HATEBOMB: Vice Magazine
Years past having any relevance, Vice is clearly now just a hollow label for sale to ANY brand looking to drop some money on a misguided “co-branding” opportunity – five years too late. Much like a hooker in heels, Vice’s branding-arm Virtue sells “access” to youthful tastemakers in a manner equally indiscriminate of who’s money they take. Though this is tasteless brand dilution, the “cool” ‘boomer agency types wearing Ed Hardy shirts on the weekend can’t spot this. To them, Vice in 2009 is totally tight with so-called “tastemakers,” “hipsters” and “youth.” Or so says their out-of-touch media. And that logic leads to the agency equivalent of buying a knockoff Chanel purse on Canal Street.
Sadly if they caught this same train five years ago, at least it would have included doing lines in the bathroom of some downtown club, whilst palling around with the magazine’s masthead and some B-list types like Johnny Knoxville. That IS what made Vice so grand in its heyday. Some cubicle joker from Warner Books could feel like a rockstar for a night, in exchange for swindling his company with some bad business decisions. But now, it’s just a list of agency suckers – too clueless to escape this roll call, who all admit they’re vacant when it comes to what anyone under 40 likes. And they expose themselves by hiring present-day Vice to do their “cool” branding for them. Meanwhile Shane Smith & Co. must be laughing their asses off – depositing check after check, for something that equates to an advertising equivalent of the tooth-fairy. Who’s next to write a company check???
Some of the funniest and most blatant Vice paydays – to the detriment of all involved.
Harley Davidson in association with Vice presents –
THE ART OF REBELLION
Great. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a time machine back to 90′s to talk more about how great Kozick and Pearl Jam are. Wait. What? Seeing this invite pop-up in our inbox was like glimpsing a homeless person masturbating, on the 6am ride to the airport. What’s the idea here? We’re supposed to forward this to Harley loving “rebels” and go for drinks after at The Hard Rock Cafe in midtown. Remember – they’re getting paid to put brands in touch with young “tastemakers,” who coincidentally are into the same cool stuff 40-year old marketing bozos are. Harley Davidson? Urban city types? Poster art that was in Juxtapose Magazine two decades ago? Come on…
The Virtual Lower East Side
Literally, they had a fake American Apparel store where one picked out their “street style,” based on actual AA apparel (!). Wow. Are they the constant back cover ad on Vice Magazine? Hmm… This environment challenges you to walk down either Ludlow or Orchard street, and dance to bar jukeboxes playing bands that – get this – ante up payola to the Virtue predecessor, the music marketing arm addVice. This beauty got a full page, section cover write-up in the NY Times as “ground-breaking.” (link) Once again, whatever Vice says is hot, must be… Does any hipster actually dance on Ludlow Street? Once again showing how Vice is in touch with youth they are and not in any way just taking a huge check from Viacom owned MTV to build this…
Alliance of Action Sports
I don’t even know what this is about, or if it’s sponsored by Mountain Dew. All I know is that this Shaun White fucker is a 40-year old postboomer’s idea of what youth are into. His omnipresence in AMEX ads, apparel ads, “dew” ads is just the tip of the iceberg. When the Winter Olympics take off, this guy’s face will be even more present, reminding us of how advertising has no clue what youth are into. Skateboarding is cool again, as earlier stated, because it involves a bunch of low-rent, multi-ethnic kids bringing anarchy back to public streets. The trust-fun set that has ski-lift passes to go twirling on manufactured landscapes isn’t cool, by anyone’s standards. How more rich, white and country club could you get than this face? A professional snowboarder… really Vice? Best of all, this campaign was directed by one of the douches from Fischerspooner. It’s like an SNL comedy sketch that writes itself.
The Colt 45 Music Series
Remember, how ten years ago Pabst Blue Ribbon got popular out of nowhere? All of Manhattan was finally gentrified so rich, white kids new to the city had to look for digs in shithole Brooklyn. They built up a critical mass there and furthered their aspirations to seem blue-collar by drinking the rankest beer available. What if now, in 2009, we celebrated that by putting on shows in the same shithole locale and now going even lower with Colt 45? Free bands and free malt liquor. Yet, we haven’t seen Colt 45 take off or be available on tap at BBQ places… Oh well, at least you got paid.
AW77 Stories, Nike Spotswear –
The Barbarian Group in conjunction with Vice
Amazingly, we couldn’t do a profile on idiots in advertising without The Barbarian Group showing up. These guys have a perfect record! They’ve already garnered three hatchetjob mentions on this site and seem eager to earn more.
Apparently they just launched some new site and extol it with the following self-praise.
Only eight loopwheeler hoodies are made each day. Thus is the allure of the AW77 Loopwheeler, the star of the Nike Sportswear line. And now, Nike wants everyone to know just how much they care about these hoodies… The site also showcases several London influencers, curated and shot by Vice.
Full disclosure – we haven’t checked out the site above. We’re just taken back by anyone bragging today about Vice being available to work with them. It’s like we’re seeing that guy on the street again masturbating… We just want to look away and start wording the funny story of what we just witnessed.
The only thing you can respect about Vice today, is how they’ve taken these clueless, aforementioned clowns to the cleaners. Maybe it’s some sort of sleeper, “bringing ‘em down from the inside” secret agenda. If so, that’d be rad. But more likely, it’s just some tired old hipsters that haven’t reported on anything new in years, cashing in on the fact corporate types are still getting press releases about how they’re leading the way with “tastemakers” and brand development.
Truth of the matter is, Vice was only ever just one guy – Gavin McInnes. When he cashed out, the other players partnered up with MTV and and put their brand up for sale to anyone and everyone, in terms of branded content, co-branding, branding brands, brand, brand, brand… To surmise what this all means, we quote Gavin from a recent interview with Brand Channel (link)
One thing about “brand building.” I never want to hear those two words again. I always hated the idea of someone building a brand. It sounds so affected. Like marketing companies and “Cool Hunters” sending CDs and shit to “tastemakers.” People can smell that bullshit from a mile away.
Posted in: HateBomb