Shouting into the Storm Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

Tuesday, August 06, 2002 :::
While sitting at the mall the other night, eating a terrible meal of shrimp tempura, I started to do a little people watching. In particular, I noticed the presence of company logos on clothing items. The average shopper had the Nike swoosh on their feet, Polo Sport on the socks, Tommy's Red White and Blue trademark emblazoned on the back pocket of jeans, the entire front of a T-shirt labeled Abercrombie & Fitch, all topped off nicely with a generic khaki Gap baseball cap.
When did the American consumer come to resemble the vehicles at a NASCAR event?
From the above example, let's take the shirt and the hat as Exhibit A and B. There are a few reasons why someone would display the logo of a known entity is such a public and noticeable way. Either you are trying to align yourself with the product, or you are advertising the product, or both at the same time.
Take a band for example. You shell out $25 for the Aerosmith tour shirt, the black one with the cool Wings logo and all the tour dates on the back. What does that shirt tell others when you wear it? Well, it implies you were at the show, or at the least wanted to be at that show. They may compare you to other people they knew who went to the concert, or past Aerosmith shows they went to. You are now implicitly linked to that show, and to the band in general. At the same time, you are advertising the band's music. As the jaded music business would call it, the "product". You are saying "This music is good, so you should go and purchase it."
And what, pray tell, is wrong with advertising the clothing brands that you prefer to wear? Why, nothing at all, on the surface. But do you want to openly associate yourself with the practices of these companies? The Gap does strip-foresting. Abercrombie has a unique way of marketing(see this story for an example. Warning, adult content in that link.) Nike, along with most major clothing manufacturers use child labor overseas for pennies a day to make their wares. And am I the only who finds it a bit tasteless that stores such as the Gap and Old Navy target infants and toddlers? Isn't it possible to prolong the inevitable introduction to corporate whoring until they are old enough to begin playing little league baseball?

::: posted by Chris at 5:45 PM

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Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

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