You can keep your fancy-pants Pitchfork criticism. For my money — and believe me, I have none of it — the finest music prose isn’t some college boy’s flower-power review of the new long player by England’s hottest beat group. It’s not some hepcat rap blogger carving up Weezy’s toots with a silver fork and knife, pal. For the best pop writing, you’ve gotta get down in the trenches and wallow in the serious shit. Buddy, I’m talking about the press releases.
These are dispatches from hell itself, the front lines where art fights commerce and loses. Written by men and women who maybe aren’t the fanciest writers, maybe aren’t the brightest, but they’ve got a god-damned job to do: whatever the cost to their souls, they’re gonna tell you what kind of shoes Justin Bieber is pretending to like this week. They’re going to throw themselves down in the muck and the slime and they’re going to dig up the story on Taylor Swift’s latest brand collaboration. I salute these brave reporters, and it’s the least I can do to make fun of them until I throw up laughing.
Justin Bieber stars in the new adidas NEO Label interactive lookbook and Spring/Summer campaign
As one of the world’s hippest leading global fashion consumer apparelwear brands, Adidas knows how to reach young consumers: Bieber and hashtags!
NEW YORK, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — adidas NEO Label has released an interactive digital lookbook to showcase its Spring/Summer 2013 collection along with new campaign imagery and video featuring global phenomenon and POP/R&B superstar Justin Bieber , who was appointed as NEO global style icon in October.
The NEO label’s target consumer is “a teen who is finding their edge in the everyday and putting their mark on it,” so Bieber’s involvement is a major marketing coup. This interactive lookbook — which is “completely clickable and shoppable,” to boot — is the perfect showcase for some dope Biebs branding and totally fresh PR copy:
One of the short films features Justin Bieber showing off his musical talents, while the others spotlight teens enjoying the summer sun while taking risks and expressing their version of living their style.
We do indeed get to see the musical chops that made Bieber a household name: in the final video, Bieber drums on a bucket for a full five seconds before kicking it away; meanwhile, Adidas delivers on the “taking risks” promise with some YOLO teen rebel behavior:
But they already had Bieber on board, so I wonder why they didn’t just get a shot of him with a fat J in one hand and a double Styro cup of lean in the other. This kid’s Ferrari and his monkey have been arrested in the last couple months, but Adidas settles for hula hooping? What a waste.
Anyway, since this is cutting-edge digital branding aimed at tech-savvy teens, you bet your sweet behind there’s a mad fresh social media component:
Each section of the lookbook personifies a different aspect of the #liveyourstyle philosophy and is marked with distinctive hashtags including #nailit #dreamit #styleit.
Because if you put a hashtag on something, it will “go viral” and trend on Twitter! The millions of dollars and hours of social media strategy meetings totally paid off, too: a few dozen people, nearly all from the hardcore Belieber corners of Twitter, totally used the #liveyourstyle hashtag. No traction on #dreamit and #styleit, although one person used the #nailit hashtag to talk about Converse, so that must count for something.
Elsewhere in press release hell:
Tyrese starts the film with a few minutes about his tough upbringing in Watts, but it doesn’t stick to the depressing stuff too long — it’s mostly about how “blessed” he is, which is a special word for when super humble people talk about how rich and famous they are. Or, as the press release puts it, “The Tyrese Gibson journey continues with a level of truth and dexterity unlike any other talent in modern day entertainment.”
Judging by the 8 comments on the video, the acclaim is pretty universal indeed. Everyone loved it, except one person who wanted more gritty upbringing stuff, and another guy who couldn’t get Flash to work.