Sad news from Madrid. According to The Guardian, the city’s famous Tio Pepe sign above Puerta del Sol is to be snuffed out for ever.
The flaming neon flamenco-cabellero has been there since 1936, and gained an iconic status for Madrileños and visitors alike. “The Tío Pepe sign is to Madrid what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris,” said a former mayor of the city.
But the Tio Pepe building is being overhauled and it is thought the new occupiers – Apple, somehow inevitably – will not want the sign.
Advertising is meant to be ephemeral – but some adverts and symbols gain a special status in people’s hearts that outgrows the brand. Like the revolving Mercedes Benz roundel on the Europa Center in Berlin or the Oxo Tower in London. And people can get along with that just fine: I don’t believe anyone’s gone into the Oxo Tower asking for gravy cubes.
The Guardian says Apple is being “coy” about its plans for its new Madrid flagship store. Let’s hope that is code for reconsidering the return of the Tio Pepe knight.