menu

Will There Be A Branding Bullshit Reaction?

Will There Be A Branding Bullshit Reaction?
Advertising

George Parker is the perpetrator of adscam.typepad.com. Every week he shares his opinions on the advertising world with PSFK.

George Parker
  • 1 december 2009

One of the most memorable things that happened to me when I first came to the US as a snot nosed student, many, many years ago, was wangling an interview with David Ogilvy. Back then, in the early sixties, he was already a legend on Madison Avenue, and deservedly so. At the end of the interview, he offered me this final piece of advice… “Never forget, advertising is about selling.”

I next met him twenty five years later, when I was freelancing at Ogilvy. He entered a conference room late one evening where a bunch of us hired guns were drinking warm beer, eating cold pizza and talking shit. After asking us what we were up to, he banged on the table and shouted (he was quite deaf by then) “Never forget, advertising is about selling.”

OK, I am not repeating this episode to make you think that David was a one trick pony, far from it. It’s because I am getting sick and tired of how BDA’s and even many SDA’s (Small Dumb Agencies) never stop banging the “Branding” drum. Even Ogilvy’s Web site, which for years talked about “360 Degree Branding,” now flaunts “BIG,” their Brand Integration Group, which can bring your brand to life, tell your brand’s story, manage brand crisis issues, engage customers with your brand… But not a fucking mention of selling stuff. David must be spinning like a top beneath the Chateau.

However, it seems that smart consumers are actually starting to push back on all this agency inspired crap. There’s a really interesting post on Reuters “Entrepreneurial” blog about how Starbucks is opening “stealth” Starbucks – Stores without the Starbucks name over the front door – These are starting to appear in Seattle, its hometown, and London. Like the other stealth outlets, these have antique-style furniture, retro lighting, and not a Starbucks logo in sight.

Even though Starbucks would never admit it, this has to be a fucking crisis for them. When a brand is forced to hide its own identity, doesn’t this imply that its name – the core of the brand – has lost value? Why is Starbucks beginning to act like a small business? As the Reuters piece points out… The answer rests with communities and consumers. Over the last several years, a quiet but emphatic shift in buying patterns has taken place. Is the unthinkable happening? Are smart consumers starting to reject brands?

Perhaps a recent event here in Boise (Yes, fucking Boise) can shine a light on it. Idaho governor “Butch” Otter, who’s major claim to fame was once winning a tight jeans contest at a local bar, and then being DUI’d on the way home, (Hey, it’s Idaho!) Was recently attacked by an angry mob as he exited a Starbucks, ‘cos just across the street is a local coffee roaster that he has refused to patronize. The mob was mad that he was buying his coffee from an out of state company, particularly as he appears in really bad commercials for the state’s “Buy Idaho” TV campaign. But then, as his politics are well to the right of Genghis Khan, he was first in line to buy a wolf hunting permit when it was made legal a few months ago, and with a name like “Butch,” what can you expect?

Hey, it’s Idaho.

George Parker is the perpetrator of adscam.typepad.com, which is without doubt, one of the most foul and annoying, piss & vinegar ad blogs on the planet. He is the author of MadScam and his new book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, which is currently setting the ether ablaze (and which you can order now on Amazon). He will continue to relentlessly promote the crap out of it until you are forced to stab yourself in the eyes with knitting needles.

Advertising
Trending

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World's Largest Open-Air Gallery

Culture
Asia Today

Safe Drivers Rewarded In Japan With Free Coffee

Driving Barista is a new app that encourages Japanese motorists to put their phones down as they drive

Arts & Culture Today

Michael Kors Has Designed Their Own Instant Camera

In a partnership with Fuji, the limited edition Instax Mini 70 comes in an exclusive metallic gold color

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Health Today

Manage Your Emotional Health Through Your Phone

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has created a new iOS app meant to help patients track mental progress and set goals

Food Today

Delete Food Pics Off Of Instagram To Feed The Hungry

Land O'Lakes and Feeding America are donating meals for every picture of a meal taken off of the social platform

Related Expert

Sabrina Caluori

Television, Social Media, Marketing

Design & Architecture Today

This Shape-Shifting Pod Could Be The Future Of The Cubicle

MIT and Google have designed a new form of work enclosure meant to offer privacy in open-office layouts

Advertising Today

Billboard Spies On People As They Walk By

To promote the movie "Snowden," the advertisement broadcasts information on passersby without their knowledge

Fashion Today

Anti-Pollution Scarf Helps Cyclists Ride Through Cities

An innovative system filters pollutants and its accompanying app monitors quality of the air

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 26, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Automotive Today

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Op-Ed Today

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Mischievous Drone Will Drop Paint-Filled Balloons On Targets Of Your Choosing

A German photography team developed the flying device to accurately deliver a payload wherever needed

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Fashion Today

100 Backpacks Made For The World’s Top Influencers

Heineken and TUMI have collaborated on a unique custom NYC-inspired bag

Financial Services Today

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed

No search results found.