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Urban Outfitters is terrible with this bloody Kent State University sweatshirt.  They claim to not have known the significance of a particularly dark moment in US history.  That is pure bullshit, and the folks at product marketing wanted shock value, but maybe went too far?  However:

Why Urban Outfitters Won’t Stop Offending People

So is Urban Outfitters run by a bunch of jerks? Perhaps, but—and this is an important but—they’re jerks with business sense. Urban Outfitters Inc, the company that owns Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, and Bhldn brands, recently announced record quarterly sales of $811 million. If courting controversy was bad for the bottom line, Urban wouldn’t be doing it. That begs the question: Is any publicity good publicity, as the saying goes, or will the company eventually suffer if it goes too far over the line?

Another factor that may reward an offend-first strategy is that millennials, Urban Outfitter’s core demographic, are especially difficult to reach because they’re constantly bombarded with stimulation and advertising. According Yarrow, it may take something truly shocking to break through all of the noise. A bloodstained sweater referencing an event most young people only vaguely know about might be what it takes to bring the Urban Outfitters brand to the forefront.

Yarrow doesn’t think the company will suffer for its Kent State gaffe. “If they apologize in any way, and a half-hearted apology is their typical pattern, then they’re partially forgiven,” she explained. 

We’re the ones, as potential customers, who answer that question.  Speaking as someone with hipster tendencies and the money to buy stuff at Urban Outfitters, they’re not getting any of my hard-earned cash.  Especially given the plethora of violence in the news with law enforcement killing citizens, this is totally and utterly distasteful and tone-deaf to history and now.

From neontommy:

Urban Outfitters caused a huge controversy when it began selling a Kent State University sweatshirt with fake blood stains. Sadly, this is not the first mistake Urban Outfitters has made, in fact here’s a list of 7 Most Insensitive Choices By Urban Outfitters.  

growing up corporate

A good reflection on some of the unique challenges in going corporate for some of us.  

aromatic:

It’s more subtle than that. The first thing you have to do as an Asian girl is dispel everyone’s preconceptions about you. Slyly reassure those around you that you’re not quiet, shy, unassertive, ditzy, passive-aggressive, easily influenced, sweet, apolitical, innocent, and/or bland. Never mind that some of those things directly contradict each other. Then you have to deal with everyone’s shock that you’re so “different,” so “unexpected,” so “sassy.” Never mind that this is what racism is now. Never mind that you can never directly mention it, because it’s not like anyone holds any ill will against you. But why do I just have to sit here and take it? There aren’t really any answers. The only thing you can really do is turn this bullshit ‘shock factor’ into a way to wield some degree of power. But… how? Whose responsibility is it to figure this out, anyway? Why do I have to worry about five things at once? Answer: life is unfair.

But not as unfair as it could be. How lucky am I to be in this position? Well-educated, aware of what’s going on around me, more-or-less gainfully employed. For the first time, the path isn’t drawn for me. Not just because I don’t know what’s to come down the line, professionally. But because every action I take from now on is instilled with a sense of (likely overblown, but hey) personal responsibility. Maybe I have the ability to change some things. Small things. Still. Small things can ripple. It’s time to start collecting these experiences and think, REALLY think, about them critically. And mold them into something concrete, something with the wisdom of experience, something that produces a positive impact. Even if no one recognizes it. Especially if no one can recognize it. Because it is only when we don’t have to point out how much better things have become that we reach true progress. 

Been enjoying the Gana en Grande McDonald’s commercials I’ve been seeing stateside. It’s an interesting play on multiple fan allegiances and dualities in identities in America.

Also, is it totally terrible this reminded me of Peggy Olson’s Burger Chef pitch on Mad Men? Obviously not as pessimistic or dramatic of a backdrop, but definitely playing on the fast food restaurant as a neutral ground that brings families together theme, also playing on social connection.

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