Monday, June 2, 2008

Punk Rock and Going Green:
The End of Integrity

--Feature: "Consumption Junction w/John Rooks"--

In 2005 when Nike launched skateboard brand Nike SB and attempted to promote their East Coast Skate Tour called "Major Threat," it was an unveiled homage/ to the punk bank Minor Threat. Using similar graphics and language, it was an attempt to market to cooler-than-they skate speak their language. It resulted in an outrage from the community they solicited.

It would be like Monsanto using "Leaves of Grass" in a headline. Or Dow Chemical marketing an air freshener called "Silent Spring.”

Nike was shooting for urban grit and shot themselves in the foot.

We're not seeing that outrage from the greenspace. Not yet. But maybe we are close. I hope so.

For today’s green advertising, there’s a sense that nothing is sacred. And in advertising, nothing ever is…not even authenticity. (As one Weiden + Kennedy creative director once said, "sacred cows make great steaks.”)

Punk band Bikini Kill is often attributed as the coiner of the post feminist punk movement called Riot Grrl. Their music and album covers are also pointed to as the originator of the phrase “Girl Power.”

Today, Girl Power is more affiliated with the Spice Girls. It’s entertainment and clownery. It’s selling Girl Power like GE sells clean coal.

What does this have to do with Green Marketing? Everything. When the mass marketers try to cajole us into buying the latest element using authentic green language, we have to wonder where this is taking us. If only we had the sustainability of the punk movement.

Consumption Junction is a feature column focusing on culture, advertising and the ethical consumer written by John Rooks. John is the President of DWELL Creative, a progressive advertising and marketing agency voted one the Top 25 agencies by LOHAS Journal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most people say punk is dead. The music may have been dusted away under the carpet, but I think the punk mentality still stands. With loyalists still listening to Sex Pistols, The Germs, Misfits, etc and keeping that way of living still in the back of their minds while embracing a new era of our generation. The corporate takeover. I think for as long as we are on this planet companies will continually try to exploit oldies but goodies in an effort to stay relevant in an ever changing world. Green living is probably one of the bigger marketing trends in the past decade or so. But I think anyone could understand the basic fundamentals of trying to go green.

Another thing I want to talk about is bioheat, it’s just one small measure that people can take in order to start living a greener lifestyle.

Has anyone ever heard of it, or has switched to it? I want to start taking initiative in turning my home into a greener household, one way I have started is by switching out all my lightbulbs in my home to energy efficient lightbulbs. And I am also seriously considering switching over to bioheat as an alternative to regular oilheat. The thing that I love the most about it is that it’s completely clean burning, and is comprised of a b5 blend of oils which are derived from natural plant and vegetable sustainable resources such as corn, hemp, and avocados just to name a few. If you all want more information on how bioheat works, just go on to I work with NORA to bring this info to you all!