Since I’m studying a bit of management at the moment, I thought it would be a good insight to see how Steve Jobs thought best to run Apple…“You have to be run by ideas, not hierarchy.”
Looks cool, what do you think? Via Brand New.
It was a few months ago that I blogged about Marlboro’s ‘subliminal’ advertising on the back of Ferrari’s 2010 Formula 1 car. The story became news about 2 months later, when doctors demanded an inquiry into the matter and it caught the media’s attention.
As a result of the media attack on the ‘barcode’ design on the back of Ferrari’s car, after denying that the design had anything to do with Marlboro, Ferrari caved in, first replacing the barcode with an empty white box, and then entirely getting rid of any such markings on the car.
Marlboro remains in Ferrari’s name (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro), and as a barcode on uniforms and helmets. In this case the company no doubt predicted correctly that, having removed the mark from the car, the media would be silenced – any complaints about the barcode remaining elsewhere easily dismissed as pedantic mumbling about old news.
This whole story tells the tale of one of the last remaining tobacco advertising tales in F1. One that started years ago, with only a few nations censoring the ads, teams replacing brand names with allusions, barcodes, and tongue in cheek slogans, like Benson & Hedges’ “Be on Edge”. This was a phrase I noted on some B&H packs just a few weeks ago, showing that link between F1 and tobacco still persists, long after its (theoretical) abolition.
Now with tobacco largely absent from F1, other areas of controversy are beginning to become visible. The finale of the 2010 F1 season was last Sunday, and crowned surprise victor Sebastian Vettel. Vettel is unique in this season as he only led the Drivers championship for one race, that was on Sunday; and he was also the only F1 driver to be stopped from getting into Silverstone by my friend Stephen, who refused him entry into the British Grand Prix because he didn’t have a pass.
But back to last Sunday’s Grand Prix, held in Abu Dhabi. This city is in the UAE, an arabic country, with understandably Arabic laws. I first noticed it on the Uniform of McLaren’s Jenson Button, below BOSS and other sponsors. It was ‘DIAGEO’. This name may not be familiar to you, I doubt it’s familiar to a lot of people. It’s the company that owns Smirnoff, Strongbow, Guinness, and McLaren regular sponsor ‘Johnny Walker’ whisky.
The company had replaced all the mentions of its Whisky brand, on the competitors uniforms and helmets, to say DIAGEO. Similarly on the Force India cars, the usual ‘Kingfisher’ sponsor was different. Instead of plugging Kingfisher beer, instead the cars said ‘Fly Kingfisher’. Going from alcoholic beverage to little known airline in little more than 3 letters. Fly Kingfisher does exist, I have no idea where it flies, but it’s owned by the same person who owns the beer. One hopes they aren’t trashed while flying the aeroplanes.
As Arabic countries become more and more important in F1, and business, and the mainstream world – we’re only going to see more controversy where Alcohol is involved… and I can’t help wondering if it offers a foretaste of what lies ahead for alcohol advertising in the West, given the experience with tobacco.
Maybe it’s old news now, but perhaps it’s worth a bit of introspection a week after the dramatic scenes which became the defining image of the Student protests in London.
Now much could, and has, been said about the media, and how its at fault for highlighting a negative minority in a protest. This problem is not new, and was best highlighted by Charlie Brooker in his deconstruction of news coverage of the G20 protests. This protest was also defined by a violent few, resulting in legitimate peaceful protesters having their voices drowned out by the sounds of shattered glass and crackling flames.
Whether the emphasis on a violent minority by the media is right or wrong, it’s worth examining the other aspects of the protest to see whether they could, at least partially, explain the violence.
Now I’m not planning to go very in depth here, as I’m sure others will, but here are my thoughts on the issue. Organisers at the National Union of Students (NUS) were fast to denounce the violence after it happened, but one probable cause could be the language used by the organisation when it went about promoting the protests.
On the left is a poster for the Student Demonstration, based on the graphics issued by the NUS. It clearly says ‘Demolition”, a clever play on words on the one hand, after all, The ‘Demo’ was against the supposed ‘demolition’ of the education system. At least in the view of the NUS.
However, in hindsight, this slogan may have been a mistake. Demolition was a name given to the protest, and reinforced by a lot of the poster messaging given out by the NUS, and thus distributed around England’s Universities. This name was seized on by at least some groups, including those Anarchist ones later blamed for the incidents at the Millbank Tower as a definition for the event.
The sites were shown on the news, clearly titled their plans for the event under the same ‘Demolition 2010′ name which the NUS had suggested, with these posters, for their protests. This name could have led to an interpretation of the event very different from the “peaceful protest” that the NUS stressed that it intended after the event.
I don’t think anyone can say clearly whether things would be any different without the use of the aggressive language (and indeed military style graphics), and its hard to know whether the NUS will relent, since they now state they want to conduct “Decapitation Strategies” against any Lib Dems who break their pledge.
Will someone have to lose their head before the NUS uses theirs? Only time will tell.
Welcome one and all! I have finally got around to redesigning my website, after almost a year or so. The last website was very much focused on photography, and while that is something that I do, and still enjoy, it’s much better expressed on my Flickr page than on a website which can be difficult to update.
This new site, not only has a new colour scheme, but also places an emphasis on the design work I have been doing over the past few years, and am now able to do for paying clients. The site is based on the excellent Tesigner wordpress package and matches my Print Portfolio perfectly.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the site, I’ve spent quite a while on it!