Friday, February 25

You Always Remember Your First

The students in my NYU class came from such a diverse background of experiences and cultures -- it was fascinating to hear all of their perspectives.

In this, the final post this week dedicated to my marketing class, one of the students writes about her very first brand experience, and how it still sticks with her today. I'm sure all of us can remember our first meaningful brand experience.

What's your experience, Simonetta? Jim.

I can still remember the first time. How could my first brand experience still be so strong and stuck in my mind after decades?!?

I was only 6 years old, and probably watching some cartoon on television. When the commercial started, there was a cute little cat ... "Dove c' e Barilla c' e casa," said the tagline ... "Where there is Barilla there is home".

As soon as I heard it, I was grasping for the meaning. What did this stand for? No Barilla, no home?

Such a stupid idea, I thought, my house was a home even without Barilla.

"We don't have Barilla, Mum, do we?" I asked. "Go see it," she replied.

So I went climbing up on a chair in the kitchen to open the pantry. Speechless. It was true, there was Barilla in my house!

In my mind as a little girl, from that moment on, Barilla was always in any real home. And Barilla has never strayed from this message. It's a brand for families, for people who believe that families matters. People who cook and eat together in a genuine way. The brand experience has been consistent all these years.

For me, Barilla is an essential part of a home. There may be better quality pasta available, however no brand is like Barilla because of the feeling it gives me. Even today, no matter where I am, I always search for Barilla in every supermarket. Whenever I see it, I buy it so that I can have a piece of my Italian home even away from home.

- Simonetta Tortelli, NYU Student


  1. I have been trying and trying to think of my first brand experience. You are going to laugh (or maybe you are too young to remember), but I think it was Tab. The soft drink. Pre-cursor to Diet Coke. :) Jim.

  2. Lorna Doone cookies. When I was a kid (7 or 8 years old) I would wake up with my dad at 6 am and we'd have coffee and Lorna Doones. Of course we'd dunk them.

  3. In elementary school I had to wear a uniform (blue v-neck sweater, white polo shirt and slacks. I remember a couple of “little influencers” in my second or maybe third grade class. They wore the same white polo shirts, but with the coolest little green crocodile logo on them. Sure enough I bugged my parents and eventually they got me a shirt with the little green crocodile (which kept changing colors as I rolled in the mud and my mom kept bleaching the shirt to make me “presentable” in uniform). Funny, thing is that I don’t think I knew the brand name, but I recognized the crocodile. Trends came, left, and are back in again; only this time I actually know the crocodile stands for. I might look like a “prep” wearing a Lacoste shirt, but I still would love to go roll around in the mud with one on. I guess it says a lot about strategy and growing a generation of consumers.

  4. And Jim, I also remeber that Simonetta said that there was a Barilla's jingle that everybody in Italy could play on the piano. This history remember me the most famous local softdrink in Brazil, called GuaranĂ¡. A long time ago, they made 2 great jingles for commercial TV, one with pop corn and another with pizza. So, after that, everybody automatically started to eat pop corn or pizza with GuaranĂ¡. It was incredible the power of this campaign. Some brands, more than sell, they know how to create unique moments!

    Fabio Y. Ito
    NYU Student

  5. Yes - creating these moments are what builds an emotional connection to brands ghat cause us to become loyal. Love these examples. Jim.