May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Friday, October 14, 2005


regarding lemon-lime soda

music: homemade guitar

colors: yellow orange

mood: ok

thoughts: i'll keep this short. the other day as i was walking to the bus drinking some safeway brand lemon-lime soda (generic 7-up/sprite), a man in his sixties walking the other way looked at me and at my can. didn't say anything, and the whole exchange lasted less than a second.

in my head i was thinking that he could've been thinking that i was somehow of lesser class or out of touch with current culture because i was drinking the wrong beverage. that kind of made me chuckle, but at the same time, every high school student knows that's true wrt clothes, what brand, how they fit, etc. some people really identify with pepsi, or coke, and think of royal crown (or heaven forbid, shasta) drinkers as somehow less worthy. just another excuse to look down the nose at someone.

"i'm straight, you're not."
"i'm white, you're not."
"i'm male, you're not."
"i'm pepsi, you're not."

really, each of the above scenarios has the same amount of irony. another way to understand how much the oppressions have been oh-so-subtly drummed into our heads is to draw parallels between the advertising wars for pepsi-coke and the advertising for straight, for white, for male, for upper-middle class. you're thinking about pepsi even if you don't want to (and i'm sorry for making you think about it once again).

you may think having pepsi in your corner makes you better. really, having water, perhaps tea, on your side is more likely to make you better. yeah,
tea, that's the ticket.

branding, baby, branding


"Every year we gotta brand these baby calves when they're about two or three months old, for identification and ownership." [italics added by me]

...the hardest part of the branding process is getting five hundred pounds of feisty calf to stay put.

it'd be a lot easier to just show that calf 500 pepsi ads.

choose your scars wisely,




But what about Diet Mountain Dew? What about Diet Mountain Dew?????!!!!!!!!!!!

And don't get me started on that Hee Haw s**t.

- Sk
Seriously, though, the concept of "brand" can be weirder from the inside. I worked at a company who rolled out a new branding campaign - and made every employee attend a 4 hour class to learn about the "brand". What's worse, we had to write a paragraph about how we "embody the brand". Turns out, the company was acquired within months - and in retrospect I believe the emphasized importance of the brand was not aimed at customers or potential customers of the company, but rather the suitor.

I've come to the realization that even though marketing types sometimes deliver strange or even insulting ideas, they are a necessary evil, particularly in publicly owned companies who are legally bound to "maximize shareholder value". As long as I get paid to code, and am provide with free brand-name sodas, I am content.


- Sk
Mmmmmmmmmm.........I *am* the embodiment of Diet Mountain Dew.

I'm not sure how but gimme a few minutes and I'll work it out.

Back in my flower delivery days, I got really cynical about capitalism, and began to see everything as Product. Everything became an undifferentiated stream of Product: Happy Valentines Day! This Product (in the form of a dozen red roses) is for Ms. Consumer, and takes the place of any real expression of sentiment. Have a great day!

To me, branding is just an effort to construct difference among an undifferentiated stream of Product, and more importantly, to actually make people care about those differences. But branding, as you point out, is very similar to constructions of difference and identity among humans, and not just their products.

I don't like it - I resist. I'm using my cynical critique of capitalism as a model to resist placing too much meaning on differences among humans that I don't want to stress.
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