In the e-mail, Kluger (who has represented Mariah Carey, New Kids on the Blog, Ne-Yo, Fall Out Boy, Method Man, Lady GaGa and Ludacris) explained via e-mail that for the right price, Double Happiness Jeans could find its way into the lyrics in an upcoming Pussycat Dolls song. Crouse posted the e-mail on his blog at the Anti-Advertising Agency, an art project of sorts that's basically the philosophical mirror image of a traditional ad agency.Products Placed: How Companies Pay Artists to Include Brands in Lyrics
The thing is, Double Happiness Jeans is not your everyday brand -- it's a virtual sweatshop organized by EyeBeam for a display at the Sundance Festival, which involves paying Second Life citizens 90 cents an hour to make real, customized jeans designed in the virtual factory. Crouse and Steve Lambert, his partner at the Anti-Advertising Agency, are probably the last people on earth who Kluger would want to receive this e-mail. Both men spend a fair amount of their time questioning, undermining and criticizing the pervasiveness of materialism and advertising in our culture.
"It was hilarious," Lambert told us via telephone, "that he wanted to put Jeff's fake Second Life sweatshop company in a pop song. It's this desperation that advertising has come to because you can't just tell people about your product anymore, because nobody cares. Advertisers have created this situation where they've made themselves obsolete. There's too much advertising out there, so they try to find new ways to cut through the clutter that they've created. And this is one of those ways."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.