The image of cigarette smokers has fallen a long way from the days of Bogie, Bacall and the smoking jacket. In many cities they've been tossed out of offices and bars and can be seen huddling in doorways on cold days, nicotine-stained masses bumming lights, taking drags and tossing their butts into the street.
Fashionable golf shoes? The way shoemaker Ecco sees it, it's no oxymoron. The Danish high-end brand has introduced a line of footwear with innovative styling geared toward the younger, non-traditional golfer. New ads promoting the shoes--created by Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) in Philadelphia and photographed by Michael Dwornik--take a similarly unconventional approach.
The Inquirer asked three Philadelphia ad agencies to show how they would bring Ben Franklin into the 21st century.
Even in his own time, Ben Franklin was a master of spin. Biographer Walter Isaacson called him America's "first great publicist."
How would he fare in today's ultra-image-conscious world? We asked three Philadelphia advertising teams to give Ben's outsize personality a modern makeover and bring him into the 21st century.
Quaker City Mercantile, which prides itself on attracting young customers, focused on Franklin's bad-boy side. "I really think he would have been having more fun than people are saying," Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) chief executive officer Steven Grasses said of Franklin. "He was a rock star."
Ben Franklin turned 300 a few days ago, and as part of the festivities in his City of Brotherly Love the The Philadelphia Inquirer asked Quaker City Mercantile, among other local agencies, to show how the great man would promote himself if he were alive today. Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) CEO Steven Grasse is a Philadelphia history buff - he lives in a house built in the 1750s on the second oldest residential street in America, he points out - so he's familiar with Franklin's life, including the fact that the inventor of the lightning rod had quite a way with the ladies. "Ben Franklin was the original Maxim Man, so we thought we'd have fun with that," says Grasse. The result is a faux Franklin Magazine cover, 5,000 of which have been wildposted all over town "so the tourists can learn the truth about our most beloved founding father," says Grasse. See the PDF for a few street views of the posters, sometimes complementing great pre-existing graffiti. The photographer on this project chooses to remain anonymous, possibly for patriotic reasons.
Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) - Philadelphia
Bikini Bandits Go Dutch
In case there is anyone left who still thinks television is better than "the internet", the Flea presents for your attention: Bikini Bandits Go Dutch. This video has everything. I have nothing to add to it. It is complete. An exemplar of a neo-Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk. Also, bikinis (nsfw language and content).
In another example, Quaker City Mercantile, a boutique agency in Philadelphia, has entrepreneurial operations that include marketing apparel and rum under the Sailor Jerry brand (sailorjerry.com). In August, Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) signed a licensing agreement with the Converse division of Nike to sell Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers in four Sailor Jerry designs.