iBlog: i


Tomorrow's blog today

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I think the most extraordinary PR convention of this century is the prefix `i`. I think started this with the iMac PC, which was nice but even so the iMac still played secondary fiddle to the PC... Then when the iPod came out, IIRC, somehow the i became synonymous with the revolutionary ground breaking technology of the f(√-1), mixed with the sleek sexy design of the device.

I think `i` became a vision of the future*... Or at least a vision of a new kind of future. Tomorrow's technology today - the gratification of a demanding and wallet happy consumerist mentality. The iPhone, iPlayer, iTunes, iMax, iMan, the iRon man, iCar etc etc. These are all versions of what we all had before but just one notch better. However, as a consumer body, we didn't want `phone 2.0` or a `mp3 player de-lux`, instead `i` became the new new. The prefix of a new generation. So we became (indeed so we remain) excited by `iPhone` and `iPod`.

I think it's amazing that that simple wee letter can influence the consumer market and product perception so much. After all, it is meaningless. It's not trademarked, there are no real corporate brand values associated to it (aside from 's of course), no watchdogs governing when and by whom it can be used, no critical scrutiny only a shared idea of what `i` should entail. And still the little `i` has more power than `beta`, The Macdonald's `mac`, `[product] de lux`, `[software] 2.0`, `[Someone's name] & Sons`, brands/prefixes/redundant appendages put together.

Maybe `i` is a deliberate subconscious tempatation of the original personal pro-noun. An intentional ploy by the marketing industry. A PR new era.

Either way, I like my iPod and it feels nicer because it's not an mp3 player, and I guess that mentality (and the reliance of people's gullability to swallow it whole as I do) is what the whole `i` phenomenom is about.

*Not the pragmatic future that 1950s sci-fi envisaged with robots clunking around the house putting the washing on calling you `master` while you tan yourself with the tin foil ray gun.


  • At 11:22 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    Could this have been the first branding of i??

  • At 9:36 PM, Blogger Timothy V Reeves said…

    A classic piece of Bennage - no make that iBennage.('i' for internet I suppose)

    Oh and by the way, doesn't work either. Then world doesn't know what it's missing.


Post a Comment

<< Home