Thursday, November 27, 2008

Good Ol' Corporate Sponsorship

This morning I made my way downstairs at my parents' house to see my sister watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. A fan of musicals, she likes having the opportunity to see lip synced versions of popular numbers from Broadway shows. As for me, I like watching to see if this will be the year when Underdog finally breaks free from his rope holding captors and liberates New York from Hello Kitty's balloon tyranny.

For all the whining about brand sponsorship that goes on today, people seem to let this parade slide. (I can really only think of one other thing out there that avoids criticism and that's Wrigley Field.)

Why is that? The simple answer: It's been around long enough that people cannot extricate the "Macy's" from the cultural lexicon.

What's even more interesting is that if someone tries to change it now, the public will go bananas. Take Wrigley Field again. Recently, with Zell's purchase of the Tribune Company- the owner of the Cubs - there was talk of selling not only the team but also the naming rights of the stadium. That development brought about this miasma of crap:

And finally,

(Props to you if you sat through all of those; I did not. )

Whether we like it or not, our brands have entered some sort of symbiotic relationship with our young culture.

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