Opinion - We Are A Brand

Kneel Downe

Tomorrow is Black Friday and Kneel Downe has stuff on his mind. Proper actual stuff, and kitchen Daleks, but mainly stuff...

It's cold... It's dark and It's too damn early...

Don't worry though, I'm shielded from the cold by my Darth Vader dressing gown. My feet are toasty warm in my Family Guy slippers and my secret areas are snug in Batman boxers.

Coffee! I need coffee... hmm, what mug today? My usual Dalek one or the Tardis one? I grab the Dalek one and then try to choose one for my niece...Hello Kitty or Buffy...choices...

Blearily I check the date on my Doctor Who calendar...double check on my Green Day one (secure in the knowledge that, if I forget, I can always check my FairyBlurbs one upstairs.)

As I settle down to write I cast a glance behind me at my 34 Kitchen Daleks...What do you mean you don't have Kitchen Daleks? Are you guys barbarians?

So...I need to write something but my mind's a blank...I spend a while mentally planning today’s attire...what T-shirt? Comic book? Dalek? Phazelords? Punk? and socks...which damn socks should I wear? Seems like a Minions socks kinda day if you ask me...

Now...to write...I'm sure there's something I could be talking about...

Ah...yes...MERCHANDISE....

It's everywhere...STUFF...loads and loads of STUFF... Pretty STUFF...expensive STUFF...throwaway pointless STUFF...

Books and clothes and posters and TOYS...Loverly Loverly TOYS..

(That noise? Don't worry...Just a hungry child...Don't dwell on it...She's probably a benefit scrounger...or foreign...)

We loves our STUFF...I loves my STUFF...can't get enough of it...It's like some crazy second childhood....But...

(That? That was the disabled man next door being evicted, too many damn bedrooms...We can't afford luxuries these days you know)

But... but we can afford stuff... hell, you don't got the stuff then we question your very love of your favourite show/film/band/comic...delete as applicable....

It's all about BRANDS....(Not you Russell...no, I'm talking about something else...Yes, yes I know...I saw that...you're the voice of the disaffected now...well done you little tyke, now go sleep with a lady or whatever it is you do that we all just love you for.)

Now...don't get me wrong...Merchandise is a valuable tool for your favoured brand...it can generate sales, revenue, interest and it can point out to the faceless ones that 'Yes! People want more of this crazy stuff....'

BUT...

But...far too often in these calculated times, it can bleed into the very creation of your precious cult.

Am I the only one out here who, when watching Victory of The Daleks, hears a silky voice... whispering... "Hey Stevie boy, you know what would be cool? New Daleks...big, colourful zany things...like toys, you dig? Kids love colour...think Teletubbies..."

Same for the countless new TARDIS interiors? The Screwdrivers? Even the damn outside? Every season...a change...a cow of cash...

Calm down now...Think Films...Films are cool yeah? Indeed...and nothing sells a film brand like a sequel...or a prequel...or maybe a Reboot? Big glorious REBOOT...The same Toys, tweaked and stretched and morphed into the great big bank of oblivion...

Remember Unique ideas?

I do...

(That noise? That's another writer, shredding his untested pitch....weeping softly)

SO...It's ALL about BRAND...(No Russell...what did I say?....Oh you have? THREE? Well my goodness, you are a handful aren't you? Here...take this crayon and go sketch out a revolutionary Manifesto for us all....What? Yes...Yes I suppose you can call it your Festy Westy....run along now)

But you're all clever people...you know this already. Ignore me. Go check Facebook. Go Twitterfy a Tweet...

Except...every Tweet you create is just an advertisement. Every Blog/Status update is a press release...The thing Jeff Noon predicted long ago with his 'Blurbfly' concept has come to pass...

We, ourselves, have become BRANDS....

We have become BRANDED.

They do that to cattle, dontcha know?

No way out now... Too late... It's the way of the Future...

So, what can we do?

Well, there is one thing....take a deep breath, fire up your MirrorCam...gaze deep into your own trusted eyes...and ask yourself just one thing...

"What exactly is it I'm selling?"

*This article will be available in extended Directors cut, with bonus extras and free T-shirt in 23 minutes time.

In order to further his (and your) acquisition of stuff, buy Kneel's books from Lulu or Amazon.