Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why we buy expensive $#!T

I've just finished reading a really interesting book on fashion marketing, and one of the key ideas I came away with from it is that the reason people enjoy purchasing specific brands has changed over the years.

In the 80s and 90s, you would buy a fancy handbag or an expensive shirt, and really want the brands and logos plastered all over it. This is because this was the days of "showing off," and brands were a signal to other people of your wealth and success.

Louis Vuitton, famous for plastering its logo all over, has these "non-logo-ed" bags in their Fall '10 collection.

In the 21st century though, it's starting to be "tacky" to be a walking billboard. Instead, we are onto the time of "personal satisfaction," where a subtle, expensive item (with no visible logo) give us satisfaction because we are internally excited that we can afford to own it

It helps our self-esteem, gives us a "boost" to walk around with it, even if other people have no idea.

The book doesn't give reasons for this, but I can think of a few:

  • The 90s witnessed the "individualistic" generation, with a push for "be who you want to be" ideas, which is against the face of identical logos on all products
  • This individualistic idea also spread to a move towards "mixing and matching," where people would no longer dress head-to-toe in the same brand. They would wear many brands, and this made the logo idea look over the top, with too many logos on one person.
  • There has been the new idea of "affordable luxuries," with people "treating" themselves to cheap luxuries such as fancy coffee, expensive lingerie, a branded hair band etc. This gets people used to the idea of "personal satisfaction" and they can then apply it to bigger purchases. 
  • The new millennium has really brought issues of social justice to the floor, and showing such "loud" support for the Big Guys can be seen as politically incorrect.

Whatever the reasons, to me, it seems somehow a nicer reason to buy expensive things. =)

Thank you for the pictures.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gluing Together Opposite Ideas!

Here's my recent favorite print ad campaign, from Gorilla Super Glue. Gorilla, it seems, can even glue together powerful ideas that are polar opposites in today's society. This clever theme, requiring little graphical work, and boldly capturing attention, seems to be destined for awesomeness. Simplicity of a powerful idea.

Check them out for yourselves. What do you think?

Thank you adsoftheworld for the photos.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Joneses: Selling "The Perfect Family" Brand

I just watched this a little known movie from 2009 called the Joneses.

It's about the "perfect family" that move into a new neighborhood- except it turns out that they are not a real family. They are simply a new marketing vehicle used by companies to market products.

"They're not just living the American Dream. They're selling it."

Word-of-mouth advertising has always been one of the most effective. 

Opinion leaders are the new big thing in marketing. 

It has given rise to all sorts of new marketing techniques: whether it be the celebrity casually wearing a certain brand, or bloggers that get free goods to try and write about their opinions.

This movie takes it one step further, by posing the idea that an "average family" using their "cool factor" for marketing. An innovative, albeit slightly scary idea. 

What do you think?

Is this our future here? 

Sunday, August 22, 2010


In the summer of 2008, there was an explosion of a certain type of blog posts. The most famous was David Archey's 33 Logos in 33 Minutes, where he photographed the 33 brands that announced themselves as soon as he woke up.

It quickly became really popular, hundred of bloggers announcing the brands that surround them, with variations like Creative's Beef's humorous Friday Night in Brands and the Marketing Student's Branded Day in the Life of a Gen Y. Of course, this was social commentary, but I couldn't help but notice that many bloggers received praise for being around local, organic brands instead of the "big guns."

The message here, in all obviousness:
Welcome to a "brandwashed" society.