Monday, October 16, 2006

Brand Immersion: Who needs brains?

In today's New York Times Op-Ed, Bob Herbert writes "Why aren't we shocked?"

My question is why aren't we ashamed?

A young woman walks into a store, selects and then wears a shirt emblazoned with "Who needs brains when you have these?"

People should feel free to express themselves and thanks to our forefathers we can speak and consume media freely. I, in no way, want to suggest that we curtail anyone's civil liberties. But what kind of conscious act of liberty is exercised by a young woman who wears a shirt like this?

Is this an expression of freedom, or has oposite occured? Have her liberties been curtailed by the pressures of a society that has reduced her to her piece parts? I'm all for admiring the beauty of the human form, but that's not what this shirt is about.

What's responsible for this happening? Do we blame the retailer? A thriving porn industry? Media? Advertising? The young woman? Her parents?

More important than blame, how do we influence the situation? How do we reverse the pressure so that no retailer would even consider putting something like this on a shelf and so that no woman would ever degrade herself by buying or wearing something like this?

Link to Bob Herbert's OpEd piece that inspired this rant

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brand Immersion: Child Guilt

In the category of "you've got to be kidding me" AdAge today reports that Wal-Mart have launched a holiday wish list site for kids. I can't find the site myself, but the email alert reports that an elf guides children through a conveyor belt of toys. When a little darling clicks "yes" on a toy, an email is sent off to his parents and he's rewarded with a round of applause. But when he clicks "no" on a toy, that's when everything goes pear-shaped. Little Stevie watches as the rejected toy gets boxed up and sent off to a dump truck. Sad, sad, sad. Just what every child needs - a guilt complex for rejecting his materialistic destiny.