Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Brand Compendium

This is not new news, but if you haven't seen it, you need watch the South Park Imaginationland three part special. The basic conceit is that terrorists blow up the wall in Imaginationland which divides all the good things people have imagined of the course of history, from all the bad things. Somehow they've pulled off a spectacular co-branding heist that means they can get Wario, Jason, Darth Maul, The Joker and The Terminator all in the same frame, all brutally torturing Strawberry Shortcake. They also manage to tie it up with this weird cultural metaphysics about the reality of created ideas, namely, don't they have the power to affect people's lives far beyond that of any individual and aren't they therefore really real in a way that individuals are not? I feel like advertisers would do well to consider this when they're making things - perhaps we should at least try not to fill the world with shit. Although we almost inevitably will. Anyway, you really should see it, it's epic like Milton, but with swearing and Kurt Russell being raped by forest animals.

Again, not new news, but forgive me, I've been away. I sort of wondered whether the Fallon creatives who made the Comic Relief spot ever saw Imaginationland. Don't get me wrong, even if they had I think it's a fair case for inspiration. Since brands usually only exist on their own, seeing them together does take you to a kind of dream-place. For instance one of the single most surreal moments of my life was passing through Baker St on the H&C line, and seeing my dear Mother on the opposite platform, and then noticing that she was gawping at Richard Branson, who was standing a few metres away from her. This is the quality that makes dreams dream-like, not total randomness, but things that don't belong together being brought together in otherwise mundane surroundings.

Obviously brand managers don't have dreams and they don't like co-branding either. You never know the affect that one brand is going to have on another. Since they work like ideograms, you can actually put them together to create a kind of brand haiku. Allow me to demonstrate. This one is called "Too Late, too late":

That was just the first one that sprang to mind.

Anyway, I should be getting on with this job hunt. I have successfully assembled a portfolio of sorts and I may post bits of it for you delectation. I'm sort of thinking I'd like to do a bit of landscape gardening for the summer though. I dunno.

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