In 1968 I had really long bangs. My haircut was modeled after Sandy, from the TV show “Flipper”. That haircut, a paisley nehru collared shirt from Sears, and a huge peace sign medallion from Spencer’s Gifts made me feel like I was participating in the 60’s revolution from my suburban home in Louisville, Kentucky. 

I didn’t know it then, but I was a perfect poster boy for the mass commercialization of hippie counter-culture.

Brands have always capitalized on societal trends. But many covet the prospect of having a deeper relevance, so they weave cultural trigger points into their messages. This is a risky line to toe. It’s very easy to be seen as trivializing them, or worse, profiteering from them.

Just ask Pepsi. #Resist-washing is the new green-washing.

Many of us feel deeply jarred by the current climate of political upheaval and global unrest. Brands, striving to be relevant in our lives are trying to show us they care. But can you show me you care without trying to sell me soda simultaneously?

photo credit: public domain advertisement

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