After Chevrolet and Ford, Champion is the next most-recognised logo on the US race motoring market. Think about that. Their spark plugs power every single vehicle on this list of Lovemarks.
It is one thing for all these vehicles themselves to be nominated - quite right, all are lovely cars and high on both Love and Respect axes for the individual owners. But their mechanics are the blue-collar servicemen who keep these machines humming, and they have a language all to themselves born of widespread respect and credibility. It is a language that crosses over seamlessly from marque to marque. High-end go-to staples like Champion, Bridgestone, Ferodo, Valvoline et cetera... these are industry absolutes with 300 kph responsibilities. They work or people die - and if that's not Love, I don't know what is.
I live and breathe rugby. In the last five years I've written half a million words about it. Rugby television coverage has attained new heights in New Zealand thanks to the Rugby Channel. All the directors, presenters, editors and cameramen have lived it and breathed it like I have, and it shows in their attention to detail, their threatrical framing of the spectacle.
I send tapes to my friends overseas, and their jaws drop. For lovers of the game, the Rugby Channel is the ultimate Lovemark. Unbefreakinglievable.
All young men have a whisky phase. Mine involved all sorts of harder, lesser whiskies, but whenever I could afford to treat myself I chose Glenlivet. It certainly is a nice word. It felt like a whisky word. Very pronounceable... Ha ha ! I loved the green glass and simple styling. The taste was a lingering, indulgent, compelling, muscular mouthful of sweet sin. There's a whisky for everyone, I suppose. I like others, but this was special and remains so.
All the champagnes should be up here, but Moet is what my wife goes for every time we break through the local sparkling wine barrier. And as a Male being unashamedly honest, I have to admit that champagne is a Lovemark because it's a bit of a panty-stripper. That sounds awful, but I haven't got enough words in which to be delicate. All married women are aware of the concept of mercy-loving... Moet is a very good tip, for any husbands who haven't gotten any lately.
Although a certain level of 'multilinguicity' can assist comprehension, especially where appreciation of the arts is concerned, most people love their own language best for a million different reasons. I would suggest that the Oxford dictionary is an extremely important document, and one that is referred to more often than almost any other.
Rightly or wrongly, western culture has a fairly proactive global policy and the English language is one of its more seductive tools. We may very well be speaking Chinese by default in 300 years, but even then the Oxford dictionary will only have grown in value.
In a dry, sunny corner of the Awatere Valley is my favourite Marlborough vineyard, Vavasour. We are spoiled for choice in this country, and somewhere between affordability, consistency, taste and labelling is the perfect fit for every wine drinker. Vavasour is mine. And theirs is a good mailing list to be on, if you don't like missing out. Every year I get their reserve Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Utter bliss. I especially love the stylised rooster on the label.
The soulful Australian cartoonist with the unique vision, a national treasure (in a country that CAN seem like a cultural boneyard to those who don't scratch below the surface). Leunig's magnificent cartoons, with their poignant expressions, whimsical joy and fragile beauty, can break your heart and make you laugh at your own absurdity at the same time, page after page. The Penguin Leunig, The Second Leunig, The Bedtime Leunig and The Travelling Leunig are four of my most treasured books.
A strange individualism was evident in Turvey's early labeling. Dreadful, it has to be said... like he did it himself with felt pens. But oh my God. Inside each bottle of Chardonnay was a unique experience, a real monster of a wine. Powerful doesn't describe it. Giddy intensity of fruit, enough to make you tilt your head back involuntarily, with a deep, booming salty echo of the stony Cape Kidnapper coastline. Absolutely amazing, year after year.
The Fuji versus Kodak battle in the 80s was a classic. They alternated, Olympics for Olympics, and they still duel it out for naming rights at every major sporting event even though digital images are the norm. The worldwide race for a digital edge involves massive transitions for film manufacturers and camera-makers. But there will always be a market. I have my grandfather's Zeiss-Icon, and will always need 35mm film, I use Fuji film.