Devo Wants To Poke You, Make You Wake Up

Why is the band Devo doing a color study? That’s sort of like asking why they play music with flower pots on their head. To promote their first album in 20 years. Duh.

Bob Garfield of Ad Age tries to explain:

Ahh, but of course. The agency here is Mother, whose Swedish principals pioneered Devo-ish ultra-postmodernism at Paradiset back in the mid-’90s, for Diesel and roboticothers. If ever a client and an agency were better suited, we’d be hard-pressed to recall it. The campaign is the perfect product of the perfect marriage … unless …
Unless it is all too clever by half.
Is it possible to satirize market research, corporate-speak, focus-group-speak and most of all consumer manipulation when you are actually trying to manipulate the consumer? Is the cult of Devo so hip that it will actually resent being played like the clueless research subjects, for schmucks?

But wait, there’s more thumbs in the ribs of corporate culture where that came from:

The idea that a punk band would hire an ad agency that would in turn ridicule advertising is part of the weirdness of it all and its own statement about the times we live in. But when you’ve gone 20 years without releasing an album, it does seem like a decent way to build some buzz.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.