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Doc Martens: Dead Rock Stars

dev@hard
May 31, 2007
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So I have an advertising degree. OK, I have 2. So you can imagine my interst when I heard about the dead rock stars ad campaign that Doc Martens recently attempted to launch. Please forgive me while hard rock chick takes of her bandanna and puts on her academic hat.

Saatchi and Saatchi London is Doc Marten’s agency. Someone somewhere in those two entities came up with this idea: “Let’s use the images of dead rock stars in this ad campaign!” Mind you, things like this go through legal departments. It’s blatantly illegal to use someone’s image in an ad without their permission (aka, paying them for it) even if they are dead. It’s questionable if you can even imply the likeness of a celebrity unless it is a blatant parody, where no one in their right mind would believe that it is actually supposed to be the celebrity.

So how can so many people make this kind of mistake? Because it was intentional! Would I be writing about this if it were some random guys that looked like dead rock stars in those ads. No. We’ve entered a point in time where you have to break the law to get people’s attention. Had you heard about Aqua Teen Hunger Force before their Light Brite installation pieces were mistaken for bombs and shut down Boston? OK, wrong audience for that question.

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