Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Think for Yourself, Schmuck! => Topic started by: Cramulus on September 01, 2010, 04:05:23 pm

Title: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on September 01, 2010, 04:05:23 pm
Many of us feel that BRANDING contains many of the dangers of modern living.

Here's the argument:
We humans make sense of the world using narratives (http://chaosmarxism.blogspot.com/2010/08/narrative.html). Our expectations for how things work are are projections of stories we've heard.

A good BRAND is a really dense and adaptable form of narrative. Current marketing strategies focus on designing brands which can be easily and seamlessly become components of one's identity. Visualize the person wearing Adidas shoes, shirt, shorts, he's probably jogging or playing sports, you think of him as an active person. This is why you'd buy Adidas, because you resonate with that image in some way and want to incorporate it into your lifestyle.

(http://mimg.ugo.com/200806/21513/cuts/waynes-world_288x288.jpg)

Marketers capitalize on your desire to broadcast your identity and whatever has meaning in your life. They design brands which highlight personally relevant topics -- so you can be that health conscious guy drinking a vitamin water, that free thinker using a mac, that trendy media wizard on his iphone, that always-active guy in the Nike jersey. But as our culture becomes increasingly bent towards commercialism, brands have hijacked everyday life.

Quote from: Walter Benjamin, One-Way Street, 1928

"The freedom of conversation is being lost. If earlier it was a matter of course to take interest in one’s partner, this is now replaced by inquiry into the price of his shoes or his umbrella. Irresistibly intruding upon any convivial exchange is the theme of the conditions of life, of money. What this theme involves is not so much the concerns and sorrows of individuals, in which they might be able to help one another, as the overall picture. It is as if one were trapped in a theater and had to follow the events on the stage whether one wanted to or not, had to make them again and again, willingly or unwillingly, the subject of one’s thought and speech."

So Kalle Lasn and the Adbusters crew wanted to stop this. Their stated goal is "to bring the factory of images to a shuddering halt." They produce publications and events which encourage people to quit paying so much attention to each other's goddamn shoes. They think that by building ourselves out of commercial brands, by emphasizing commerce in everything we do, we've limited and stunted our mental freedom and have lost some degree of our autonomy. I agree with this.

Sadly, Kalle and crew don't have a great solution. Their response to commercialism is an effete "Just say no." They do not provide any alternative for those of us who agree with their position but still have to buy shoes every few months. (Well, they did have an answer, the Black Spot shoes (http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=25441.msg883143#msg883143), but that was an abyssal failure) Branding strategies are incredibly powerful and therefore attractive to people. If they want to spark a mass revolt against commercialism, they need to provide something cooler than commercialism. (Arch-Situationist Guy Deboard sadly insists that anything which can beat commercialism is temporary, and will eventually just be subsumed by commercialism. But I think that's okay if it gets the ball rolling)

so that's the problem.


(http://www.iceboxonline.com/images/casestudies/truth-campaign-main.jpg)

So Here's My Idea

What if there were brands not connected to a commercial product line?

Let's take the cool things about being "unbranded" and design a brand for it. But we don't then put that brand on sneakers and try to sell them to people. We give people the tools to express the brand in their own way.

Let's visualize it:

You're conscious of the world around you.

You're neophilic - you're not afraid of doing new things. You like do-it-yourself projects. You like meeting new people. You desire awesome experiences and things which make you feel like you're really alive.

You've figured out how to detach from the rat race. Your job is just this thing you do, it's not You. You know that you're not your wallet or the pieces of plastic inside of it.

You choose products based on quality and ignore as much of the marketing as possible.

You think commercials are boring. You are aware of the various trances that commercialism creates and capitalizes on. When you see people zoned out at the supermarket, glassy eyed and watching TV, lifelessly driving cars, you feel bad for them. But you take heart that you have left their ranks.

The stuff in your life doesn't look like it just came out of the box. You like to modify things, play with them, change them to fit you better. You own a few articles of clothing that you created yourself. Your identity is better expressed through original creations than any product you've purchased.

And despite your choices, you are not alienated. You have a vibrant life which is oriented around things that matter to you.

(http://www.twobucktees.com/images/236_Fleur_de_lis.gif)

These ideas would be connected to a symbol. This symbol can become part of your personal fashion. There is no retail outlet which carries these clothes, although you can probably find some online (http://www.zazzle.com/discordia_yellow_t_shirt-235725730180963390), created by other people who are into this idea. (This is okay - we're not trying to create an absence of commercialism, we're just not letting it call all the shots)

It's sort of like being a "hippie". There is no official product line for hippies. Hippies tend to dress a certain way, but it is not a uniform. The Hippy identity (read: brand) is connected to a bunch of political, commercial, and recreational choices. People choose whether or not to orient onto those things on a case by case basis.

To design this brand (read: lifestyle), we'd make some choices about style, about what symbols and slogans to use, and include some highly charged documents which can motivate people to get into it. We could launch something like a marketing campaign, but the product we're pushing isn't for sale. It's you.



So that's the pitch



Do you think that a new noncommercial brand could provide an attractive alternative to branding culture?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Placid Dingo on September 01, 2010, 04:17:49 pm
Dead tired. Will respond properly later but...

1. Noncommercial seems just as challenging as counter-culture. If the brand is popular enough to appear on t-shirts, is it still non-commercial? If so, isn't the 'brand' of Che Guvara shirts a 'non commercial' brand.

2. I love the idea but what's the point. That's not defeatist rhetoric; what's the actual motivation? Why should this be done?

One example of a n/c trend (though depending on definition of 'non-commercial') I observed was high school kids with young kids' back packs made vulgar. Thomas the Tank smoking a j, "Bob the Builder: Can we fix fuck it?" etc. These kinds of things could be marketed, but again; point 2; to what end?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on September 01, 2010, 04:34:55 pm
1. Noncommercial seems just as challenging as counter-culture. If the brand is popular enough to appear on t-shirts, is it still non-commercial? If so, isn't the 'brand' of Che Guvara shirts a 'non commercial' brand.


The idea is, basically, that people LOVE brands. They love having a cool label they can show off. It gives them the sense of having an identity.

Wouldn't it be cool if there were "open source" brand alternatives? Wouldn't it be cool if there was an explicit brand which has mass appeal, and was in the hands of a community instead of a corporation? That's something I could resonate with far more better than, say, Vitamin water.



Quote
2. I love the idea but what's the point. That's not defeatist rhetoric; what's the actual motivation? Why should this be done?

to decrease the power of commercial sigils which are designed to get inside our brain and influence our behavior.


Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Don Coyote on September 01, 2010, 04:39:36 pm
Why not....just buy clothes with no obvious brand label, or remove labels?

Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on September 01, 2010, 04:43:56 pm
I mean if you're really into the environment, there is a HOST of products which appear to support that cause. Off the top of my head, a local supermarket markets itself as the "Green" supermarket because they don't waste paper by mailing people coupons every week. This is stupid, they basically just slashed their paper budget and are spinning it as some kind of positive lifestyle choice. People like this are killing the "green" movement because they make it merely about identity and not about really about saving anything.

another good example is that court ruling about Vitamin Water. A judge ruled that they can't bill themselves as a healthy product because it's basically just colored sugar water. But before I knew that, I definitely bought vitamin water because I thought it was healthy. They are selling the Healthy Identity, they are packaging their product using Healthy memes, but they are not actually selling a healthy product. It's all smoke and mirrors.


My thinking is:

you create a "health conscious" brand. Let's call it "Healthy Brain Healthy Body". Part of that brand identity is "I understand that people are trying to deceive me all the time, so I actually read the package and educate myself about a product's contents." Normally, branding like this would be tied to a really healthy product. But I think that if you offer people the equivalent of a T-shirt which says "I make educated choices", people will go for that.

the difference between this idea and a straight up commercial brand is that I don't want to create products or make a million dollars. I don't want a privately owned brand. I want to create public resources which are owned by everybody.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on September 01, 2010, 04:49:36 pm
Why not....just buy clothes with no obvious brand label, or remove labels?



A good question. This is largely how I roll, btw.. I think I have like one shirt with a logo on it. I prefer simple clothing.

basically, I want to take that energy and give it a form that people can resonate and run with. There is no ad campaign which says "Stop being a billboard."

and there isn't always an "unbranded" choice.

In computers, you can get open source software. Free resources developed by a community. Why haven't we seen this sort of thing in other theaters?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Don Coyote on September 01, 2010, 11:18:15 pm
To me this notions just seems like saying, " I am a nonconformist"
To which is the reply is, "Just like the rest of you fucks?"

Having said that and probably sounding like a douche, I am going to think about this. There is some merit in it.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Juana Go? on September 01, 2010, 11:43:22 pm
I think that symbol is used by a brand already, or something very like it. Coach or something, for the lines that don't say "Coach" eighty bajillion times.

I get what you mean and I think you're on to something, but doesn't branding the brandless identity defeat the purpose?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Telarus on September 01, 2010, 11:55:26 pm
I think that symbol is used by a brand already, or something very like it. Coach or something, for the lines that don't say "Coach" eighty bajillion times.

I get what you mean and I think you're on to something, but doesn't branding the brandless identity defeat the purpose?

Nah, people are still going to cling to labels even without "the market" to guide them to their "favorite" labels.

I like the idea of subverting the Branding process and handing out the tools to do it. It's one of the only coherent things I get out of Ben Mack's (hi there :waves:) methods.

It'd be like pulling a "Lemon Party" on the Advertising industry.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cardinal Pizza Deliverance. on September 02, 2010, 12:09:06 am
Mmmm . . . Pepsi.

Yeah. The problem I see is that with any amount of success, the non-Brand will become a Brand and will start drawing people to it who resonate with the image it evolves into. And everything after that is shenanigans.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Requia ☣ on September 02, 2010, 12:11:27 am
Isn't that the point?  Not to avoid branding but to avoid any one person having control over the brand.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on September 02, 2010, 02:11:48 am
I think that symbol is used by a brand already, or something very like it. Coach or something, for the lines that don't say "Coach" eighty bajillion times.

Oh, I put in the image of the fleur de lis just to break up my wall of text. It's a pretty generic symbol, it's been used by literally hundreds of different organizations.

Quote
I get what you mean and I think you're on to something, but doesn't branding the brandless identity defeat the purpose?

good question. my goal is not to eliminate the phenomenon of people identifying with brands. That'd be a losing battle. Basically, I'd like to introduce a brand into the mix that is not commercial in origin, something owned publicly and created collaboratively.

I suppose by some measures this idea might be kind of redundant because brand-identities emerge spontaneously from subcultures already. I mean people were dressing "goth" and "punk" before it got co-opted by the various trendy retail joints like hot topic. And punk even carries with it a certain "I don't do mainstream" vibe. But that's so easy to market, it was really begging to be transformed into a mainstream product.

Guy Deboard, of the Situationists, was skeptical that you can create something of value that wouldn't eventually become a product. Adbusters' attempt was at least admirable - the "unbranded" brand. I wonder if it's possible to do that but without it being connected to a market. Or are brands something that emerge purely from markets? I think I'm blurring the word brand and lifestyle a bit, but I hope you get the idea?


Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Triple Zero on September 02, 2010, 12:09:50 pm
Why not....just buy clothes with no obvious brand label, or remove labels?

Because you can't show them off. Unbranded, really unbranded lacks memetic qualities to spread big. It's something you do for yourself (I do it too), but it's not something people will copy from you. It's also not something you can really advertise, because it's not visible enough.

Unless, by removing labels, you leave obvious rags or "scars" that say "a label was here, but I removed it, because I'm a label-remover" (emphasis on your brand-identity).

before I knew that, I definitely bought vitamin water because I thought it was healthy.

aw come on man, always read the label!! I thought that'd be a basic urban survival strategy in the US by now.

anyway,

Quote
you create a "health conscious" brand. Let's call it "Healthy Brain Healthy Body". Part of that brand identity is "I understand that people are trying to deceive me all the time, so I actually read the package and educate myself about a product's contents." Normally, branding like this would be tied to a really healthy product. But I think that if you offer people the equivalent of a T-shirt which says "I make educated choices", people will go for that.

the difference between this idea and a straight up commercial brand is that I don't want to create products or make a million dollars. I don't want a privately owned brand. I want to create public resources which are owned by everybody.

ahhh okay.

so at first I thought your OP was all for creating a new brand that's just "cool" by itself and have people wear that. so I thought, sweet, let's pick the Chao and the Pentagon and the K-Apple. They're stylish and we already have tens of designs for them too.

but going by what you now write, you're after something different.

you say health, let's pick a different one that says Sports. instead of Nike or Adidas logo, you want a new non-commercial logo for people to wear, to have their clothes be able to say I'M SPORTY ?

you already have those.

the shops that sell non brand clothing, well they always have a brand, but it's something nobody ever heard of.

talking about the big warehouses, not the ultra-cheap ones, but the reasonably stylish affordable ones. for the Dutch among is, that's HEMA, V&D, C&A, Xara, H&M ...

I believe H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) is an international (Swedish?) brand as well. Stylish cheap clothing that doesn't last very long.

* For starters you have the bullshit branding. I try to steer even more clear from those than the real big brands because it's so incredibly retarded. It's the shirts that have big faded block letters on them that say OCEAN MARINE CRATE #45 PILOT DOCK 1973 CREW . You know the ones I'm talking about. They try to appear to look like "something branded" but when you really take a look at it it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Sometimes the H&M ones do really tempt me because they are typographically/design-wise occasionally really nice (as opposed to the HEMA and V&D stuff which is horrible poopy typographic wannabe retro fail). I sometimes buy one when the bullshit branding has gone so far it's no longer words but just a jumbled mess of letters and it still looks nice, I pretend it's a typographic picture and all is good.

* Then there's the slightly less bullshit branding. There's random shirts and sweaters that somehow suggest baseball, soccer, basketball, you name it. Without saying Nike or Adidas. So if you wanna broadcast "I LIKE SOCCER" without being branded you can get those. They're cheaper too.

* Then there's the "actually pretty cool" stuff. Ok these are rare and you have to really look for them. One shirt I got at H&M has this mashup monotone graphics with a sort of face that looks a bit like my face in the middle except it has psychedelic spirals for eyes and a big grin with pointy teeth, but all in a sort of disconnected cut-up collage mashup style. It has no brand but it says IM CRAZY INSANE. That's nice.
Another one, even better, cause it's almost a memebomb, a sweater my gf bought for me at the Xara, the design looks like faded paint blots (which is why she bought it cause she knows I like abstract designs), but if you look closer, there's a text behind the paint blots that says DREAM WITH OUT SLEEPING ALL DAY. That's pretty cool.


So anyway, in order to get non commercial branded clothing with a branded-like message, you don't even need to print your own.

It doesn't really help, does it :)
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: LMNO on September 02, 2010, 02:27:45 pm
I'd also add that sometimes, wearing a brand is ok because that brand actualy does make quality products.

I think I've said this before, but I'm a sucker for Ben Sherman dress shirts, because the cut, tailoring, and textile choices are perfect for me.  They're well-made, look sharp, and are just, you know, cool.

More on-topic, a "no brand" product seems unlikely to me, because that is a specific category of product, and therefore can be considered a brand.  However, I see the point as being aware of brands.  Compare it to our often ranted-about Dumb Monkey behaviors.  There are times we can't help dropping to all fours and hooting while throwing our own shit at things; that's a part of who we are, how we're wired.  But if we are aware of it, we can make attempts to pull ourselves up and be a biped.

Similarly, if we are aware of how brands are marketed, then we can make conscious choices about what we buy and why we're buying it.  So in that way, the branding isn't controlling our behavior.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on September 02, 2010, 02:54:24 pm
the shops that sell non brand clothing, well they always have a brand, but it's something nobody ever heard of.
...So anyway, in order to get non commercial branded clothing with a branded-like message, you don't even need to print your own.

you make good points.

In trying to draw this concept up into something functional, I keep coming back to Guy DeBoard's sentiment.. I mean, we could create a set of public domain resources and instructions so that people could literally make their own clothes (regardless of whether they use Cafepress or iron-on decals). Or even just a logo that means "I made this". But ultimately, if that's cool and not protected, it'll be coopted.

I'd also add that sometimes, wearing a brand is ok because that brand actualy does make quality products.

Totally. "Doing everything the opposite of the mainstream is still being controlled by the mainstream." I would advise a pragmatic view - wear what you like.

I mean, I'm a PC guy. I don't use a PC because the commercials really resonated with me. I use it because I grew up using a PC and it's what I'm familiar with. Certainly I have some brand loyalty to microsoft -- I keep buying (or pirating) their products.

Your final point articulates a good direction much more clearly than I have so far --

Quote
Similarly, if we are aware of how brands are marketed, then we can make conscious choices about what we buy and why we're buying it.  So in that way, the branding isn't controlling our behavior.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: bds on September 02, 2010, 03:23:55 pm
One of the ways I personally like to conform to the "no brand" type of clothing is to buy tee shirts from Threadless/Teefury/Woot/etc. - Places that provide tees that aren't obviously "branded" per se, they feature mildly amusing or eye catching designs instead of a logo or whatever. Additionally, most/all of the designs are community submitted, meaning that there is little continuity from tee to tee, other than an original piece of artwork. Obviously this is still a brand, Threadless is a successful company, but they continue to manufacture tees that feature original designs.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Juana Go? on September 03, 2010, 05:42:56 am
Design by Humans (http://www.designbyhumans.com/) is similar, with fucking awesome designs. The new ones (I've been buying for about three years so  few things have come and gone) have a time little printed logo on the bottom left of the back of the shirts - just their name, logo, and the name of the design - and it's almost unnoticeable.

Anyway,
I think that symbol is used by a brand already, or something very like it. Coach or something, for the lines that don't say "Coach" eighty bajillion times.

Oh, I put in the image of the fleur de lis just to break up my wall of text. It's a pretty generic symbol, it's been used by literally hundreds of different organizations.

Quote
I get what you mean and I think you're on to something, but doesn't branding the brandless identity defeat the purpose?

good question. my goal is not to eliminate the phenomenon of people identifying with brands. That'd be a losing battle. Basically, I'd like to introduce a brand into the mix that is not commercial in origin, something owned publicly and created collaboratively.

I suppose by some measures this idea might be kind of redundant because brand-identities emerge spontaneously from subcultures already. I mean people were dressing "goth" and "punk" before it got co-opted by the various trendy retail joints like hot topic. And punk even carries with it a certain "I don't do mainstream" vibe. But that's so easy to market, it was really begging to be transformed into a mainstream product.

Guy Deboard, of the Situationists, was skeptical that you can create something of value that wouldn't eventually become a product. Adbusters' attempt was at least admirable - the "unbranded" brand. I wonder if it's possible to do that but without it being connected to a market. Or are brands something that emerge purely from markets? I think I'm blurring the word brand and lifestyle a bit, but I hope you get the idea?
I think I'm getting you now.

the shops that sell non brand clothing, well they always have a brand, but it's something nobody ever heard of.
...So anyway, in order to get non commercial branded clothing with a branded-like message, you don't even need to print your own.

you make good points.

In trying to draw this concept up into something functional, I keep coming back to Guy DeBoard's sentiment.. I mean, we could create a set of public domain resources and instructions so that people could literally make their own clothes (regardless of whether they use Cafepress or iron-on decals). Or even just a logo that means "I made this". But ultimately, if that's cool and not protected, it'll be coopted.
I'm a little fuzzy on copyright law for this stuff, but something like the
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) I use it for my photos, but might it be useful here?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Placid Dingo on September 04, 2010, 11:58:18 am
To clear things in my head (or even just to hear people's ideas) I want to gather what would be considered a 'successful' noncommercial brand. I have three examples.

ONE:
It is; As before, Che Guevara. That image was essentially an early CC'd piece; it was permitted for any use at all provided it respected his memory.
I wonder about the success because; It has become a defacto commercial brand, with very little promotion of the original idea.

TWO:
It is: 'No Sweat Shoes'
IWATSB: It's a commercial brand, even though it puts ideology before commerical success.

THREE: Coopted anything.
IWATHB: Here's the tough one for me; if it's cool, or popular or successfull it will be commercialised. If the hepcats are wearing Hilary Clinton T-Shirts they make in their basement, there WILL be commerical examples.

I love the idea of selling something to brand an idea or idealogy or aesthetic or WHATEVER that is non-commerical, but I wonder about the wisdom of aiming for a 'non-commercial brand' as opposed to 'branding something cool, in a way that isn't commercial'.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Xicked on September 06, 2010, 09:24:17 am

Wouldn't something like GASM fit into this idea?  Community developed, personally alterable, no product attachment and free to change and evolve however the individual chooses.  The word "GASM" is catchy and the general concept is attractive, and I don't really see how someone could take it and profit from it. 
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Placid Dingo on September 06, 2010, 10:21:20 am

Wouldn't something like GASM fit into this idea?  Community developed, personally alterable, no product attachment and free to change and evolve however the individual chooses.  The word "GASM" is catchy and the general concept is attractive, and I don't really see how someone could take it and profit from it. 

Give the (wo)man an Internet!

This idea to be expanded.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Faust on September 06, 2010, 11:52:14 am
This reminds me of Grant Morrisons talk about Sigils.
The idea of tying certain thoughts you want to entrench "I am strong, I know what I want and how to get it" and the like into a personal image, totem or slogan, basically to remind you of it on a regular basis.

Using your model irritating associations with the supernatural can be dropped, cram you have managed to transform Sigil "Magick" into something with a tangible and definitive basis in reality, The Personal Brand.
Congratulations.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Placid Dingo on September 06, 2010, 12:47:20 pm
Art of Memetics does the same thing.

The question GASMs gave me (innuendo unintended but allowable) was that what CONTEXT does a non-commercial brand work in?

Perhaps there is value in it having a functional purpose within a small group?

Perhpas it works because it codifies action instead of replacing it?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Telarus on September 06, 2010, 04:55:38 pm
Wow, this thread just got super interesting. I agree that with Brands/Sigils(Morrison-style), Context is key. Corporations don't just blatently market to the entire populations. they have key demographics and outliers that they want to attract & have them identify with their key demographic buzzwords ("Sports/Active" for Nike for example).
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Triple Zero on September 06, 2010, 05:11:09 pm
Yeah totally, because sometimes the "demographic outliers" are the popular innovating people, the ones that a lot of the "demographic average" look to follow.

Damnit now I feel like re-reading Art of Memetics :D Or maybe better one of the other marketing/memetics(/magick?*) books I got somewhere in my random ebooks dumping place on the external HD.

* actually I think Art of Memetics is the only one I've ever come across that ties together these 3 M's so explicitly, right?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Telarus on September 06, 2010, 06:39:38 pm
From my experience, Ed Wilson and we Unruh (Art of Memetics authors) are some of the only people who make it that explicit.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on January 30, 2012, 09:25:34 pm
Wouldn't it be cool if there were "open source" brand alternatives? Wouldn't it be cool if there was an explicit brand which has mass appeal, and was in the hands of a community instead of a corporation? That's something I could resonate with far more better than, say, Vitamin water.


It's been a a year and a half since I wrote this. I came across it randomly the other day.

And the more I think about it --- the thing I was describing already exists. I would say that the hilarious Internet Memes of any given year are the noncommercial iconography I was talking about. Let's look at the Rageface set of imagery as an example.

(http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lft4xyN7zX1qbvc38o1_500.jpg)

This guy ^ is not owned by anybody, he's public property. If somebody uses him for some product or cause, nobody jumps up, cocks a shotgun, and shouts GET OFF MAH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTAH. This is a good example of a collectively owned image. We need to develop more resources like this!

There's dozens of images like this, simple little drawings that communicate a very specific emotion. People use them all the time, reappropriating them, using them as a form of commentary, and tweaking them for different situations.

this image:
(http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/watch-out-we-got-a-badass-over-here-meme.png)

was originally this image of Neil DeGrasse Tyson:

(http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_luz89kf6cU1qa16ogo1_400.png)

But when you post this image, you don't want the science and celebrity connotation that comes with posting Neil, you just want the expression he's making. That's how we went from a photograph of a specific person talking about a specific thing to a De-contextualized line drawing. The line drawing is a more "clean" particle of communication ("clean" meaning free of confounding associations and potential to get sued).

Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on January 30, 2012, 11:37:59 pm
There are lots of non-commercial brands out there already. Headless dude in a suit talking with a robot voice, for example, or a Guy Fawkes mask at a protest...

I mean, hell, discordianism has some serious branding. Fnords, a golden apple, "hail Eris", the sacred chao: that's all branding work. What are you thinking about making a brand for?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Triple Zero on January 30, 2012, 11:45:56 pm
There's actually some reddit semi-drama about a guy that drew part of the rage imagery and decided to pull a copyright on it.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Placid Dingo on January 31, 2012, 07:17:21 am
Queen G's ample of the guy Fawkes mask is probably the best example I can think of.

Since I started taking part in this conversation I've swapped views a fair bit. Mainly the way I've been thinking was confused by the 'noncommercial' part. I was thinking being noncommercial was the point, now I feel just bein a brand is the point.

Discordia has a number, and I think Intermittens is one of the best. In fact in a way the PD brand is also a distinct discordian entity.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on January 31, 2012, 02:29:35 pm
What are you thinking about making a brand for?

When I wrote the OP, I was full of energy from having finished Christine Harold's Ourspace, and was trying to articulate an answer (http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,21182.msg716346.html#msg716346) to the AdBusters Black Spot campaign. The OP was a little scattered, I think, because I had a lot of ideas (http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=20959.0) buzzing around.

The AdBusters crowd (and their predecessors, the Situationists) suggest that life could be a lot better if the objects in our mental space didn't have all these commercial associations. I would agree with Doloras LaPichio (http://chaosmarxism.blogspot.com/2009/05/one-key-and-nine-commitments-of-chaos.html) that our current market is an "identity industry", and many of the identities you can build in this landscape are inherently confused, conflicted, and controlled.

AdBusters created this line of sneakers called the Black Spot, the idea was to create an unbranded brand. They wanted to manufacture sneakers that were explicitly devoid of a designer logo, so that the status you were seeking came from this outsider coolness, this rebellion against commercial branding.

I'll say in their favor that it was a noble effort. Ultimately, the idea fails because it's like the "Just Say No" campaign... it tells us not do something, but doesn't tell us what to do instead. The AdBusters position recommends not letting commercial branding get too tied up in your identity (which is a strong point), but has no instructions about how to stop being consumers. There's no alternative.

Mainly, my hope is that these organic brands which arise organically from culture (as opposed to a marketing team) give us ways of expressing our identity which isn't tied to a product. Because people desperately want to identify and individuate themselves, to customize their position within The MachineTM. And it would be better (IMO) if stuff like the Guy Fawkes mask, the rageface imagery, and all this great creative stuff we've invented together in the last 10 years were our primary means of self expression.


(http://images.intomobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/iPhone-BlackBerry-Android-csection-660x933.jpg)

^
this shit is pathetic
if anybody really thinks like that, I feel bad for them
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: AFK on January 31, 2012, 04:46:38 pm

this image:
(http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/watch-out-we-got-a-badass-over-here-meme.png)


FWIW, when I saw this image, which I'm seeing for the first time, it actually reminded me of Stanley from The Office.  Mostly because of the expression on his face.  I can totally picture that character on The Office making this kind of sarcastic gesture after Dwight goes on some self-important screed. 
 
 
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Golden Applesauce on January 31, 2012, 07:02:43 pm
My only objection to the community-controlled branding is that I don't want my brand controlled by the community.  Putting on a Guy Fawkes mask while protesting links your protest's brand to all the other protests using that mask - what happens if it's used by total losers?  I don't want to have to explain, "Yeah, I used to go protesting in one of those masks, but that was before they got picked up by the white power movement."
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on January 31, 2012, 07:05:47 pm
My only objection to the community-controlled branding is that I don't want my brand controlled by the community.  Putting on a Guy Fawkes mask while protesting links your protest's brand to all the other protests using that mask - what happens if it's used by total losers?  I don't want to have to explain, "Yeah, I used to go protesting in one of those masks, but that was before they got picked up by the white power movement."

It helps if you're comfortable with being branded as a bad guy.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on January 31, 2012, 07:34:05 pm
My only objection to the community-controlled branding is that I don't want my brand controlled by the community.  Putting on a Guy Fawkes mask while protesting links your protest's brand to all the other protests using that mask - what happens if it's used by total losers?  I don't want to have to explain, "Yeah, I used to go protesting in one of those masks, but that was before they got picked up by the white power movement."

a piece of IP owned by a community is a lot more flexible. The community doesn't have the legal authority to tell you how to use a symbol. Unlike Mickey Mouse, for example.

Or another example: Disney is largely responsible for the "Princess" brand (relating to young females). If you want to be a princess, there a ton of products and ideas for you to build a self from. And you can express that yourself in your own unique way, but you do not have the freedom to use the established iconography in new ways. You can't sell a shirt with Sleeping Beauty as Rosie the Riveter, for example. Sleeping Beauty (as a product) can only be used to express ideas Disney approves of.

They've even had Mickey Mouse taken out of elementary school classrooms. Why? Because they think the Mickey brand will be diluted if people see Mickey outside of the Disney-approved setting, or use Mickey to promote something undisney-like. That, IMO, makes Disney a limiting thing to build into your identity.


Guy Fawkes mask --- sure, anybody can use it to mean anything. And you might not like that association, but at least you're not a walking billboard for a specific product.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on January 31, 2012, 07:39:28 pm

a piece of IP owned by a community is a lot more flexible. The community doesn't have the legal authority to tell you how to use a symbol. Unlike Mickey Mouse, for example.

Allow me to introduce you to someone:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on January 31, 2012, 07:51:20 pm
I'm a bit dense, can you explain how the tragedy of the commons relates to my point about preferring community-owned brands to privately-owned brands?

Are you saying I should be referring to "open access resources" instead of "common property"?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on January 31, 2012, 07:54:18 pm
I'm a bit dense, can you explain how the tragedy of the commons relates to my point about preferring community-owned brands to privately-owned brands?

Are you saying I should be referring to "open access resources" instead of "common property"?

1.  Because someone in the community will somehow find a way to fuck it up for everyone.  This is an immutable law of mankind that dooms communism, libertarianism, and any sort of shared property set up.

2.  Yeah, that's probably a more workable idea.  When people hear "common property", they immediately turn into the very worst sort of monkey, to beat the rest to the punch.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Cramulus on January 31, 2012, 08:08:24 pm
I'm a bit dense, can you explain how the tragedy of the commons relates to my point about preferring community-owned brands to privately-owned brands?

1.  Because someone in the community will somehow find a way to fuck it up for everyone.  This is an immutable law of mankind that dooms communism, libertarianism, and any sort of shared property set up.

        Hmm, anything invented by a community will be fucked up. Very well....
           ------To the Apple store!
                \
(http://www.tmcgrafx.co.uk/images/scotchCorner/superman_sketch.jpg)


Quote
Are you saying I should be referring to "open access resources" instead of "common property"?
2.  Yeah, that's probably a more workable idea.  When people hear "common property", they immediately turn into the very worst sort of monkey, to beat the rest to the punch.

good point, will keep that in mind
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Faust on February 01, 2012, 11:02:18 am
My only objection to the community-controlled branding is that I don't want my brand controlled by the community.  Putting on a Guy Fawkes mask while protesting links your protest's brand to all the other protests using that mask - what happens if it's used by total losers?  I don't want to have to explain, "Yeah, I used to go protesting in one of those masks, but that was before they got picked up by the white power movement."

Does it? Check out the Polish Ministery.

(http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2012/01/a5337acae65633faba9abea9a06e9d47.jpg)

This has now been used by fringe groups and their polar opposites. When politicians start wearing it the context changes.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: LuciferX on March 05, 2012, 08:30:23 am
I think it challenges my way of thinking, however, it does not change the facts:  everyone's behind some dead-guys head, corner pocket.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: ethanfoster on March 19, 2017, 11:18:21 pm
Branding today is very important, once you have a product and without its unique name, then you likely to forget your business. Imagine of those big brands today, those top players in the market, they are now part of human history, but they also started out from nothing, struggles and failures. But those failures have made them anew, learning many aspects of business naming and agendas, they stands to what they are confident with and now, this 21st century, they still exist. That is only part of business branding, facing difficulties and knows how to deals with it.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Junkenstein on March 19, 2017, 11:25:35 pm
Branding today is very important, once you have a product and without its unique name, then you likely to forget your business. Imagine of those big brands today, those top players in the market, they are now part of human history, but they also started out from nothing, struggles and failures. But those failures have made them anew, learning many aspects of business naming and agendas, they stands to what they are confident with and now, this 21st century, they still exist. That is only part of business branding, facing difficulties and knows how to deals with it.

Which businesses are you thinking about here? surviving 16C ones? 19C?
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: LuciferX on March 20, 2017, 12:00:47 am
Yeah, and if I reserve copyright, can anyone explain to me how I can add additional fair-use CC attribution?  I mean, given that I may, how does the legislation intercede when owner discovers, for example, non-attributed use of IP for commercial purposes, or something else that would however violate "fair-use"?  Just thinking about it makes me want to dismiss all copyright, unless the gods of legalese have somehow figured all this out? (actually asking)
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Junkenstein on March 20, 2017, 12:11:24 am
My only objection to the community-controlled branding is that I don't want my brand controlled by the community.  Putting on a Guy Fawkes mask while protesting links your protest's brand to all the other protests using that mask - what happens if it's used by total losers?  I don't want to have to explain, "Yeah, I used to go protesting in one of those masks, but that was before they got picked up by the white power movement."

It helps if you're comfortable with being branded as a bad guy.

Again, the bold, Marginalia etc.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: thelifeofapanca on March 26, 2017, 04:15:20 pm
old thread I know but a very interesting thought! Thanks!
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on March 27, 2017, 03:24:48 pm
Yeah, and if I reserve copyright, can anyone explain to me how I can add additional fair-use CC attribution?  I mean, given that I may, how does the legislation intercede when owner discovers, for example, non-attributed use of IP for commercial purposes, or something else that would however violate "fair-use"?  Just thinking about it makes me want to dismiss all copyright, unless the gods of legalese have somehow figured all this out? (actually asking)

Missed this before.

CC isn't public domain, you are voluntarily releasing some of your rights as the copyright holder but not all. So if someone is using your CC work in a way that is not expressly permitted by the CC license, then regular copyright law is still in play. In your example, you find someone using your writing for commercial purposes without attribution and the first step would be angry letters from lawyers or filling out online complaints with the website hosting the material, and you'd escalate from there if the person infringing didn't comply.

If it got to the courts, the fact that you released it CC-Non Commercial would be unlikely to work against you in a case where unattributed commercial use took place. The other party would have to prove that their work was transformative, that is they changed it so much that it's a unique work now and your copyright no longer applies. That's a high burden of proof, and unless you have Prince money and fame it's generally a losing strategy. If it's a news organization, different rules apply.
Title: Re: Noncommercial Branding
Post by: Bathtub Jim on April 04, 2017, 02:50:14 pm
Why not....just buy clothes with no obvious brand label, or remove labels?

This is literally how I tackle this problem. Sometimes band shirts make the cut, but wearing logoless shirts, shoes, etc, is the only way I see how to combat this branded nonsense that consumes our lives.
In other ways, I am still a slave to branding, such as minor things with soda.
Branding isn't completely awful though when branding actually says something, such as with cars, where Tesla, Ford, and Honda all say very different things about the driver but also serve a very different function than each other.

In taking a brief survey of the room I'm in and glancing at the people, most people are wearing logoless clothing.
In many ways, clothing is purely commercial and consumerist. No one wants for clothing in America, Americans want for clothing with status or for clothing that fits with certain events (suit for an interview at the firm). To advocate for a non-branded clothing, a non-commercial clothing line is to engage in the exact same superfluous commercial activity that can be so concerning when taking a critical eye to the world around us.
If someone tried to sell me an identity centered around rejecting identities, that might not be the hook for me that it once was.