One Small Book Takes on Centuries of Imperialism and Snobbery
Interesting chapter names from Steven Grasse's The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined The World:
"They Love a Good Hanging"
"They Can't Dance"
"They More or Less Castrated Scotland"
"They Worship a giant Clock God as the Living, Ticking Symbol of State Authority"
"They're Descended From Cannibals"
"Their Country Has Too Many Flags and Too Many Names"
We're so glad Radar is back...not only because we dig it, but because they just highlighted a big hunk 'o Evil Empire:
A part of me wants to love the United Kingdom; because I'm an American, I've always looked up to the UK. The British seemed like older, wiser siblings a little stiff maybe, but friends who have stuck by our side through thick and thin.
Having seen too many a smug Englishman drag the name of my country through the mud, I've decided to fight back. I ask that you stand with me.
Then, all of a sudden, just when America began to come into its own as a 21st century superpower, the British started picking on us. No longer do I feel warmth in the UK when I introduce myself as an American. Instead it's anger, bitterness, a hollow superiority, and most of all, intense jealousy. Over polite business luncheons, I've been told that my president is an idiot. That my countrymen are dolts for electing him. That America is responsible for ruining the world.
The Mainstreaming of Tattoo
(from NY Times Magazine) In 2005, Scott Campbell was approached by Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) to create art for a campaign on behalf of Camel cigarettes. Campbell and some of the other young tattoo artists who contributed to the Camel campaign also did some designs for Sailor Jerry. But this is where the tattoo/authenticity/marketing nexus gets weedy. The Sailor Jerry brand is owned by Quaker City Mercantile, the ad agency that hired Campbell to work for Camel. "What we notice with tattoo artists, versus other kinds of indie artists, is that tattoo artists like making money. It's their business."
WHAT WE'RE OBSESSED WITH THIS WEEK
3. Dueling nations
Steven A. Grasse's book "The Evil Empire: 101 Ways that England Ruined the World" (out April 23) is already causing a minor uproar across the pond. We'd like to add ridiculously high airport taxes and mushy peas to its list.
Is it a book? A marketing case study? The amusing rant of a guy with a bit of fried (you say, I say) potato on his shoulder? "The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined the World," by Steven A. Grasse -- the gratuitous middle initial a sure sign the author is American is, of course, all of the above.
The book part didn't take much deduction. There's a cover, pages, words and stuff. Plus it arrived with four press releases telling me it was a book. (Presumably they knew that, as a Brit, I would be too busy drinking my tea and reveling in the empire's former "glory" to figure this out.)
As a case study, "Empire" owes much to Grasse's position as CEO of Quaker City Mercantile, an interesting and aggressive Philadelphia agency that counts itself among those trying to massacre old marketing mores and has stuff like its own clothing line, sneakers, rum and full length movies to show for its original approach.
In 2005, Campbell was approached by Quaker City Mercantile, a Philadelphia ad firm, to create art for a campaign on behalf of Camel cigarettes. It wasn't his first brush with marketing, but it was his most significant: His poster designs all carried his signature, and they led to work on behalf of Nike, Volkswagen, and other brands. He's creating artwork for ZZ Top's tour merchandise, and recently a bunch of Comcast executives visited his tattoo parlor to talk about the work he's doing for their new Fearnet channel.
Campbell and some of the other young tattoo artists who contributed to the Camel campaign also did some designs for Sailor Jerry. Not the man, who died in 1973, but the apparel brand, which was founded in 1999. The owners of the Sailor Jerry brand lean heavily on the idea of authenticity: Its owners secured the rights to use his images on clothes and accessories from the two Sailor Jerry proteges to whom he left his estate.