From Tonino to Torino?

This is a spoof design for a "Tocino Longganisa" T-shirt

I heard the craziest story the other day that may explain whatever did happen to that “Tonino Lamborghini” trademark kerfuffle that Globe found itself embroiled in. 

Now I have to put a giant disclaimer here – I am in no way saying this is confirmed, and in fact I did think it was a pretty wild story to begin with – but there’s some flimsy circumstantial evidence. Throw in some logic and this might still be a probable conclusion – or I might be wrong.

So the story was that the Tonino Lamborghini branded Globe modems are now called “Torino”. This assumes they weren’t able to get the trademark from Tonino Lamborghini in the first place, who had announced it was going to serve some legal papers on their ass for the unlicensed use of the trademark.

After I heard the story I did a quick Twitter search, and it did turn up a couple of citations.

A couple of weeks ago, socialite and Globe Asiatique heiress Divine Lee tweeted her delight about a nice gift she received as follows:

Equally delighted from the exposure given to her over 73,000 Twitter followers was the @EnjoyGlobe account as well as the @ChooseTattoo account, who retweeted it without making a correction on “Torino”. The Divine Lee tweet was also retweeted by Globe broadband head @FierceDong, again without correction.

Heck, it was such a swell gift, even RJ Ledesma wanted one:

So what are armchair Batmans likely to conclude but there’s a new Torino modem running around. It certainly doesn’t make any sense to have both a “Torino” and a “Tonino” in the same stable, so I would have to conclude that one replaced the other.

Now from “Tonino” to “Torino” – not such a wild stretch for the everyman consumer. “You say Tonino, I say Torino,” to paraphrase the old Cole Porter song. Both are Italian (Torino is a city in Italy, i.e. Turin), and there is some connotation of speed involved.

Well, emphasis on “some”. I believe Globe tried to acquire the “Tonino Lamborghini” to evoke the high-performance Lamborghini sports cars from Italy.

“Torino” evokes something else though – the Ford Gran Torino, the 70’s muscle car out of Dearborn Michigan, made famous as that striped red car in the 70’s cop show “Starsky and Hutch”. (The same model appeared in the recent film remake starring Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller).

Back when cop shows featured plenty of sideburns,leather jackets, and funky soundtracks by Tom Scott, there was Starsky and Hutch.

The Torino also was recently featured in the movie “Gran Torino” as the object of Clint Eastwood’s desire.

Speed might still be the selling point of that name, and if Ford decommissioned the Torino years ago (and a whole city in Italy claims it), it is pretty much fair game. After all, Sun did get away with calling a language “Java” without asking permission from Indonesians.

But please – it’s such a comedown from a Lamborghini to a Ford.

If I can make a suggestion, another defunct Detroit muscle car from that era is the fabled Pontiac GTO, sometimes called the “Gato”. There was a Ferrari GTO as well, from the early 60’s. And Mitsubushi came up with its own Mitshubishi GTO from 1990 to 2001.

A decal featuring a 1966 GTO by cartoonist Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.

GTO stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”, an Italian term for a car certified for racing in the Grand Tourer class. It certainly sounds mean and speedy, and it’s as exotically Italian as Parmigiano Reggiano. And it doesn’t evoke a 70’s cop show starring David Soul.

So if Globe is still making up its mind about what to call that modem, I’m offering up “GTO” as a free suggestion. “Gran Turismo Omologato” has that proper oomph and gravitas for a speed oriented brand.

But if you ask me, a rocket is still faster than a car.

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