Tag Archives: branding

Kocho Yoshida: The Ultimate Symptom of a Global Female Characterisation Crisis?

We at Mediolana take a special interest in how entities from corporations to cities brand themselves, and are usually amongst the first to applaud any imaginative initiatives in this context. However, a tourist promotional flyer for the central Japanese city of Minokamo raises more questions than answers. The poster features one Kocho Yoshida, a character from the anime series No Rin – a comedy set in Minokamo’s entirely non-fictional agricultural high-school – but with one key alteration: extreme breast augmentation. The outcry at the degree of anatomical distortion is such that according to Asialyst, the Yoshida-fronted campaign has been suspended.

In retrospect (and this really should have been apparent before the poster’s promulgation), it is easy to see why this piece of artwork is inapposite, particularly for a general audience. But the Kocho Yoshida scandal serves to highlight what we at Mediolana believe to be a much, much bigger problem: the near-total dearth of compelling female characters in contemporary popular culture.

For much of the twentieth century, women were perceived through primarily aesthetic lenses; however, this did not always preclude strong characterisation. Indeed, the appearance of an arresting female on stage or screen could be the cue for a definitive performance: that sublime combination of physical beauty and technical skill. However, we then moved into an era where technical skill was abjured in favour of a short-term marketing hit: as Jonas Ridderstråle and Kjell Nordström noted in their 1999 classic Funky Business: Talent Makes Capital Dance, one cannot explain the success of the Spice Girls phenomenon with reference to its music.

More recently, some have claimed that we have entered a post-Velina age, where women are once again being valued for something other than their material properties; however, after some contemplation we remain unconvinced of advancement, and not merely because of the profusion of Ridderstråle and Nordström’s big-breasted, anorexic electronic warriors (despite her dimensions, Ms Yoshida probably does not quite fit this description).

Our somewhat uncomfortable observation is that a largely two-dimensional template for female characters is being supplanted by a new model that – although embellished with far-fetched detail – is even more shallow than its predecessor. Commissioners and creatives alike are mistaking dysfunctionality for depth. This is no peripheral issue: by consistently introducing female characters who are complex but not ultimately likeable, they are effectively doing three things: (a) killing the longevity of their creations (cf. the ephemera of Desperate Housewives, Sex in the City et al); (b) discrediting the idea of prominent female roles; and (c) pushing the media as a whole back towards an anatomy-based model, only this time without any other redeeming features. Ms Yoshida may be the perfect symbol of this epoch.

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#Education: More Than Just A Process! #Mediolana’s Q4 2015 Social Media Makeover ‘A Hit’!

With Daylight Saving Time having resoundingly ended and darkness enveloping the London skyline like so much anomie, we at Mediolana thought that now is as good a time as any to inject a little brightness into proceedings. Let us know what you think of our new look, rolled out across this company’s Wordpress, Twitter and Facebook accounts!

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The Last Summer of Fear: #Exams Season Will Never Be the Same Again!

As a stunning summer continues to unveil itself here in Mediolana’s home city of London, England, we thought this a perfect juncture to remind this blog’s ever-expanding base of followers (and the world at large) of a genuinely critical development in the domain of education. Details to come: watch – as they say – this space!

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Springing into Action: Mediolana’s Q2 2015 Social Media Header ‘An Aesthetic Treat’!

As spring 2015 cranks into gear here in gorgeous London, what better occasion to insert a little bit of colour into our social media channels? Let us know what you think of our new header, active on Twitter, WordPress and Facebook!

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Slovenia Shocker: Former Yugoslav Country ‘In Deepening Media Identity Crisis’!

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Hello…Kitty? Comics World Rocked By Stunning Revelation!

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Mediolana Blog Rebrand: Spot the Difference!

Some of our longstanding readers will by now be well aware that – at least insofar as aesthetics go – we at Mediolana can rarely be accused of standing still. Our blog – the first post of which was as recent as 1st January 2011 – looks and feels vastly different to what it began as, and its readership has evolved and grown accordingly.

But today is the first day of a small-but-important ‘nuts-and-bolts’ change: we have rebranded the blog from the partially ironic Possibly the World’s Most Interesting Blog.™ to the deeply practical (and more SEO-friendly) Study Skills. Education. Ideas. Your Future.™ This is a sign that – to use a technical term – things are afoot here in London. But what developments might surface over the coming weeks and months? Stay – as they say – tuned!

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Mirror, Mirror On the Wall: Just How Gorgeous Are We? Mediolana®’s Twitter Q1 2014 Rebranding Complete!

The more observant amongst you will doubtless have noticed a revamped kid on the social media block: Mediolana®’s official Twitter account!

This is how we now look:

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Comparisons are odious, but Coca-Cola®’s official Twitter account can be seen here:

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And Starbucks®’ effort for good measure:

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Does Mediolana®’s Twitter presence compare well to those respective world-famous purveyors of African nut-derived soft drinks and sucrose-tastic frappuccinos? Just how gorgeous are we? And just how rhetorical is the latter question?

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Twitter.com/Mediolana is Rebranding!

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 12.02.13In the cacophony of ephemera that constitutes Twitter, very few of the 500m or so registered accounts stand out as worth following. Twitter.com/Mediolana is one of them: luminaries such as Stacy Herbert (co-presenter of the internationally-syndicated Keiser Report), Naomi Wolf (author of more New York Times bestsellers than anyone sane can really stand) and Alessio Rastani (world-famous trader who is synonymous with our changing times) all subscribe to our Twitter feed.

The rebranding of this blog in January 2014 having got well underway, Twitter.com/Mediolana is now following suit. Follow us – and see the amazing changes over the coming weeks and months!

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Start Spreading the News: International Herald Tribune Says ‘I Love New York’!

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