Comments: Unbrand America (with another brand)

Comments

I remember reading a long interview with Naomi Klein where she did acknowledge that No Logo was becoming a brand/logo itself. Personally, I'm still confused why Radiohead fans decided to coopt the movement and stick those not-really-that-cryptic stickers on everything. Don't they realize that just makes them (fans and band) a Grateful Dead for a new generation?

Well Radiohead are the new Dead aren't they? Actually I'm in no position to talk about either as I dislike them both equally. Sitting right there in the top 5 most overrated groups on my list.

As for Naomi Klein. She is certainly aware of how both her name and No Logo are becoming brands in themselves. But she also seems to suffer from some serious cognitive dissonance due to that awareness. She tries pretty hard to "unbrand" herself, but still falls back on her brand to further push her agenda (as she should). Only reason she gets the relatively high profile writing gigs she does is because her name is a recognizable brand name.

I saw her speak a few years back in Montreal. She talked briefly about a student tell her how "ironically" all the energy that Nike invested in their brand was actually helpful to the people protesting her. No fucking duh. And even as those words came out of Klein's mouth it was clear she just didn't get it. It was like the truth was stepping right off her tongue and smacking her in the face and she just went on ignoring it.

Brands aren't inherently evil in any way shape or form. They are a way to transmit information, both good and bad. Big corporations try and control the information attached to their brand, sometimes to the point where they engage in serious lies to mislead the public. And that's why Klein gets mad, that makes me mad too. But the problem is not the brand, its the corporation behind the lies.

The brand can just as easily carry information that is against the corporation. And due in large part the Nike brand actually carries a lot of negative associations. The culture jamming that Klein loves is just another form of branding, one that isn't controlled by the company. What we need is a world where brands carry more truthful information, not one where there are no brands.

I like to point out the case of Troop shoes to show how branding can be reversed. In Troops case it got turned on them in a way that's just as bad if not worse then the sort of branding control Nike engages in. For a brief moment around 1986 Troop was the hottest shit on the NY streets. Hotter then Nike, hotter then Adidas and the rest. And then the rumor spread. They were owned by the KKK. And the brand was killed. Troop = KKK and no one would wear it. The company lost control of the brand and died. [ http://www.snopes.com/business/alliance/troop.asp ].

Now that's not right, but it does illustrate a key point. The brand does not need to be controlled by the corporation. The public can associate the brand with anything. The companies will do their best to maintain their image, but ultimately its not in their control. The brand is a tool that can be used to spread the truth. If enough people think Nike = sweatshop their vaulted brand will be worth crap. And that's what Klein wants. But she doesn't quite get it.

I agree indefinitely with Blaze above. I came upon the black spot phenomena two weeks ago in AdBusters, went to the unbrandamerica website with an English major friend of mine, really found ourselves enthused with what we found until we came across a link to download the black dots. WHAT!! DOWNLOAD BLACK FLOOKIN DOTS!!! Arright, I guess so... whatever gets you guys off. But I still support what they stand for. That's why you'll find for now on big black dots (that I did not download) around my tiny town of 35,000.

I agree indefinitely with Blaze above. I came upon the black spot phenomena two weeks ago in AdBusters, went to the unbrandamerica website with an English major friend of mine, really found ourselves enthused with what we found until we came across a link to download the black dots. WHAT!! DOWNLOAD BLACK FLOOKIN DOTS!!! Arright, I guess so... whatever gets you guys off. But I still support what they stand for. That's why you'll find for now on big black dots (that I did not download) around my tiny town of 35,000.

Sigh...So what do yous think now that Adbusters has launched its own "blackspot" sneaker brand, manufactured in an abandoned Nike factory in South Korea? Guess Lassn's trustfund must be running short. Cheap shot that Adbuster's put Naomi Klein's photo on the "talkers"(as opposed to "walkers") page of their most recent issue, because she opposes this opportunistic move.

They can kiss my 10-year-old subscription goodbye. Disturbing that Nina Utne, Derrick Jensen, and Mr. Lassn all appear to be seduced by money.

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i gotta say i disagree