There are quite a few things I want to bring up in here, that all begins with you knowing Irma. My favourite supermarket chain Irma was founded in 1886, but to me it peaked in the 1970s when artists got involved. They decorated the Irma-cans for a period of 21 years (collectibles today, of course), and the plastic bags. The idea of having art on the bags came from the wish that people would love the bags so much that instead of throwing them out, they would reuse them. And it worked. It came to a total of 409 artist plastic bags before someone only recently decided to retire the idea. The bags were so appreciated that I remember them being sold as posters, even when I was a child.
But my absolute favourite feature was the printed fabric sticker heart. It was given to you when paying for your groceries, and every once in a while the words would change. But it would always be about staying positive and smiling: "remember to smile", "smile with your heart" or "smile to the world". It was such an effective way of branding that they did not have to spell out Irma anywhere on the sticker, because everybody knew. Irma carved a place in my heart, and I still get all fuzzy when I see the outline of the cartoon logo, the Irma girl. So it is not that I don't understand it, but I can't help but being impressed when it turns out that my girl is in high demand in... Japan. Apparently tourist busses full of japanese Irma girl lovers frequently pull up to the curb at my favourite supermarket. Forget about Kitty, say hello to Irma:
Remember the heart
What I would not give for one of these old stickers today. And this girl stuck it to her bike...
The Irma hype (in Danish).