Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Want My "Hang in There"

In the 70s, a popular poster featured a cute little white kitten with its paws grasping a tiny pull up par, its head barely above the bar, and the way-cute caption: "Hang In There, Baby." You'd see on bedroom walls and class room walls and office walls, everywhere. It was almost as popular as the Farah Fawcett red bathing suit poster from years later. I think the typeface was Bauhaus Extra Light.

Where do things disappear to? In the age of the internet, you would think EVERYTHING was online, and could be referenced. The only thing I can find that matches my memory is the image above, from fellow blogger Ann Althouse (http://althouse.blogspot.com). This is the one I mean! It almost made me like cats enough to get one!

Anyway, point is, all these little popisms from my youth ("Suppose they gave a war and nobody came," "Keep on Truckin'," not to mention, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you," have certainly, thankfully faded, as pop iconics tend to do. But they ARE real. And--at least in the case of the "cute-phrase" posters, they can be understood without knowing the original source.

Unlike Brands.

Being somewhat involved in the Branding business, a business which is based on being subversively psychologically manipulative in every aspect of anything related to a company, I wonder if it's possible to develop a cute, iconic item these days without it being blasted to death by the rules of Branding.

What would have happened to the little "Hang-in-There" Kitty had it been branded? Logo, color palette, website, business card. Stationery, T-shirts, dolls, coffee-cups, key chains. Cross-marketing, vertical marketing, covert celebrity endorsements. Candy, cookies, (god forbid) cupcakes, games, books, and soon...a movie. Then a musical. Then a movie of the musical. And naturally, paid-for poetry and rap references.

All of which doesn't sound like that far-fetched an idea. In fact, if anyone would like to help fund an exploratory cost-benefit analysis for the project, please send your contact info to threeroomspress@mac.com

Ain't life grand?

Wait...Now there's another idea...


Karen said...

I still say, 'hang in there!' Is that a sign of being an old fogey? Or is it a demonstration of lasting effect?

Three Rooms Press said...

I think the "baby" part is the kicker. If you leave off "baby" you're not an old fogey, just a friendly concerned citizen.

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