No Logo, No SUV, No Problem

In his latest post, Ernie Schenck considers the growing ranks of anti-advertising forces.

These days, it seems like everyone is talking about the rise of the consumer as marketing ally. But what about the rise of the consumer as marketing antagonist?
It’s one thing to put up a microsite and ask people to make movies about sneakers or write stories about their greatest hotel adventure or whatever. But what do you do when instead of brand mavens, you’ve got a bunch of brand malcontents seemingly driven to undermine you at every turn.
Consider Hummer. If it isn’t a bunch of eco-terrorists sneaking into some hapless Califiornia Hummer dealership in the dead of night and torching every single one of the big ass SUV’s on the lot, it’s these guys. They call themselves The Green Hummer Project and I seriously doubt Hummer will be asking them to get involved with future marketing projects.

I once had the chance to work for an entrepreneur who used his Hummer as a private office, since his real loft-style office had no door. While sitting in his passenger seat one day, listening to his pitch as he motored around the West Loop, I thought there’s no way I can work for this guy.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Adbusters should be required reading for anyone in marketing or advertising. When the giant consumer debt bubble pops, and it will (The Economist this week says that 7% of American consumer spending in 2004 actually came from home equity loans), marketers will have an incredibly difficult time creating new wants, and anti-consumerism may become a larger cultural/religious phenomenon.
    David, good call on not working for that guy. Driving a Hummer — a vehicle that’s hazardous to other drivers, the environment, foreign polocy, and the general welfare of the republic — is like giving everyone the finger, all the time.

  2. Thanks Seamus. As I recall, the gentleman in question also had some problems keeping the upper buttons on his shirt fastened. And the hair? Blow dried. So, it’s not all Hummer’s fault.

  3. Oh, and Adbusters was cool until they came up with the Chuck-like anti-sneaker. Then, not so much.
    Stick to what you know, is my advise. Subvert the dominant paradigm. Leave shoe making to the cobblers.

  4. Brian Bernier says:

    Some dork even came up with an anti-white t-shirt white t-shirt.

  5. That shirt is hilarious. It pays to be a dork. Certainly more than being a dweeb.

  6. Agreed on the black-spot sneaker thing. The only thing more silly and ill-advised than the creation of it was all the pride they took in it, like they invented something really clever. The magazine can be amazing (and depressing), but these kinds of projects and “culture jams” kind of leave me cold.

  7. Brian, as someone opposed to the whole “undershirt as outerwear” fad, I may need to buy one of those.