What makes something ‘cool’? When I was working for Mary Quant in the 1970s, cool was hot pants, shag carpets and waterbeds; now its food trucks, craft beer and pop-up stores. With every generation what’s cool get redefined, but do the characteristics of cool stay fundamentally the same throughout the years? This is a question that Ilan Dar-Nimrod and Ian Hansen asked when they were students at the University of British Columbia. More specifically, Dar-Nimrod thought Steve Buscemi was cool and Hansen just couldn’t see it. This conversation led them to conduct a study on perceptions of ‘cool’. What’s interesting from their findings is that ‘cool’ has moved from a counter-culture symbolized by icons like James Dean, to traits of being personally competent, successful and pro-social. What we at Saatchi & Saatchi call being True Blue.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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