Friday, November 12, 2010

Mixed Messages: Urban Clean-Up, Advertising Mash-Ups

Neighborhood beautification at its best

In my last bit of postage ("postage" being a redundantly nounified version of "post," much like "signage" for "sign," or "Carthage" for the ancient city of Carth) I looked at misguided signage placed by people who wish to keep dogs away from their curbside gardenage. Maybe I shouldn't be passing such judgments on people—I'm easily more misguided than half the slobs I cross paths with on any given day, and the quotidian trials and tribulations of modern life constantly leave me positively flummoxed. Flummoxed, by the way, means baffled or disoriented, as if having smoked some flum, or having been run over by a big odorific ox.

A flummox

So it's a matter of public record that I am no stranger to the role of Public Imbecile, but if anything I think that makes me more qualified to address the inanities going on around me. Anyway, for the time being I will refrain from further indictments of sign-posters. In the case of the above dog-related road-sign, I sympathize with people who simply wish to keep their block clean and dignified, and certainly there's no better way to improve the aesthetics of a neighborhood than by putting up an image of a defecating animal.

Now then, speaking of mixed messages, here's another bit of paradoxical advertising put forth by the Levi Strauss Denim Jeans and Pants Company, the likes of which I previously addressed.

"Enduring and essential, the cord has been reinvented for the modern worker in all of us."

Reinvented? I could be missing something, but those pants look exactly the same as all the corduroys I've ever seen. There's no doubt, however, that the names of the color swatches have been reinvented.

Again Levi's presents us with a masterful advertising mash-up: there's a bold statement meant to appeal to our would-be rugged and inudustrious side, paired with a subtler nod to the fact that "the modern worker in all of us" just wants to pick out paint colors from the Martha Stewart catalog.

Incidentally, at least a couple of those colors are named for Martha's dogs ("Sharkey Gray" and "Francesca"), which makes me wonder if one of the corduroy swatches is named for the Levi's mascot.

Here we have, let's say, Chip the jeans model, and beloved Levi's spokesdog Demitasse. You can't tell from the black and white photo, but he's really a breathtaking hue. Truly, an impressive example of doggage, Demitasse has a look that is both rugged and carefree—and he poops where he pleases, signage be damned.

No comments: