Get on the Brandwagon!

Way in the back of the May, 1962 issue of Popular Science was an, uuh, ad?, for brand names week. Brands needed a leg up, I guess?

Why advertise brands? They're always around, like it or not, but the Brand Names Foundation seemed to feel strongly that people weren't buying enough brand name stuff... in favor of what? Generic merchandise made by neighbors and sold in a garage sale?

Of course, this was barely The Sixties, and you couldn't buy gray market Chinese import knockoffs by companies you've never heard of on Amazon - or, god help you - Alibaba. It's odd that you can probably place more trust in an unbranded homespun doorknocker made by an old man at the farmer's market than some companies that have logos, and "TMs" and everything. Brands can help you know what to avoid buying.

In physical stores, we denizens of The Future have modern knockoff brand names to help us identify flimsy shit that will break before you even get it home. Brands like Coby, who have the arrogance to rip off not only the sound of Sony's name, but also their logo.

Even the actual Sony, who used to pretty much define quality and design, threw all that away in The Nineties and Oughties when they not only began making products with uninspired design, but tried like hell to engineer everything they made to use some weird proprietary Sony-only battery or ridiculous Sony-only memory card. Sony's memory card was the "memory stick", and it was routinely twice as expensive and not measurably better or more reliable than the standardized storage media that everyone else used: the SD card. Everything you bought from Sony was an attempt to force the customer into several years of buying stupidly expensive proprietary doodads, until finally everyone kind of decided Sony had gotten enough of their money, and decided to try giving money to companies that didn't prevent the user from routing an audio signal through a receiver and into a recording device, or perhaps used a standard type of memory media. Sony's still recovering from this era of hubris.

And don't even get me started on the Sony Rootkit thing. So, yeah. Hooray for brands! Any and all of them!

One thing Coby's got that Sony will never have? Coby's more fun to make fun of. Hooray for fake Sony!

How do you like the Brandwagon in today's ad? Wouldn't you like to possibly use it for something else? If Sony made the Brandwagon, they would hate you using it for an unintended purpose. Sony would say that's a violation of copy protection or something. The  P.A.G. Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade, get in here on the double! You know what to do. Wagon extract! Text out! Sony defy!

The Brandwagon is a PNG on an alpha channel background, so it's ready to hover over whatever else you've put in your son's birthday party flyer. It'll be good for his retro-hipster brand. Or, you can insert it into the document of your choice and drag it along with your mouse. You deserve a parade. You're welcome!


Jim D. said...

Weird thing about that Memory Stick is that with it, Sony leapfrogged from light years ahead in terms of consumer friendliness to way behind. I refer, of course, to the Mavica digital cameras, which used floppies instead of sticks or cards (at first). Youngsters will say "what's a floppy?" but you and I know that in the mid to late 90's when the Mavica came out, everyone had 10 of 15 floppies in their desk drawers. I believe the last Mavicas switched from floppies to CD-ROM (but that may be a dream rather than a memory). Then when write speeds for static memory got too fast, they did the Memory Stuck thing. Yuck. Thanks for reminding me!

Post a Comment