Evil Corportions Marketing on Playa

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Evil Corportions Marketing on Playa

Postby KellY » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:05 pm

Okay, ONE evil corporation that I know of.

So, a couple of years ago the company that makes Rockstar, a Red Bull-type drink in big cans, started giving cases of the stuff to the org during the event, just bascially dropping it off and saying "Here, have some". Obviously, they weren't doing this out of altruism but engaging in "virus marketing": trying to generate word-of-mouth, put their product in the hands of the "cool crowd" so that others would be inspired to emulate them, etc. I found this mildly annoying, but what the hey, it was free, and they made good use of the stuff as a mixer at the Media Mecca bar. Recently though, I found out some things about Rockstar that I wanted to share with y'all.

If you visited the Rockstar website, you can read that the company was founded by Russel "Goldencloud" Weiner, who's father was the great scholar and herbalist Michael Weiner, that they spent years as a family travelling throughout the South Pacific, learning all sorts of arcane herbal lore, and that Rockstar was created by Michael Weiner, who used all that arcane lore to create the stuff. What the website doesn't mention is that a few years ago Dr. Weiner dropped his new age Marin county herbalist persona and reinvented himself as radio talk show personality Michael Savage.

If you're unfamiliar with him, Savage is a right-wing shock jock who makes Rush Limbaugh seem moderate. Most recently, he was in the news after his short-lived TV show on MSNBC was cancelled after he told a gay caller:

"You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it."

Some other fun quotes from the man include:

"Right now, even people sitting on the fence would like George Bush to drop a nuclear weapon on an Arab country. They don't even care which one it would be. I can guarantee you -- I don't need to go to Mr. Schmuck [pollster John] Zogby and ask him his opinion. I don't need anyone's opinion. I'll give you my opinion, because I got a better stethoscope than those fools. It's one man's opinion based upon my own analysis. The most -- I tell you right now -- the largest percentage of Americans would like to see a nuclear weapon dropped on a major Arab capital. They don't even care which one. They'd like an indiscriminate use of a nuclear weapon." -radio show, May 11, 2004

"We need racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to encourage our warriors to kill the enemy," -San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6/03

"Liberalism is unraveling the very fabric of this great nation. And the sooner you understand that liberalism is a dangerous mental disorder, the sooner you can break free from this insanity that attacks the way you live, how you conduct your business, the way you worship, the choice of SUV you drive, the food you eat, and the very freedoms you enjoy. " The Savage Nation (P. 19)

You get the idea. The hypocracy of Burners being a target market for this family's company is particulary amusing (and somewhat sickening). So, not trying to say Rockstar is inherently evil or anything -I'd probably still drink it if it was free- but I just wanted to let everyone know where their money is going if they buy the stuff. I'm sure some people will haul out the old "He's just an entertainer" line, to which I say: Fine, give him all the money you want. I and I suspect others prefer not too.
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes
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Postby cowboyangel » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:24 pm

well shit...KellY....I like RockStar and I'm not about to give it up even though I know about Savage ( I think it's an act mostly...no one could be full of that much acid and survive).....there are some evil things we unfortunately need in society like gasoline.....
my award goes to, once again, the evil dudes at Enron...based on todays revelations about the taped conversations of Enron Traders....
these people should be sentanced to hard labor in Calcutta Hospitals...
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Postby samtzu » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:38 pm

Another approach is to take the freebie, drink it or don't (I generally don't like those sugary pep drinks) and never buy another. Recycle the cans, though... and don't dump the goop on the Playa...

And turn off the radio...
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:10 am

cowboyangel wrote:....I like RockStar and I'm not about to give it up even though I know about Savage ( I think it's an act mostly...no one could be full of that much acid and survive)
Unfortunately, there is so much coverage for his views, whether feigned or not, that I have to reguard him as recklessly irrisponsible for stirring up emotions rather than having actual rational conversations about real stuff. Even if it's just "entertainment" it still has an effect. Not as elegantly expressed as I'd like, but it does put my opinion on record.
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Re: Evil Corportions Marketing on Playa

Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:00 pm

KellY wrote:
"cool crowd"




Kelly thinks BM is COOL!



were, cooooolhehehehe, Dude!



A II Z
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Postby cowboyangel » Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:32 pm

the cryptofishist wrote:
Unfortunately, there is so much coverage for his views, whether feigned or not, that I have to reguard him as recklessly irrisponsible for stirring up emotions rather than having actual rational conversations about real stuff. Even if it's just "entertainment" it still has an effect. Not as elegantly expressed as I'd like, but it does put my opinion on record.



people will do anything for money...and morons need to heard too I suppose
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Re: Evil Corportions Marketing on Playa

Postby KellY » Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:36 am

Apollonaris Zeus wrote:Kelly thinks BM is COOL!

A II Z


Actually, the point is that someone in the Rockstar marketing department thinks we're cool.

And Cowboyangel, I gotta say that your attitude, while you are perfectly entitled to it, seems to me to epitomize everything that gives white liberals a bad name. "Oh, Michael Savage might say horrible things, but I can't live without my Rockstar" sounds an awful lot like "Sure I care about the environment, but I just love my HMV", or "Of course I'm against exploiting the poor, but it's just so much cheaper to get a crew of illegal immigrants to clear my yard!" I'd actually have more respect for someone who flat out doesn't give a fuck then someone who makes excuses.

I'd also like to say that there seems to be this weird pervasive idea in America that I just don't understand, namely that if someone's "just doing it for the money" than it's more ethically acceptable. I've never quite gotten this. How is inciting blind patriotism, racism and hate in millions of devoted listeners allright (or less bad) if you're only doing it for mercenary reasons?

Anyway, it's your money. Do with it what you will. I'm just askin'...
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes
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Postby Simply Joel » Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:46 am

the post above is another example of liberal's eating their own.
Democrats... snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, daily!


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Postby SilkenTofu » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:25 pm

thanks for the info. KellY. I had no idea that Savage was involved with The RockStar drink. Well I guess I won't be "partying like a RockStar" anymore.
All the energy drinks seem to have that vitaminy taste. I will go with a less sinister energy beverage.

That is, until they come out with TofuEnergy Drink. hmmmmm...
I am a bit tied up at the moment...but if you leave your name and number.....
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Postby SilkenTofu » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:29 pm

oh...and the fact that they were "test marketing" out on the playa is WRONG. I don't care if it was free.

they shoulda been snached up and sold as slaves at the TOA or clean up crew at Jiffy Lube.
I am a bit tied up at the moment...but if you leave your name and number.....
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Postby actiongrl » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:51 pm

Donations of goods and services are not unusual - organizations do donate quite a few things to the event, and it's part of what makes it possible. But sometimes it comes with sticky strings attached.

A local not-rock-star-but-another-kind-of-energy-drink distributor guy was already a burner and he donated something like 75 cases a few years back, apparently hoping it would compel us to give him a free ticket. (He made a big deal about wanting to do something nice for Burning Man, so I said, "OK, we'll take a donation - I was going to buy some of it anyway for the Media Mecca bar! Understand you get nothing for it, and you are not allowed to mention it as a promotional tie-in or anything. It's just a gift." He said no problem, dropped off the cases, and then, hemming and hawing, asked for a discounted ticket. I admit to having taken a teeny measure of delight in delivering a smiling, delicate no. After the point I had made, why would he ask?) Many a Ranger found his or her way through a night shift fueled by that stuff.

The other factor about the Rock Star folks is that they were actually a sponsor in "Confessions of a Burning Man" (an arrangement that, speaking only for myself, I really didn't understand until we were on the playa) and that's how a lot of those free cases found their way to the hands of volunteers...but there were rumors that they were also giving away promotional items like t-shirts and hats on the playa. I convened a big chewing out session with the entire crew of the film on the day that the RS guys tried to pull into BRC in their logo'd limo. Man, I was piiiiissssssed; nobody had mentioned that they were bringing a logo limo, or planning to pass out the drink or promotional items to anyone beyond the movie crew. I was obliquely led to believe the two guys were coming up just for fun to tag along with the crew. I remember how much my voice was shaking as I delivered my opinion: "No. Not in here. Everywhere else in the world is yours; this place is different." I'm not sure it worked, but I do know I learned something about trust, the movie industry and marketing...and I needed a shower afterward.

Quiz: There are have been camps out there that actually have themes relating to products or services that are for sale in the off-playa world. Can you name any of them?



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Postby Simply Joel » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:59 pm

the ice concession?
the coffee concession?
the beaver eating contest?

2 out of 3?
Democrats... snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, daily!


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Postby SilkenTofu » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:05 pm

Costco (SMTC)
Jiffy Lube
StarF*ck's (or since that name was altered does it count?)
I am a bit tied up at the moment...but if you leave your name and number.....
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Postby KellY » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:15 pm

Just wanted to say that I don't fault the org for accepting free stuff - hey, I enjoyed the "Rocket Fuel" served at Media Mecca as much as anyone. I just wanted to let folks know the face behind the product, and to counteract their marketing plan in my own small way.
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Postby KellY » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:17 pm

Simply Joel wrote:the post above is another example of liberal's eating their own.


Oh right, I forgot, left-wingers must never disagree with eachother. Lock-step, men!
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Postby Ivy » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:27 pm

Quiz: There are have been camps out there that actually have themes relating to products or services that are for sale in the off-playa world. Can you name any of them?


Deviant Liquid Latex Lounge.
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Postby samtzu » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:37 pm

Kelly wrote:
I'd actually have more respect for someone who flat out doesn't give a fuck then someone who makes excuses.


Looks like a Poll in the making!!!!!

Would you rather someone:

A Make excuses?
B Not give a fuck?
C Get head in the Oval Office and then make excuses while really not giving a fuck?

Sam :twisted:
The revolutionary does not grow up because he cannot grow, while the creative individual cannot grow up because he keeps growing ~~ Eric Hoffer
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Postby Simply Joel » Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:46 pm

how about...

"Praise in public, punish in private"
Democrats... snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, daily!


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Postby Rob the Wop » Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:10 pm

Simply Joel wrote:how about...

"Praise in public, punish in private"


or "Praise their pubic, punish their privates."
The other, other white meat.
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Postby stuart » Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:41 pm

I learned something about trust, the movie industry and marketing...and I needed a shower afterward.


I live in L.A.. I am not sure if you have heard but we have a lot of those types around here.

I shower frequently
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Postby actiongrl » Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:08 pm

Yeah, that's what people tell me every time I talk about wanting to produce movies.

Maybe it'll teach me to be a shark.

Deviant was the one I was thinking of; they've changed their name now so it doesn't reflect their product. I'm trying to see if there are any others that I don't know about. Always have an eye on the sneaky branding thing (Deviant being an exception who willingly acquiesced when the policy was pointed out.)
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Postby cowboyangel » Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:32 pm

KellY wrote:
Simply Joel wrote:the post above is another example of liberal's eating their own.


Oh right, I forgot, left-wingers must never disagree with eachother. Lock-step, men!



Wow what a rockin thread! I'm enjoying it all! I appreciate everyone's input, really. I hate being called a "liberal" I am a "Progressive" and I have a shitload of lefty credentials that can tip a truck......I may not be politically correct even 90% of the time and I certainly would hate to have to defend any enterprise of the acid tongued Savage..let's just say I enjoy the product and agree with you KelleY on the inappropriatness of the rockstar marketing effort at BRC. Don't worry, I have never moved off compass from my belief that many corporations are evil and at least deserve to have their "citizenhood" status removed by legal action. Just about everything at BM makes an effective commentary on anti-corporate bullshit. Punish their privates Rob? oooooooooooooooooow
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Postby samtzu » Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:08 am

Political leanings:
[list=]Conservative
Liberal
Cannibal[/list]
Uh... I vote with group three...
The revolutionary does not grow up because he cannot grow, while the creative individual cannot grow up because he keeps growing ~~ Eric Hoffer
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Postby Simply Joel » Fri Jun 18, 2004 9:18 am

samtzu wrote:Political leanings:
[list=]Conservative
Liberal
Cannibal[/list]
Uh... I vote with group three...


eat the rich, and when we run out of the, eat the poor.
Democrats... snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, daily!


slap my salmon, baby
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:28 pm

actiongrl wrote:Quiz: There are have been camps out there that actually have themes relating to products or services that are for sale in the off-playa world. Can you name any of them?
[/i]
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buy buy

Postby chickenfish » Fri Jun 18, 2004 1:04 pm

can't you buy Burning Man hats, t-shirts,books,dvds, etc. from Burning Man LLC off the playa?
chickenfish chickenfish you are not a pelican
chickenfish chickenfish your love is like a flea
chickenfish chickenfish your fins are so delicate
chickenfish chickenfish chicken of the sea
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Postby KellY » Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:07 pm

Been thinking about this some more, especially in light of Rockstar's involvement with the "Confessions" project. It's pretty disturbing when you think of how so many sources of "rebellion" have been co-opted by the corporate conservatives so many people are supposedly rebelling against. Here in the Bay Area Bill Graham Presents, formerly independant music promoters who control almost all the big concert venues around here, are owned by Clear Channel. There was a bit of a flap when Urban Outfitters, clothiers to would-be-hipsters, started selling shirts that said "Voting is for Old People" - yes, rebel by being apathetic and uneducated kids - while the owners of Urban Outfitters are conservatives who've donated money to Dan Savage's (NOT Mike) favorite homophobe, Senator Ric Santorum.

It all makes me think of the first Cake song I heard years ago:

Well, your CD collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzi?
And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?
Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?

Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs,
Sometimes for music that you haven't even heard of.
And how much did you pay for your rock'n'roll t-shirt
That proves you were there,
That you heard of them first?

How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
Ah, tell me.

How much did you pay for the chunk of his guitar,
The one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the show?
And how much will he pay for a brand new guitar,
One which he'll ruthlessly smash at the end of another show?
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.

Aging black leather and hospital bills,
Tattoo removal and dozens of pills.
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments,
But rock on completely with some brand new components.

How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?

Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.
Your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.
Your chaos won't convert them.
They're so happy to rebuild it.
You'll never really kill it.
Yeah, excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.
Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking,
You're drinking,
You're drinking what they're selling.
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes
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Postby chickenfish » Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:17 pm

nice post kelly! Well put. I've been thinking about the same thing lately, what will all the che guavara gear you see people sporting nowadays.
theres a line from an ice cube song that comes to mind
"niggas die in the ghetto, put there face on a shirt"
its the same idea, in how corporate marketing sells revolution to the people, where people feel they are being revolutionary, yet they are just becoming another marketing niche...
remember when Nike used the Beatles "revolution" in a tv commercial?
It still makes me sick just to think about it....
chickenfish chickenfish you are not a pelican
chickenfish chickenfish your love is like a flea
chickenfish chickenfish your fins are so delicate
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Postby actiongrl » Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:37 pm

Yes, we do sell those things. We do not hold that commerce is evil; just commodification. But the experiment of a city where those interactions are suspended between people is ever-fascinating. And note that the place where we could sell the most of them *is* the event, and that it doesn't happen (side note: there was a time when other things besides coffee and ice were for sale at Burning Man; hamburgers, tshirts are the two things I remember. I'm glad they took things off that path!)

There's a "Commodification 101" document in the works that I think will make an interesting article on the website...
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Postby Simply Joel » Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:57 pm

"I would certainly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
Democrats... snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, daily!


slap my salmon, baby
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