Where portfolio students talk.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Uptown Effect

If you're in advertising, you shouldn't be all about advertising. That's my half-ass excuse for not posting anything today. So today, it's most definitely casual Friday. The question of the day:

  • How legitimate is it to hate a team based solely on the obnoxiousness of their fans?
They key word here is solely. I certainly think that obnoxious fans can add to hating a team based on other factors (the players, the city, rivalries etc.), but can you for example, hate the Boston Red Sox or the Chicago Cubs because of the teeny-bopping, bandwagon-jumping fan base they attract?

Also, can this be applied to ad agencies? Sometimes I sense people hate on CPB because of their relatively explosive growth and popularity. Thoughts on what I call the "Uptown Effect" please.


Andy said...

If I see one more "celebrity" talk about how much they love the fucking Red Sox I'm going to puke. Or if I hear someone else ask how the Yankees will go on without Joe Torre I will bitchslap them. I think it's absolutely legitimate to not like a sports team based on their fans. With that said, I think that you can be passionate, but c'mon. There's a line. And it gets crossed more than it should (I'm looking at you Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, Patriots, Ducks, and Packer fans.)

R. Falch said...

Packers fans OWN the team. Now that's commitment.

And I don't need any more reasons to hate the Cubs. But their "fans" add to my unadulterated hatred.

I guess I don't care enough to hate an ad agency.

Except for everyone involved in Tag's creative and planning for completely ripping off existing work.

americanmidwestsamurai said...

What do you think about an even further extent of this phenomena, the "Merchants of Cool" effect where hating a team because of the popularity of or obnoxiousness of their fans actually becomes so popular (example: NY Yankees that anti-fans become more obnoxious than the fans and you end up rooting for the team?

R. Falch said...

It's interesting because I hate the Yankees, but sort of felt bad for them recently and found myself rooting for them against the Red Sox.

I guess I never really thought about it until now.

So I am shifting my attitude about the team based upon how others feel about them?

That makes me a shifter.

americanmidwestsamurai said...

This underscores a larger idea behind consumer behavior. The momment something becomes "cool" it is doomed to shortly thereafter become the antithesis of cool.

americanmidwestsamurai said...

Its like the one Mad TV skit that was ever funny about how white people steal/learn cool words from black people ("How in the hell did they get da bomb?!") and render them un-cool.

R. Falch said...

It's pretty hard to believe that a Mad TV skit was funny.

americanmidwestsamurai said...

(Shhh...before it stops being funny)

Casey Brewer said...

I hate pretty much everything that a lot of people like. Not because a lot of people like it, but just because I have a keen sense of knowing before hand what is going to blow the fuck up to the point where kids in butt-fuck Hibbing will think it's cool. A major part of the "cool factor" is knowing about it before it gets exploited or overdone for mass consumption. By that point i've already heard it or seen it enough where I become bored of it.

I also like a lot of things that everyone hates. Like Darryl Strawberry, This Old House and Steely Dan.

americanmidwestsamurai said...

I almost think the mentality of liking the ridiculous (ie. Daryl Strawberry, White Castle) is becoming more and more prevelant in our culture, no?

American humor is firmly rooted in satire and sarcasm and I would hypothesize it has spilled over into our cultural attitidues in a lot of things.

But what about artists like Radiohead, Tool--television shows like The Office and film-makers like the Cohen Brothers who more often than not maintain a level of integrity while boasting great popularity among the masses? Is this a sustainable model, or will they eventually all disenegrate into expendable pop culture-dom?

Continuing on this dynamic: Is a great ad, a great ad because someone thinks it is, or because most all people in the business can agree it is?

R. Falch said...

A great ad is a great ad if it achieves its goal for the client and if a bunch of adnerds think it's cool.

Things like Radiohead, Tool and The Office don't have to start sucking.

And this upcoming Cohen Bros movie better get back to their other greats.

minx said...

good lord, what blog did i click over to? is this superbeast? no?

casey, i so liked the things you said you liked before they were cool way before you thought they were cool. i'm already over darryl strawberry. and steely dan. but maybe we can sit around sometime and watch this old house and talk about how ahead of the game we are.

Casey Brewer said...

Darryl Strawberry isn't ridiculous, he's a true American tragedy. I locked myself in my room and cried for two days straight when I found out he beat his wife in 1989. I still pull for him though, because he's gone through this incredible cycle of fallen hero/ repentent man-child his entire professional career. That and he had the best home-run stroke I've ever witnessed. Before the juice. When everybody else was on Kirby's jock, I was listening to "Chocolate Strawberry" on vinyl. Darryl's hit rap song that he skipped practice with the Mets to record. Now that's gangster.

This Old House might be my favorite Saturday afternoon hangover cure. I'm always entertained, and I might actually learn something. You're invited Minx.

Steely Dan is despised by many, but there is no better music to clean your house to.

Some things like Arthur's example of Tool are just boring to me. Look, I liked them when I was 14 years old, but I grew out of that teen angst and all the crappy bands they spawned. When you're a 30 something musician singing about things that concern 13 year olds, at some point you have to be considered a pussy right?

The Coen Bros? Definitely creators of two of my favorite all-time films, but what have they done for me lately? I even bought their novel and it sucked.

I would rip Radiohead too, but I know Falch would have an emotional breakdown along the likes of what they write songs about. That would just bum me out. I guess I admire their efforts, but I can't say I'm a fan.

Ricky Gervais stopped doing The Office in the UK because he didn't want it to become stale. I think that's a pretty smart thing to do if holding integrity is something you believe in.

R. Falch said...

Casey is full of faslities.

americanmidwestsamurai said...

Okay, my examples don't work for you. These things are obviously subjective. But would you contend that something with cultural integrity is inherently unable to maintain its creative salience thru the test of mass popularity?

(I was talking about the American Office by the way)

Casey Brewer said...

Yes they are subjective. And yes, I would say that integrity is hard to maintain over time, and or mass consumption. It's not impossible though.

I think that's why you see clients consistently switching agencies every few years. They want a fresh approach, and in some cases, even when the work is very good.

Falch, what's"faslities"?

arthur said...


Casey Brewer said...

Link doesn't work.

R Thomas said...

^^ Sure it does, Copy and paste. The only reason I wouldn't recommend RadioLab is that I selfishly want the information to myself.

Eric said...

No comment

Eric said...

No comment here...But go Sox

Eric said...

No comment