Monday, 29 June 2009

A Sign of the Times

While in NYC, I stayed at a friend's apartment on 34th Street, which unfortunately for my wallet, is right next to Macy's. While walking in the pouring, humid rain, I noticed a ray of light emanating from the store front windows - psychedelic tie-dye colors wrapped around the title 'Summer of Love'. This was only one example of many half full glasses. Expressions of brands' desire to revert back to freedom, peace and love and rock n' roll, and a honeyed optimism that infused people with hope and the belief that they could change the world. Since the market swings according to human speculation and perceptions, this may not be a bad thing (plus there is something nice about reviving tie-dye). (Macy's also held a Summer of Love shopping party, part of the invitation read: In case you get the munchies, Rock-n-Roll Gourmet will be handing out their new all-natural baked snack Hippie Chips for you to taste. Joplin must be rolling in her grave). See NYT's article about the Age of Aquarius in Advertising for other examples of brands that are jumping on the Volkswagen.

Image courtesy of John Fotohouse

I met the copywriter for the Sunkist Ad: 12 Ounces of Awesome, who mentioned that the use of the term 'ounces' was a reference to drugs. Ah - the missing piece from the Macy's campaign.

The Whitney Museum of American Art also held an exhibit called "Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era," which featured paintings, photographs, sculptures and films from the 1960s and early '70s.

Summer of Love seemed to be everywhere in NYC, lodged in the mood of a city in pursuit of escape.

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