Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Case for Brands by the Economist

Naomi Klein represents
  • anti-globalization
  • against multinational corporate interests
  • declares that brands mean sweat-shops and human rights abuse
Brands - now symbols of American corporate power 
since most of the worlds best known brands are American.

The Editors give no examples in the article. 

  1. Brands contribute a lot to environmental damage. 
  2. Brands have value only where consumers have choice _ (competition between companies is good for consumers)
  3. Public services - brands don't usually matter
"Brands didn't really exist in the Soviet Union, also people had no say."

my own examples
—Don't give a shit what bc brand i get, it's free.
—Anything free, it doesn't matter

Consumers essentially create a brand.  The companies slave away all day trying to figure out what we want.  So what's wrong with that.  They don't try to design stuff that we would hate.

"Increasingly customers pay more for a brand because it seems to represent a way of life or a set of ideas— companies exploit that"

Nike— "just do it"- they are selling achievement 

That does depend on the product and person. From my experience, most people buy product based on quality or cheaper price, rarely noticing the brands. Then there's some that for example, idolizes and bought a specific car because of a movie or the company's history, not necessarily because it's the best car out there. 

"Companies deliberately conduct a story around their product"
well yeah its' much more thrilling, so?

"Consumers are hypocritical; irritated at advertisements telling them that pricier things would make them happier yet they, or most search for ways to acquire social cachet"

"...poorest African country has it's clothing markets where second-hand designer labels command a premium over pre worn No Logo"

They give no solid examples of places and cases. 

"Power also increases vulnerability...A failed advertising campaign can cause immense damage — loss in customers"

we control them as much as they control us, it's mutual. Naomi declares that they control everything we do, when really we have the money and power.

"Ironically, anti-globalization supporters can use the power of branding against these companies"
agreed, they are extremely hypocritical. 

"The more a company promotes, the more they have to seem environmental friendly and ethically robust"

That's because they know that's what the broad audience wants, so we can make brands do, or at least attempt to do good things. 

"Branding gives them the power to fight against Branding"

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Truth in Advertising by naomi

  • all quotes from the article are in italic
  • my responses are in another red

"Zero Knowledge sells encryption software for the Internet that allows users to surf and make purchases without having their every move 'data mined' by market researchers."

It's somewhat a contradictory statement. Zero Knowledge must've gotten their research from somewhere, how would they know if kinds minded their purchases to be recorded for the purpose of research or even selling information. One example, on Facebook, once you add an application, it asks you to agree with it's terms, and not even in fine print, it clearly states that they will have access to pull your information and sell. I've told many people this, and ALL of them continue to add these applications. It's not the marketer's fault, it's the people who facilitate them.

Naomi Klein states
"I have spent far too much time studying corporate branding campaigns and their complicated relationship with the truth."

But she doesn't mention how much time. "too much time" is unprofessional and to me—conveys that she is basing her article on strong bias, and honestly a catty attitude.

Klein on Zero Knowledge " was the truth"

She does not give any facts proving this is the truth, she doesn't give any sign that she has actually investigated the company, and doesn't show examples of them fulfilling their promises.

 "Over the past fifteen years, most successful brand-driven companies have attempted to cut through the clutter of consumer culture by forging deeper, more lasting relationships with their customers."

She compares the branding process w/ spiritual or religious quests for truth & enlightenment.
{deepest meanings - sequester themselves in retreats}

examples given by Naomi

  •  "That isn't about coffee, but community" — Starbucks
  • "IBM sells not computers but 'solutions' "

I don't actually believe that the companies are trying to tell the truth or reach enlightenment, they come up with "deeper" meaning out of competition.  
No shit IBM sells solutions because not only do they sell machines anymore, they do business consulting to accrue a larger audience which also means more MONEY!!!  Other examples, Office Depot trying to compete with kinko's by incorporating a print area, with UPS station. 
Oh yeah, Kinko's and FedEx merged, right?  It's all competition.   See Naomi doesn't show anyof this, she just sees the IBM commercial and says "omg those bastards are trying to be spiritual"  if she really paid attention she'd realize that IBM (international business machine) used to be a computing machine company, then they realized, hey business consulting and managing companies have a lot to do with what we do, only we just want to provide the machines, let's do a little bit more; business consulting. And what do business consultants do? Find you a solution if you need one.  So what's wrong when they tell us that they give us solutions, what else are they supposed to say?  "It's possible for us to give you a solution, but i can't guarantee it."?

— campaigns involve cultural real estate (high publicity) 

            They include
  1. cultural philosophers 
  2. spiritual guides
  3. artists
  4. spiritual leaders

"Its brands not intellectuals or activists or religious leaders that are the principle truth tellers of our corporate age"

           That's a load of bull. Even if she's sarcastic, it has no value or punch-line 

Oliviero vs. Benetton example — false statements attacking the other company. 
"Lying but pretending to tell the truth"

  • *Truth OF advertising*
  • Truth IN advertising
Naomi states the "dichotomy" in between

  • promises embedded in brand meaning 
  • campaigns of community, transcendence 
  • pure joy
  • consumption
The Internet is a truth serum for these companies.
It allows consumers to expose their hypocracy between 

  • promises embedded in brand meaning 
  • campaigns of community, transcendence 
  • pure joy
  • consumption
"The Branding Economy is a series of broken promises and unfulfilled desires."

Damn she's had some bad service.


still typing it up and i'll be posing it up by tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

type 19/anatomical-typography/

interesting drawings
finished my show opener by final review