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#RepublicansArePeopleToo campaign is a masterpiece of bad marketing, a rich tapestry of idiocy


 
Who the fuck didn’t see this one coming?

The general answer, of course seems pretty obvious—the perpetually clueless and tone deaf Republican Party—but the person in particular, apparently, to blame for this completely idiotic SCREAMING OUT FOR MERCILESS RIDICULE campaign is one of Mitt Romney’s former advertising guru “Mad Men” (and we all know how well that turned out), a Texan named Vinny Minchillo.

Minchillo hopes that his new “grassroots” campaign, on Facebook and on Twitter with the hashtag #imarepublican, will make it harder for people to demonize Republicans, as he told The New Republic:

“On social media, I’ve been called every name in the book,” Minchillo said. “It’s become socially acceptable to talk about Republicans in the most evil terms possible and that doesn’t seem right. We wanted to do this to really remind people that Republicans are friends, neighbors and do things that maybe you wouldn’t expect them to do.

“People, I’m afraid, think that Republicans spend their days huddling over a boiling cauldron throwing in locks of Ronald Reagan’s hair. … We thought let’s get out there and show who Republicans really are: regular folks interested in making the world a better place.”

Minchillo is clearly operating under the delusion that there’s something sly, clever or tongue-in-cheek about what he’s doing. I wonder how he’s going to feel when he watches Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, John Oliver, every pundit, Twitter, Facebook AND THE ENTIRE INTERNET trash this nonsense like it’s the stupidest thing anyone has ever thought up?

#SoylentGreenIsPeopleToo!

See how that works, Vinny?
 

 
MEMO TO THE GOP: If you need an advertising and social media campaign to convince a HUGE swath of people who already think you’re a bunch of fuckin’ assholes that you’re really not fuckin’ assholes, perhaps you’ve got a larger problem on your hands? If you have to TELL other people that you’re just like them, perhaps their perception that you’re not just like them is justified because you wouldn’t really need to point that out in the first place, now, would you?

It isn’t easy being a Republican these days.

There are people who will stick up for Genghis Khan before they’ll defend a Republican. (“Genghis was just misunderstood.”)

We love political discourse. We encourage political discourse. But when did “Republican” become a dirty word?

Here’s the deal: before you post another bullying comment, think about this:

Republicans are people, too.

And you know what? Some of them don’t even have tiny shriveled penises or require motorized scooters to haul their asses around. Many Republicans aren’t racists! Some of them are under the age of 65 and are not angry white males who watch Fox News all day long and shit in Depends diapers. WHICH IS EXACTLY THE PERCEPTION THAT THIS RISIBLE CAMPAIGN IS REINFORCING! All anyone is talking about is “the problem” that this is supposed to be combating!

If this isn’t the equivalent of a gigantic Las Vegas marquee-sized “KICK ME” sign on the back of the GOP, I don’t know what would be.
 

 
It’s the most ridiculous thing in… days to come out of the fetid swamp of what passes for ideas in the Republican Party. If hapless Vinny saw this goofy campaign as a way for him to jockey for position for the 2016 Presidential race, Vinny, I hate to tell ya, brah, you done goofed. This is the worst!

Here are a few choice comments taken from what are probably the most consistently intelligent forums on any political or news blog, Talking Points Memo. Just some random recent comments, I’m not digging deep for any of this:

I believe all Muslims are suspicious and should be rounded up into internment camps. #ImARepublican

Why, yes, my tattoos include swastikas #ImARepublican

“Redskin” is a term of respect, honor, tradition. #ImARepublican

My father punched me when I was a kid, and I TURNED OUT FINE! Right? RIGHT?! #ImARepublican

I am stupid, evil, and utterly devoid of humanity! #IamARepublican

I prattle on endlessly about the necessity for common citizens like me to own guns in case the government infringes upon the people’s rights, and then I vote for referenda that infringe upon people’s rights. #ImARepublican

Of course I’m a hypocrite. #ImARepublican

Disenfranchising minority voters is OK by me! After all, they’re not white like I am. #ImARepublican

I don’t think everyone deserves health care. #ImARepublican

My party will soon be demographically insignificant. #ImARepublican

I pledge allegiance to the Kochs… #ImARepublican

You get the idea. Here’s my favorite because it communicates SO MUCH:

I think this guy should be making decisions that affect millions. #IAmARepublican

 

 
It’s a mite (Mitt?) early for the memes to be showing up in any real number yet, give it a few hours (or even a few more minutes), but the ridicule on Twitter for the #ImARepublican hashtag is pretty good already.

And here’s the motherload of LOL, the video. You’ll note that it’s important for them to have you know that Republicans shop at Trader Joe’s(?), use Macs(?) and “have feelings, too”(?)—and yet there are apparently no members of the LGBT or Muslim communities in the GOP whatsoever. What. there were NO pics of fabulous drag queens, buffed WeHo boys or anyone with a beard and turban in the stock photo database?
 

 
For some reason that video reminded me of this classic Tom Tomorrow cartoon:
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ comic in fantastic Howard Johnson’s ‘Children’s Menu’


 
Only the most observant of Kubrick-aholics will even remember the Howard Johnson’s reference in his landmark 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it’s right there, around the 30th minute. Dr. Heywood Floyd, played with purposeful blandness by William Sylvester, finds himself in a veritable barrage of product placement following the legendary Johann Strauss “Blue Danube” slam cut from the apes’ bone to the graceful, silent spacecraft. Dr. Floyd is flying in a Pan Am vehicle, we’re told, and over the next few minutes, at the space station, he walks through a Hilton hotel lobby, places a call to his wife and daughter using a Ma Bell videophone, and yes, walks by a “Howard Johnson’s Earthlight Room.”

As the beneficiary of a truly special promotional opportunity, Howard Johnson’s did their part, releasing a combined comic book/children’s menu depicting a visit to the premiere of the movie by two youngsters—well, the title actually tells it pretty well: “Debbie and Robin Go to a Movie Premiere with Their Parents.” Neat-O! Given that in the movie (SPOILER ALERT) a computer bloodlessly kills off several members of the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery One and that the movie ends in a psychedelic and well-nigh incomprehensible farrago of colorful effects that Mad Magazine insisted was a result of David Bowman (Keir Dullea) crashing into “the brand new 105-story Jupiter Museum of Op Art,” it’s understandable that the comic focuses on the gee-whiz feeling conveyed in the middle chunk of the movie, and glosses over the ending—the two comic panels in which the family emerges from the theater discussing “the way the mystery was solved!” are, given the downbeat goings-on in the movie, perfectly apposite and false in the only way it can be. The synopsis ignores one of the movie’s most noteworthy aspects outright, by which I mean the apes of the opening sequence. But note that the comic’s discussion of the movie—hilariously—does not gloss over Hal’s murders, as evidenced by the above panel.

What we see here is the old Hollywood promotional methods associated with Mary Poppins, perhaps, or Cleopatra attempting to deal with the totally new, technologically sophisticated, and thematically bleak mode of filmmaking. Would you be able to create credibly cute kiddie characters who gush about “The Dawn of Man” and what lies “Beyond the Infinite”? I sure can’t.   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
More great cartoon panels and a video clip, all after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘It’s a virus’: Tom Waits on musicians allowing their work to be used in commercials
09.08.2014
09:39 am

Topics:
Advertising
Music

Tags:
Tom Waits


 
Below, Tom Waits responding to a 2002 article in The Nation by John Densmore of The Doors regarding musicians and artists “allowing their songs to be used in commercials.”

Woodland Hills, Calif.

Thank you for your eloquent “rant” by John Densmore of The Doors on the subject of artists allowing their songs to be used in commercials [“Riders on the Storm,” July 8]. I spoke out whenever possible on the topic even before the Frito Lay case (Waits v. Frito Lay), where they used a sound-alike version of my song “Step Right Up” so convincingly that I thought it was me. Ultimately, after much trial and tribulation, we prevailed and the court determined that my voice is my property.

Songs carry emotional information and some transport us back to a poignant time, place or event in our lives. It’s no wonder a corporation would want to hitch a ride on the spell these songs cast and encourage you to buy soft drinks, underwear or automobiles while you’re in the trance. Artists who take money for ads poison and pervert their songs. It reduces them to the level of a jingle, a word that describes the sound of change in your pocket, which is what your songs become. Remember, when you sell your songs for commercials, you are selling your audience as well.

When I was a kid, if I saw an artist I admired doing a commercial, I’d think, “Too bad, he must really need the money.” But now it’s so pervasive. It’s a virus. Artists are lining up to do ads. The money and exposure are too tantalizing for most artists to decline. Corporations are hoping to hijack a culture’s memories for their product. They want an artist’s audience, credibility, good will and all the energy the songs have gathered as well as given over the years. They suck the life and meaning from the songs and impregnate them with promises of a better life with their product.

Eventually, artists will be going onstage like race-car drivers covered in hundreds of logos. John, stay pure. Your credibility, your integrity and your honor are things no company should be able to buy.

TOM WAITS

Tom Waits successfully sued Frito-Lay, Inc. in 1992 and was awarded $2.6 million in compensatory damages.
 

 
Via Letters of Note

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Kink Think: Luscious fashion ads from 1966, starring Dave Davies—and terylene, the wonder fabric
09.03.2014
08:13 am

Topics:
Advertising
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Dave Davies
Kinks
terylene


 
These eye-catching fashion advertisements emphasize the non-kinking qualities of the (then) wonder material of terylene—so they naturally hired world’s second most famous Kink, Dave Davies.

These images come from the May 25, 1966, issue of Queen magazine. Dave cuts quite the figure here, no? “Smooth,” says Dave of Ina’s outfit.
 

 

 
In other Kinks news, Dave’s brother, head Kink Ray Davies has denied rumors that the group would reunite “with or without” Dave, with whom he frequently feuds. Good thing, too. A Kinks “reunion” without both of the Davies brothers would be like an Oasis reunion without one of the Gallaghers. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Ray Davies’s Kinks musical, Sunny Afternoon, is due to open at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London on October 4th.

Below, Dave Davies doing his solo hit, “Death of a Clown”:

 
via 1960’s and 1970’s Advertisements

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Incredible music billboards from the Sunset Strip
08.29.2014
06:37 am

Topics:
Advertising
Music

Tags:
billboards
Robert Landau


UFO, Obsession, 1978
 
I love everything about these remarkable advertisements, all of which were on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles between 1967 and 1981. We have photographer Robert Landau to thank for these pictures, as his collection represents the best available resource about them. Last year he came out with a very pretty book called Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip.

According to Landau, it wasn’t until 1967 that the music industry ventured into billboards to advertise new rock albums. The first rock billboard was for the Doors’ first album. As we can see here, other acts had billboards by 1967, so it must have caught on quickly.

“When I went out to explore the world,” says Landau. “I felt the Strip was like a gallery; there were these hand-painted works of art on the street. ... They looked like giant art pieces that kind of represented my generation and the music I listened to.”

“At one time, L.A. just felt a lot funkier. It felt more Western, and ... people could come here and do whatever they want. To a degree, that created a lot of chaos, but there was something about that freedom that allowed people to do fun things,” he says. “Things were a little quirkier back then. There was a bit more of a personal feel to the environment.”

A few notes about the pictures below. The ELO billboard is noteworthy because of the custom-made plexiglass neon space station, based on John Kosh’s logo for the band, which cost $50,000. Obviously, the Abbey Road billboard pictured here was defaced by some Beatlemaniac, which is why Paul’s head isn’t there. My favorite billboard of the bunch (and Landau’s too) is the remarkable one for the London Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Tommy from 1972; the billboard features no text whatsoever, just those creepy sci-fi eyes staring out at you. So ballsy!
 

Pink Floyd, Atom Heart Mother, 1970
 

Cocker Is Coming
 

10cc, Deceptive Bends, 1977
 

Joni Mitchell, Blue, 1971
 

The Knack, Round Trip, 1981
 

Jimi Hendrix, Axis: Bold as Love, 1967
 
Nei
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Zuma, 1975
 

London Symphony Orchestra, Tommy, 1972
 

ELO, Out of the Blue, 1977
 
Many more billboards plus a video, after the jump….

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Babies covered with corporate logos
08.26.2014
07:27 am

Topics:
Advertising
Art

Tags:
Dietrich Wegner


Cumulous Brand
 
Australian artist Dietrich Wegner’s preverbal infants festooned with corporate logos, known collectively as “Cumulous Brand,” come in two forms, 2D Photoshopped images of real children and 3D sculptures made of silicone and foam. These artworks may be more thoughtful than they first appear to be—the logos are not selected randomly but rather emerge as the brands that are most relevant to the parent or guardian of the child depicted. According to Wegner, he “put(s) opposites together in works that feed on the friction between two things that should not make sense together. ... In Cumulous Brand, babies are covered in multicolored tattoos. The tattoos are selected through an interview process with an adult prominent in the child’s life, usually the parents. Each work is a portrait through the logos of the products used, the activities participated in and organizations belonged to throughout this adult’s life.”

It’s estimated that a child sees 40,000 television commercials in a typical year. Corporations have an intense interest in insinuating themselves into a newborn’s life, in ways that might not apply to civic groups, governmental agencies, educational organizations, etc. “Reading” these infants, I see an awful lot of brands I use. In turning these children into billboards, it’s a healthy reminder of the forces that act upon all of us.
 

Cumulous Brand, Sabine Sitting Up
 

Cumulous Brand, Bill
 

Cumulous Brand, Sabine & Sebastian
 

Cumulous Brand, Sebastian As Grandma Susan
 

Cumulous Brand, Beatrice
 

Cumulous Brand, Sebastian as Auntie Gretchen
 
Thank you Brian Boucher!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Johnny Cash’s musical ad for the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, 1971
08.20.2014
07:48 am

Topics:
Advertising

Tags:
Johnny Cash
Richard Nixon


You are in no position to give health advice, Mr. Johnny Cash!
 
Johnny Cash certainly lived his paradoxes—a champion of the rebel, yet oddly reverent of the powerful. He sympathized publicly with the margins of society while simultaneously invoking a kind of nostalgic, rural wholesomeness. That in mind, it makes total sense that he’d do a public service announcement on physical fitness for Richard Nixon.

It’s not totally without its charms, either! The tune is catchy. “The man I used to be” is a pretty clever euphemism for “I got fat,” and the whole thing lends itself to that wistful reminiscing you want from a Johnny Cash. This was recorded only one year in of a seven-year period of sobriety. Before 1970 he was still doing insane amounts of pills, and engaging in super-wholesome activities like driving out to the wilderness all cranked up and accidentally setting fire to 508 acres of California National Forest.

I guess Nixon thought America needed a fitness spokesman who wouldn’t make us all feel bad about ourselves?
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘Koyaanisqatsi’ director’s dystopian PSA for The New Mexico Civil Liberties Union, 1974


 
Godfrey Reggio is best known for the first installment of his avant-garde “Qatsi” trilogy, Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance. The 1982 film was a Philip Glass-scored non-linear experiment in slow motion and timelapse footage, depicting urban and natural scenes throughout the US. Koyaanisqatsi contains no dialogue at all, and its follow-ups, Powaqqatsi: Life in transformation (1988) and Naqoyqatsi: Life as war (2002), contain very little—all three films are named for words in Hopi, as Reggio believed “language is in a state of vast humiliation,” saying, “It no longer describes the world in which we live.”

Before all of this however, Reggio was a community activist working on issues of health care and gang violence in New Mexico, eventually forming a sort of media activist non-profit, the Institute for Regional Education. The IRE was commissioned by the The New Mexico Civil Liberties Union to create a public service announcement warning of the growing surveillance culture, resulting in the trippy, insidious short you see below. In addition to cinematographer Ron Fricke‘s trademark visual style, the PSA parallels Reggio’s later work pretty clearly in terms of theme. There is a palpable fear of an unfeeling, authoritarian modernity, a historical period of technology and industrialization, rather than humanity.

While the campaign ran on billboards, radio and in print ads, it was the television commercial that really caught on—viewers actually called stations to see when the ad would air again. Despite the success of the campaign, the ACLU stopped funding the IRE, and after an unsuccessful Washington fundraiser, Fricke suggested the remaining money be used to fund a full-length film—Koyaanisqatsi.
 

 
Via Network Awesome

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Marina Abramović makes an Adidas commercial for the World Cup
07.09.2014
05:57 am

Topics:
Advertising
Art

Tags:
Marina Abramović


 
There’s work from Marina Abramović I like—like Balkan Baroque from 1997, where she sat in a pile of 1,500 cow bones for four days, scrubbing them with water and a wire brush in six-hour shifts. The piece was intended as an explicitly political commentary on the war in Yugoslavia. She initially planned to embody a representation of the Serbian state, but the Serbian government was none too keen. Then she planned on being Montenegro, but the Montenegrin government was similarly averse.

Eventually, Abramović ended up staging Balkan Baroque for Italian art exhibition, The Venice Biennale. She actually performed in the basement, and while the setting might have insulted another artist, Abramović found it ideal, partially since it contained the stench of rotting meat.

There is also Marina Abramović work I do not particularly care for, like watching Lady Gaga practice the Abramovic Method—“a series of exercises designed to heighten participants’ awareness of their physical and mental experience in the present moment.” I’m generally left cold by mysticism, and a naked Lady Gaga stumbling through lush upstate New York in a blindfold before eventually straddling a giant crystal set off all my New Age alarm bells.
 

 
Regardless, Abramović has produced some brilliant, affecting, and very interpersonal art, so I’m a little surprised to see her repeat one of her more famous pieces, “Work/Relation,” for a World Cup-themed Adidas commercial. “Work/Relation” is by no means my favorite of her performances—it’s a little too much of a TED Talk parable for my tastes, but it is a meditation on teamwork and the strength of solidarity. There’s an irony to seeing “Work/Relation” presented by a company famous for its sweatshop labor. That irony is only compounded when you remember the performance is in honor of a sporting event that was sanitized with shantytown demolitions.

I guess “solidarity” only counts when somebody’s watching?
 

 
Via Hyperallergic

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘Lamps everywhere’: Utterly psychotic New Orleans furniture commercials
07.08.2014
02:00 pm

Topics:
Advertising
Idiocracy
Race
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:
Sparkle Johnson


 
I have no words—these commercials for New Orleans’ Hotel Furniture Liquidators star the Maryland performer Kevin Scott’s staggeringly offensive blackface-and-drag character “Sparkle Johnson.” (ZERO relation to the baffling-for-different-reasons HGTV dandy Josh “Sparkle” Johnson.) Why they thought racism, misogyny and classism would be a good way to sell used hotel furniture is anyone’s guess (my guess: because the South), but beyond the brashly anti-PC nature of the character, this stuff is just phenomenally fucked up.
 

 

 
If you’d like to see some more of Scott’s, er… act, I’d suggest you look up his “Aunt Grace” character and don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

Here’s an older ad for the same company, which shows that the unfathomably bizarre had been a tool in their tactical sales arsenal for a good while before they employed Mr. Scott.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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