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From 'The New York Times'

Branding gains street cred, becomes an 'art'

Using downtown New York City hustler (and we mean that as a compliment) Aaron Bondaroff (aka A-Ron) as a starting point, The New York Times' Rob Walker takes a look at branding as counterculture statement. "Manufactured commodities are an artistic medium? Branding is a form of personal expression? Indie businesses are a means of dropping out? Turning your lifestyle into a business is rebellious?" Apparently so. A-Ron's path, from high school dropout to a self-branding wiz successful enough to get profiled in the Times, is worth studying - as is this in-depth look at fusing countercultural cool with capitalism to make a statement and a buck.


Smirnoff shaken, not stirred, in 'Casino Royale'

After a seven-year break, Smirnoff has been reinstated as James Bond's liquor of choice. Theresa Howard writes that while the last film, "had about 20 partners who anted up a total of $100 million in marketing support," the next film has only eight. Mary Goss Robino, senior VP-global marketing partnerships explains: "We have fewer marketers by choice. We work hand-in-hand with them to make sure everything fits with the brand and the character."
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