if these flora choose to (sorry for the cliche) swing in the breeze to their own beat.

Kempton said...

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for blogging about this interesting and passionate group of Concorde lovers. Neat.

Now, it will be a sweet revenge for Richard to put a Virgin logo on the Concorde. I remember reading about the "dirty tricks" in Richard's auto-bio. And it is still fun to read it again in Wikipedia,

On second thought, with Richard's desire to go with green technologies (where all the profits of his transportation interests going to invest in green companies), I am not sure if the poor (OK, awful) gas mileage of Concorde fits that new image. Thinking about it, what I just said sounds like asking the V12 Enzo Ferrari about her gas mileage, very impolite and wrong. (smile)

Best Regards,

CONSUL said...

Concorde (from latin “Com” meaning “With” and “Cor”, meaning “Heart”): a beautiful project but an obsolete fuel consumer with a total miss of comfort (any regular plane gives you more comfort in their Economy Class than the Concorde gave you in their narrow cabin double- twin –leather-seats rows).

I flew the Concorde on the Paris-New York traject at a price of a first class 747 ticket, the food was excellent, the check-in, boarding and the trip were quick and the flying sensation incredible, but I considered it as a one-time-and-no-more experience.

For that price I prefer traveling first class and relaxed onboard a very comfortable 747 or A-340, nice meals, good service and the sensation you aren`t in full stress rushing to your next meeting..

I guess Kevin agrees with me, specially after reading his older post “Fly Buys”, where he resumes that “Time and the Plane, both Fly..”.


Sarah Cruickshank said...

I'm really getting into reading your blog Kevin, it's fascinating. If I said "detonators", would it encourage you to update us on Imagination@Lancaster? Please

Piotr Jakubowski said...

It's interesting to see that in this time where people want to increase efficiency and time management, there is no place for technology such as the Concorde. Whatever their reasons may have been, I think it was a great loss to the aviation community and it's commendable to see people such as Paul James getting on top of things. It would be great to see an updated Concorde grace our skies again.

I'd have to agree with Susan on her last comment. Richard Branson did, in fact, try to buy the fleet from BA. According to past documents, Airbus refused to provide maintenance for the aircraft. Either it was too costly, or afraid of increased competition from more Concordes flying around.

Should the aircraft ever be resurrected, I would definitely be in line for a ticket. And until Richard Branson gets on top of it, I guess I'll have to save up to go into space :)

Kevin Roberts said...

Kempton - Spot on, but what an opportunity if he can work out a way to make it hum on ethanol! This is a world of And + And!

Katie John said...

One of the most interesting things about Concorde is the huge public affection for the aircraft. Concorde is alone among the European "grands projets" in attracting this support. (Would anyone go into raptures about the Channel Tunnel - or even the Airbus A380?) In fact, Concorde escaped from her political and commercial masters to forge a unique bond of love with ordinary people - a bond that remains unbroken to this day. (It certainly is for me!)

Kevin Roberts said...

Katie John – Absolutely, the Concorde is special and you’re right about it transcending politics and commerce. What you have said got me thinking about European transport Lovemarks – I think it is all about the trains – Eurostar and The Orient Express. Same feeling, different mode. And in Japan, the Bullet train from Tokyo to Nagoya works too.

Katie John said...

I read a lovely story about Concorde, in the Evening Standard. The Standard had an interview with the explorer Benedict Allen, who had brought a shaman from (I think) South America to the UK. He showed the shaman around Greenwich - the man was politely interested but no more. But as they were travelling by boat down the river, the shaman saw Concorde flying above them and was entranced.

If Concorde can have that sort of effect on a shaman, it shows that she is not just an aeroplane - she has a powerful magic and a soul of her own.

I would like to see Concorde come back as a cultural and scientific ambassador for UNESCO, so she can share her magic with the world again.

dentalista said...

Dear Kevin - I have not given up my love for Concorde, and my friends and I are working to return one to flight. Our group, the Save Concorde Group (, is collaborating with the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace at Le Bourget, outside Paris, to renovate their Concorde. It is no longer a matter of "if" but of "when" ...

I have also put together my own website of writings and art, which tells the story of my connection with Concorde. The URL is - I hope you come and visit it some time.

Best wishes, Katie