Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Rebel Sell

Has anyone read this book before?

t’s not particularly ground breaking however it’s a great account of the history of how rebellion has become fashionable and I recommend you get a copy as some of the points made can get you into some quite interesting arguments with the trustafarians of this world.

Anyway, the reason for making note of it is because I’ve started to notice that this fashionable or stylish kind of rebellion is becoming more and more apparent. If a brand does it then they become a ‘challenger brand’ such as Apple vs IBM and achieve instant credentials for sticking it to the system. If someone does it at work they are heralded for being an innovator, a successful rogue trader or not being afraid to challenge the set structure.

Having said that, there are quite strict boundaries to rebellion that sells or is considered fashionable or stylish (essentially if you’re just a pure cocky c*nt you’ll run into trouble – I have this problem you see, but reversely there are those who I think are cocky c*unts so it’s the circle of life really, just don’t be stupidly arrogant).

What seems apparent is that in order for this kind of rebellion to be considered quite acceptable is that it must be fighting for a clear benefit (e.g. to provide an alternative product to a megalomaniac monopoly) Essentially there is no revelation in the theory of revolution/rebellion that has changed (see very basic chart below).

But what has changed is the attraction in how we consume products that gain kudos from such soft rebellion or people who strive to evolve current systems via soft revolution and where successful clearly gain respect.

This truly is one of my long winded points…and I shall endeavour to make it somehow relevant. When entering into your career in advertising you are not there to simply tow a line and play by someone else’s book, you can but you’ll end up like much ad agency grey matter. This is a creative based industry that is meant to keep up with how humans behave, interact with the world around them and understand what levers to pull them on …….like humans there are no set way of doing things. Now don’t take that as a green light to cave the face in of the first snot nosed Account Director who asks you to photocopy their tedious documents or challenge a creative director because you think he’s a coke fiend with less creativity than a retarded newt. Play the game, keep focused, remain hard working, pick fights wisely but don’t be afraid to challenge the norms and the established if you see a benefit for the ‘work’ in it – just like the brands which people love for their revolutionary nature…….and don’t network too much….it’s for cun…..

Anton xxx


haze said...

I like the idea of brand kudos via rebellion. It's an on-going cycle, as we can see the original rebel brand mentioned in the post is already being challenged by the next generation of rebels (start ups like Amazing Tunes).

Has Apple become what it originally fought against? How do you maintain your status as a rebel brand? LOL

I'll shut up now.


The AdLads said...

I was thinking that as I was writing Matt, Apple back in the 80s was quite a hippy's (who then turned into Yuppies) computer, now it's in every design studio and or everyone's ears.

What would be quite sick is if challenger brands i.e. small start out brands that can afford to be lippy, leverage kudos based stylish rebellion in order to get access to mass markets? umm

I'll shit up now


The AdLads said...


I wrote 'shit up' instead of 'shut up' and I can't change it coz I can't find the fckn edit comments bit



Anonymous said...



The AdLads said...

Crowey, you never committed to a beer


Anonymous said...


Yes, we must.

I'll get my secretary to talk to your secretary and we'll do a swap.


big suit said...

Kudos for her! great mug also..

im writing also for ----> http://www.mensitaly.com