Stüssy with “Strip for Likes” – does sex sell at least “likes”?

Stussy Strip for Likes Model Advertisement
Stussy Strip for Likes Model Advertisement
Stussy Strips Model for Likes on Facebook

Via this tweet by Florian Schleicher aka @_whoelse on twitter, I learned about the “Stüssy-Amsterdam strip for likes” campaign. Called the “Model Strips for Likes” by AdRants, it just goes to show that the point of advertising is frequently not advertising at all, but to cause a stir to sell more product. To garner attention for your brand to sell more.

If you are Coca-Cola then when you advertise it is probably advertising to keep your name out there. As Ries and Ries would say, an established brand defends their market position with advertising but builds it with PR. If you are a brand on a budget then it really isn’t advertising; it’s PR. It’s not social media; it’s PR. A stunt using social media as a vehicle, a tactic, as part of a larger PR strategy.

And OK, maybe this article won’t will improve your sex life (as published in PR Strategist). And yet it got read and maybe somebody got laid and the content really does help your business. #guilty

The bad news is it takes 10 years to build a brand and you better have some great PR to get there. And then you better have a budget to defend that position with advertising or an even more amazing PR team to keep your name out there. I know from firsthand experience. In Houston the brand Schipul is quite well known after 14 years. We are “THE Web Marketing Company” and yes I stole that from Chomsky. But when I say our name in San Francisco, while the techies and creatives (sometimes) know the “Schipul Brand“, the businesses and normal people do not. On the West Coast and in Silicon Valley they call us Tendencii for the software we wrote that powers so many non-profits.

Cool. I’m fine with that. I embrace the (brand) position in the mind of the consumer. Call us whatever you wish. Let us focus in and pound on that brand message until our own brand manager is sick of hearing it. Then, and only then, is it remotely possible that the audience vaguely heard it.

Feel free to disagree with the values espoused by Stüssy, that a facebook-like is like losing a hand at strip-poker (sidenote: if I was one of the people in the photos on wikipedia for strip poker, I’d tell every one of my GrandKids just to show how “cool” I was back in the day. Every. Single. Family. Reunion. “Hey, did you know I’m in on Wikipedia under Strip Poker?” Actually, that sounds kind of creepy. Never mind. But I bet the people in the photos do. #heh).

But you can’t say the sensationalism doesn’t work. Here I am blogging about some random fashion brand I never heard of that makes puffy clothes. Really? I can’t even type that kind of “U” – I had to copy and paste it so it had the funny marks “ü“ above it.

And as consumers clearly we can’t say we are offended about “sex sells” when one of the most watched shows every year is the Victoria Secret fashion show. Turn up the volume and the dialog is very pro-women and supportive (I can say that because my wife said it so I’m just repeating what she said. Cool Rach? The “a-the woman-said-it-first-defense” for those keeping score.)

As far as getting a model to strip, well, it doesn’t take much to get Google to give you every fanciful photoshopped whatever whatever. There has to be some further “esprit de corps” among the Stussy fans to achieve this “goal” – no matter how pointless it is. As Stussy’s model levels-down her clothing the fans level-up (as in WOW? When the fans are one google search away from Kate Moss? Can they not afford $300 for a collectible (?!?) copy of Madonna’s book on Amazon? Or at least use the google?)

I really don’t know. But clearly there is more to the situation than the fountain pen where the pin-up bikini disappears when you turn it upside down. It is the participatory, I click and things change, aspect that seems to be at work here. Fan this page until she’s too sexy for her shirt. (zOMG, they updated the “too sexy” video too. Who knew?)

No, I really don’t get it. And no, I am not going to “like” Stüssy‘s page in the vain hope that another skinny model will reveal herself. Absolutely no shortage of that.

Regarding Victoria Secret and The Limited Brands, Russell James does a great job of engaging photographers and models through facebook with his behind the scenes and insights into photography on his Facebook page and on twitter as NomadRJ. And as a photographer I don’t find those offensive.

GoDaddy is the classic example of sex-to-sell controversy. And they do it year after year. At this point my bet is they just call the SuperBowl Ad Committee and say “Do we really have to submit 5 ridiculously over-the-top advertisements for you to reject publicly or can we just issue the press release and give you the real ad?” I do wish we saw more of Danica Patrick in the winners circle than dancing with the Pussycat Dolls though.

Then there was the Danish (fake) Mother looking for her one night stand. To sell tourism. Ya, bet that went over GREAT in the homeland. And now we have Stüssy with “Strip for Likes” Is this progress? I think not.

The funny part is as I type this Stussy only has about 3k followers. You’d think for the flak they will take for this that they might be up farther. On the other hand, the clothing looks kind of stuffy and I’m from Texas and have no need for it. #meh

In conclusion, my position remains, as a society we need more breasts, and a lot less violence, especially against women. But I am not about to suggest that my clients mount a strip-for-likes campaign. I don’t think it will work, and it’s stupid. So there is that.

(Via Florian Schleicher aka @_whoelse on the Twitter (me too!)

Edelman Trust Barometer 2011

Edelman Trust Barometer 2011 Released. Highlights from Meg Strout’s blog followed by the slideshare. Meg’s summary:

  • There’s been a decline in trust in “a person like myself” and regular employees, arguably because of “over-friending”
  • Trust in credentialed experts (70%) and company technical specialists (64%) is soaring
  • Informed publics (media consumers) need to hear things three to five times for it to effect a behavior change
  • To stand out and build trust, businesses must activate internal thought leaders across several spheres of media

Via Meg Strout

rosen on wikileaks – stateless news organization

Worth a read on wikileaks Wikileaks, the World’s First Stateless News Organization

Ask yourself: Why didn’t Wikileaks just publish the Afghanistan war logs and let journalists ‘round the world have at them? Why hand them over to The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel first? Because as Julien Assange, founder of Wikileaks, explained last October, if a big story is available to everyone equally, journalists will pass on it.

“It’s counterintuitive,” he said then. “You’d think the bigger and more important the document is, the more likely it will be reported on but that’s absolutely not true. It’s about supply and demand. Zero supply equals high demand, it has value. As soon as we release the material, the supply goes to infinity, so the perceived value goes to zero.”

pay to play journalism – all of them?

broken window theoryLike the National Enquirer (who oddly enough just filed for bankruptcy), now everyone is willing to pay for stories. OK, technically it sounds like they pay the interviewee for use of images and video an exorbitant amount to avoid (theoretically) crossing that journalistic line. From the story on the Washington Post on Checkbook Journalism.

“thanks to heightened competition for the next big “get,” journalism’s Thou-Shalt-Not-Pay commandment has lately been taking a beating. News and gossip sites that paid for information have broken some of the biggest and most sensational recent stories. TV news divisions have joined in, spurring an arms race to buy big stories.”

and

CNN spokeswoman Edie Emery insisted, however, “CNN does not pay for interviews or sources. Yes, CNN did pay a licensing fee for exclusive rights to Schuringa’s cellphone image. Payment for the exclusive license of the image was never a condition of the guest interview.” In fact, CNN did interview Schuringa.

and

An ABC News spokesman, Jeffrey Schneider, also said the fees were not tied to any promises of an interview. “We compensate a rights-holder for video or pictures that they own in the same way that The Washington Post would pay a photographer for his pictures,” Schneider said.

So who can you trust? IMHO whether paid or based on some agenda, you should always be skeptical of the media regardless of the SPJ code of ethics.

And in disclosure, the WP has agreed to pay me $100,000 to run this story on my blog. OK, actually they are paying me for RIGHTS to use my cc licensed photo top right at some future date. Yup, the photo of broken stuff.

It’s true.

OK, it’s all true except that last part. But if you know someone at the WP, will you send them my address so they can mail a check?

PR on Blogs – What are they saying and how should I respond?

Pr_on_blogs_panelTwo days of total public relations immersion (yes I will join PRSA…).  My panel is Engine Overhaul – New Technologies Open the Door for New PR Opportunities at 9:00 AM.

To prepare I have been asking folks "what do you want to see covered?"  In a conversation with Danielle Ezell, APR of 20 Hats PR in OKC, she said it boiled down to two questions:

  1. What are they saying about a subject?
  2. How should we respond?

A bit more concise than my planned presentation.  Yet a direct answer is possible.

  1. Use Technorati to search a subject.  Example search for Radio Shack.:
    http://www.technorati.com/search/radio%20shack
    another option is to set up google alerts for the same terms.  Or do both.
  2. How to respond?  Join in the conversation.  Don’t talk down.  Respect first and be genuine.  Read naked convesations for a good introduction or go straight to cluetrain for the psychology.

There.  Now I can skip my panel and keep drinking coffee.  Or not.

update: added the photo.  The PPT slides should be posted on prsadallas.org shortly.

update2: My PPT slides on New Tech and PR on our site as well. 

Interesting Links at 6:00 AM

Can Branding differentiate? – Lipitor vs Generic – Billion-Dollar Battle Looms
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/15/business/15statin.html?th&emc=th

Wal-Mart Wants to Open a Bank – Another PR Problem for the Megachain
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/15/business/15walmart.html?th&emc=th

Per-Link Valuation of Blogs is Crap
http://www.internetoutsider.com/2005/10/mogul_calacanis.html

Google Adsense Makes This Guy Happy (but with 105 "employees" the math is tough)
http://calacanis.weblogsinc.com/entry/1234000403051129/