A Futuristic Ad on the Culture of Co-Opting

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Via Mike Estee, who writes: “the overt culture co-opting is perhaps the most realistic aspect of this futuristic Burning Man ad.”

In this Absolut Vodka commercial, bougie leather-and-feathers trustafarians congregate for a day at the dog races in the desert. Except that the dogs are mechanical, controlled through a Tron-like interface in which three DJs play bad house music. Still, the fashion is breathtaking, the expensive props are beautifully-crafted, and the robotic greyhounds are strikingly feral and majestic. So mute the video, put on a song by Birdy Nam Nam, and enjoy.

Ultimately, the video’s douchy atmosphere (and weird racial tension) ruins what could have been a timeless commercial on par with Campari’s artful, transgressive spot for Red Passion.

It’s interesting to compare this video to images that clearly served as reference. The the groundbreaking influence of Tiffa Novoa, which manifests itself in many of the opulent fashions featured on the Twisted Lamb blog, likely inspired the ad’s costume design. A recent video crafted by Sequoia Emmanuelle that features Auberon Shull dancing in the desert is on par, in terms of quality, with this expensive ad. Except that instead of selling a beverage, Emmanuelle’s video promotes a powerful performer, independent musicians and alt designers.

We’re getting so close to the point where we have the tools to outstrip the industries that co-opt us. For example, with the advent of the RED, the Mark II, and the upcoming Blackmagic Cinema Camera, producing high-quality film footage is becoming more and more affordable. Kickstarter is providing a way for people to fund independent productions on a larger scale than ever before. So even as this Absolut ad tries to be futuristic, in many ways, it’s racing towards becoming a relic of the past – a time in which production quality belonged squarely to large advertisers with vapid aims. The future can’t come fast enough.

2 Responses to “A Futuristic Ad on the Culture of Co-Opting”

  1. Shit Usability » Fancy-Pants in the Desert Says:

    [...] Fabee review of this funky ad, with reference links abound and fair warning of the crappy tunage. Read the slick ‘n quick analysis on Coilhouse. [...]

  2. fortheloveofthestars Says:

    Kickstarter is pretty cool. So is patronism.com They helped/are helping my new favorite band Steam Powered Giraffe. You guys need to check them out like yesterday. ;)

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