People or Poles?

In pursue of advertisement space, it seems that people are not overlooked. The human body is a perfectly ok “space” for banners, logos and brands. This is so common, that it is rarely challenged: why do we put up with this?

It starts with simple cases: people working for a corporate, getting a fancy T-shirts to spread their brand. If they are stunning blondes, and the logo is on one (or two sides) of the front upper shirt – no complaints are heard.

But there are a couple of things that interest me:

  • Why some of us pay much more to have a shirt with a certain sign? Not only they act as billboards, but they actually pay for it rather than being paid? Yes, I understand the “brand power”, the wish to belong, to express certain status symbols (which equal power or strength for some of us), but still can’t figure out why why people want to be wooden poles – Pinocchio should have teach them otherwise

  • Even more puzzling are supreme athletes, wearing virtually more logos than cloth space permits (so much that there are rules governing this in Tennis and other sports). A typical tennis player, golf pro or F1 driver (to name few individual sports were this seems ever so popular) is “worth” a lot of marketing value. Not only is he “famous” and “celeb”, copied and aspired by others – he also appears in various TV, newspapers and other media across the world. Surely brands pay those guys (unlike above). But what is bothering me is why a multi-millionaire sports guy, is so freely giving away his freedom of choice to select his cloth, and for no better thing that money he already has more than he needs?

    In some occasions, even in individual sports, the “sponsors” that invest heavily (e.g. a F1 back-end team and costs are huge) want a little bit of rewards to justify their investments. Those sports would not exist without massive amounts, and the athlete himself cannot back up the needed infrastructure. But in many cases, the athlete does not really need anything from those sponsors (free tennis balls and new rackets even after every 3 shots is still affordable to most Top-10 Tennis players).

    So I guess it must be my favourite world-go-round powers: greed, and inertia (e.g. doing tomorrow what you did yesterday automatically).

    While inertia is comforting as it sometimes gives impression of stability, I cannot say the same on the former. It seems to me greed is the most damaging disease of the 21 CN. I can only see it leading to more horrors (a-la Enron). In the name of “free market” people give up their basic rights: what to wear, which equipment to use (some creative in demand athletes have multiple contracts with multiple brands and in exchange they give some of their freedoms, garments, or equipment exclusively), and  what to do (those superstar athletes need to give away few days to “entertain” rich corporate executives sponsoring them instead of spending the little time they have with their families or what-have-you their hobbies are).

    I thought the all point of being super rich is to have more freedom? I wonder.Luckily for me, no one sponsors me, virtually all my shirts are clear, and no one is interested in me entraining him other than my family and friends. My grandma may have been born in Poland but I refuse to be a pole.


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