Few things evoke the American spirit like the Brooklyn Bridge and that’s exactly what the Peretti Group, a Milan-based confectionery and gum company, thought when they created the Brooklyn chewing gum.
What pops into your mind when you see Brooklyn Gum in a supermarket? Certainly not Italy... Well, it should.
I was (almost) today years old when I found out that one of the most famous chewing gum brands that celebrates one of my favourite cities, was in fact Italian! Born in Milan, my new foster-city nonetheless!
Apparently the name was simply a marketing strategy to associate the brand with American culture.
But first, a bit of history.
After the end of World War II, Italy became entranced with American pop culture. As part of the Allied forces that helped Italy escape the Nazi occupation, US soldiers brought American chocolate, cigarettes, and chewing gum with them to Italy. That’s how American brands like Levi’s became very popular in Italy, but the demand for one product, in particular, grew exponentially: chewing gum.
That’s where Perfetti, the Milan-based Italian company got the idea to combine 2 trending topics, chewing gum and American culture, and create The Brooklyn gum. The concept behind it has proven very successfully for over 70 years, since most people believe this product comes directly from the US.
Isn’t that fascinating? It’s these kinds of ideas that tickle my brain so much I can almost hear it laughing. I compile these ideas in a very on-point newsletter cause in the end… who has time for long emails?
According to Anna Re, a Perfetti Van Melle spokeswoman, "The name and Brooklyn Bridge logo were meant to give the gum an American image. The idea has been very effective because everyone still thinks that Brooklyn [gum] is an American product."
The moral of the story is that when it comes to product launches or creating a brand from scratch - researching the market, thinking outside the box, and finding the right name for your product, are 3 key pillars of any initiative.
But that’s just me… thinking out loud.