Friday, October 25, 2013

Fonts And Nonsense

I came across this article about a Pepsi ad about a month ago, but time hasn't really been on my side of late, so I delayed posting about it until now. Which is silly, really, because there isn't really much to say, because seeing is believing and forming your own opinion:

If it looks to you like it says ''PEPSI X RAPE'', that's because it almost does, as the article states:
Pepsi is quickly learning this lesson after partnering with Japanese clothier A Bathing Ape.

Nothing suspicious there; collaborations happen all the time.

But to promote the brand’s AAPE line, Pepsi chose a font that might skew the meaning a bit for the casual passerby.
I'm not one to be easily offended - if at all; as a matter of fact, I'm usually the first one to promote offensive stuff, because I find North Americans hypocritial about being über politically correct in their speech and yet borderline psychotic in their actions and beliefs (particularly the right-wing, pro-life, pro-death penalty, ''don't touch my guns/don't tread on me'', vaguely-to-extremely racist and violent in their tone with everyone who disagrees with them folks).

But that's precisely why I would avoid, as a marketing professional, the use of a font which involuntarily - I hope - associates a household name in the beverage industry with one of the worst crimes one could commit, probably on par with murder: the rise of violence in our public discourse in the Age Of The Internets has brought forth a very loud consortium of voices calling for and promoting violence against women; sure, a lot of them are just trolling, but in a world where public shootings occur more than once a week, the creeps are no longer afraid to come out of the woodwork and seem to be encouraged by a certain public spotlight to try to one-up their brethren.

We don't need to further encourage them via that large a brand-name recognition. I probably wouldn't have minded if it was a brand I truly despised, or a start-up that I could associate with rapists, psychopaths and other dudebros from the start; free speech does mean one (or one brand) can choose its target audience, just like Barilla decided they didn't need the gay clientele, or Denny's didn't need black customers. But the second-largest soft drink company in the world probably should have been more careful...

No comments: