From the Brand Historian’s Timeline: 1994
In February 1994 a British film that wasn’t called True Love and Near Misses but could have been, received its premiere at the Sundance Festival and was a surprise hit. The writer described it as “a romantic film about love and friendship that swims in a sea of jokes.” A couple of weeks later in Stanford where apparently the wind of freedom blows, what the founders initially called Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web went through a dramatic rebrand and attempted to hijack a punctuation mark. Meanwhile in London, Jeremy and Pattie had a little boy who will brought up by his mum in Stratford – Stratford, Ontario.
In this vintage year of new relationships and linkups, China will connect to the Internet, Great Britain will re-connect to mainland Europe, and in Seattle, a start-up called Cadabra, was on the lookout for “talented, motivated, intense and interesting co-workers.” Thus was the world warned, but perhaps we were all just too distracted by the launch in Tokyo of the SCDH-1000 and the consequent likelihood of imminent repetitive strain injury.
1994 was indeed the year Hugh Grant gave us that brilliant foppish turn in Four Weddings and a Funeral; Yahoo! introduced us to backronyms (Yet Another Hierarchy Organised Oracle); Jeff Bezos went on a four-day course in book selling and then decided Amazon was a better name for his everything store; and Sony PlayStation told us “Live in Your World but Play in Ours” and sold 100m units. I do not know if Justin Bieber had a PlayStation, a Nintendo or an Xbox, but one thing I do know is that you can buy all of brands featured in this post on Amazon’s website, including Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend Eau de Parfum at £13.19, but sadly not currently a PlayStation 5.
1994 Essential background listening: Oasis Definitely Maybe