I’ve always been fascinated by the leap from consumer product to cultural icon — when and how this happens and, of course, when you notice it. Maybe it’s the first time you hear someone use Tivo as a verb. Or the first time you hear someone pronounce Target “Tar-zjay,” as if it were a tasty French cheese. I think another sign is when a product works its way into art, the way Andy Warhol and Campbell Soup are forever linked.
I came across another good example in this week’s New Yorker. David Friend wrote a clever back page poem called Thirteen Ways of Looking at a BlackBerry. I don’t even own one of these devices and yet each stanza resonated. Here’s No. 13:
What best fills
Or the BlackBerry
Which products do you think are on the verge of becoming the next cultural icons? Are you doing anything to nudge them in that direction?