Friday, February 27, 2009


This kind of advertisement by Marc Jacobs is disgraceful. What is with this email ad made not even in Microsoft Paint, but probably in Microsoft Word? The ridiculous font, the absent apostrophes, the picture-of-a-picture quality of the photo, and the insinuation that someone would want these boots so badly they'd badger an employee about saving them behind the register?


This is coming from a man who has an awesome killer-calves-and-kilt combo going on lately and is a supposed fashion god of some sort. I have to say though, I've never really gotten any wanty-itis at this store like I do across the street at Club Monaco. And these pathetic emails are not doing their image any favors. Who is responsible for this horror?


james rhys said...
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james rhys said...

Also, note the quotation marks around the final disclaimer. This kind of quotation mark misuse follows a distinctive pattern, which cannot but raise some interesting questions regarding the marketing logic of late capitalism.

Quotation marks usually frame slogans, which, historically and conceptually, are lower down the evolutionary ladder than brands. Unlike brands, which are empty signifiers with a purely formal relation to the corporate identity they proclaim, slogans convey concrete, functional information about the product or service being offered, albeit often in a stylized way. Small one-off businesses like restaurants and plumbers, unable to afford sophisticated branding consultation, often use slogans in quotation marks on the bottoms of their signs and pamphlets (Drain King, "for a royal flush"). However, sometimes the quotation marks are misapplied to something other than a slogan. In Los Angeles I'm used to seeing this kind of quotation mark misuse in the promotional materials of small businesses run by recent immigrants (Taco King, "free delivery within 5 miles").

"All special items cannot be put on hold, and are final sale" is not Marc Jacobs' slogan, or if it is, it is a crappy slogan. Moreover, Marc Jacobs has attained a degree of global brand-awareness which would normally preclude the need to employ a slogan at all. Many Marc Jacobs customers would undoubtedly perceive a slogan as boorish.

In light of this, is it possible that the quotation mark misuse in this email promotion, taken alongside the funny font and omitted apostrophers, tips the balance away from interpreting it as 'bad' and toward interpreting it as a refined satire of language-use/marketing practices dependent upon outdated distinctions between highbrow and lowbrow, form and function, brand and slogan? That is, something on par with Jeremy Scott's Snickers dress?

Then again, that dress sucks and 'Marc' is only the fucking diffusion line so that ad was probably written by a retard.