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November 7, 1994

Media Watch

"Media hipness may appear loose, it's name dropping as casual as small change being jangled in the pocket, but mostly it represents hardened attitudes toward age, appearance, and success. To be media hip is to be not only plugged in but offhand, superior--prissy." James Wolcott, The New Yorker, Oct. 24, 1994.

Never-hip, pseudo-spank mag Playboy ran a snowboard fashion review titled "New York Snow Job" in their October issue (but all Pamela Sue Anderson fans already know this) that raised the stakes in the "dumbest snowboard coverage" competition. Rather than work to find snowboarders who could wear the clothing well the fashion editors at Playboy rounded up people off the street because, "cool, in this sport, stars with the clothing. To prove it, we recruited. . . a doorman, a cabbie, a bicycle messenger and a street vendor. None of these guys have ever been close to the slopes. . ." Isn't that always the case when snowboarding appears in a mainstream magazine.

The October issue of French fashion magazine Marie Claire included a feature on winter clothes that showed women actually snowboarding. There's an idea who's time has come.

South Shore Tahoe ripper, Nathan Yant was paid $1000 to put on a Versace Versus plaid suit, leopard skin gauntlet gloves and matching lined cap, hold a snowboard, and stare blankly into the distance (not hard for Nathan). Those who know him say it's the nicest he's ever looked, those who don't are calling sell-out. The ad has already appeared in Details, GQ, The Face, Arena and several other men's fashion magazines. Hey, at least it's a real snowboarder in the ad!

Boing Boing Magazine #13 the "media culture brainwash for now people" included an interview with Beastie Boy and 1994 MTV Video Awards prankster Adam Yauch. The sub-head on the interview asked, "Does snowboarding bring out the Buddha in us? The Beastie Boy's Adam Yauch says, "Yeah!" MCA explained his love for both Zen Buddhism and snowboarding saying, "I like being at a high altitude and getting into a "flow" that's nice." It shore is, brahda!

And on an completely unrelated note, the Puck of MTV's Real World fame was seen with girlfriend hanging out in front of Hollywood's trendy night club "The Gate," during a Hard Copy story on "Hollywood Kids Out of Control." Apparently, it is impossible to live a normal life after having yours broadcast to the world for six months.

flakezine media blitz

Medio Magazine,, the "general interest" monthly CD-ROM wrote us asking permission to reprint sections of flakezine 1.3 in a story on snowboarding. We told them if they were going to make any money off the inclusion of our words they could blow off, otherwise they could run as much as they wanted. Apparently they chose the first option. Are we hard or what?

We also made the pages of TeaWorld (page 38) in the sometimes funny Angry Interns section. "You wired computer kooks may have noticed someone under the header ( has been kicking down the caustic commentary on the snowboarding industry. . ." it said. "Look these kindred spirits up, it's worth a laugh." Kindred spirits? Yeah, right. Oh, well.

Medium, the extremely well-done snow zine from SLC, Utah wrote to ask if they could include sections of flake in their zine. So far nothing has become of it because deep down, the entire staff of flake is 100 percent immature asshole.

Now back to snowboarding. . .

Image Advertising: Snowboarding's Sacred Whore

The Santa Monica Airlines ad in TeaWorld's January 1995 issue is a classic example of what is wrong with snowboard advertising. The ad features a single photo of Rob Dafoe mid- spin. Underneath the photo in 24 pt. type it says "Rob Dafoe." Beneath that in 16 pt. is printed Santa Monica Airlines Snowboards with the address. Our first reaction to the ad is "Rob Dafoe? . . . So so."

What is this ad saying to snowboard consumers? Does it say anything about the product? No. Does it make any mention as to why this board is better than a Morrow, or Burton, or Evol? Nope. The only thing one could get out of the ad is that "Rob Dafoe is a cool guy." He must be, right? Someone has paid for full page ads in every Tea-World for Rob. But who is Rob? Well, he's a okay snowboarder. He's nice. He's made some funny snowboarding movies X-Facto, and Vertical Smile). But will his name make people buy snowboards? The marketing person at Santa Monica Airlines thinks so. And guess who that is? Yep, it's Rob Dafoe.

Santa Monica Airlines is not alone. Of the 121 or so advertisers in TeaWorld, 40 of the ads were made up entirely of an action photo and a logo--that's it. Some of the worst offenders were Santa Cruz, Swag, Black Flys, Nidecker, Billabong, Never, One, O'Neill, Concept, Shuvit, DSO, Rossignol, XXX, Sunshine, and Sims. They're basing their entire marketing strategies on riders who may or may not be liked by the general snowboarding public. This type of advertising can work when a rider is well-known. But how many of the names on this list have you ever hear before? Jean-Baptiste Charlet, Tyler Wier, Derek Scott, Adam Wester, Jonas Roeser, Dave Basterrechea, Ron Bureta (who is featured in both a Vision Snowboards and Clockwork Snowboards ad), and Rob Woodard. Who are these people? Well, our guess is friends of the people who design the ads.

Last Resorts

Crested Butte, Colorado jumps on the resort advertising wagon with everything they need to build a radical ad: neon colors, a four-year-old photo of Dave Bryson, and some snappy ad copy. "From wide open cruiser bowls to hidden power [sic] stashes and some of the gnarliest extremes in this hemisphere. It's all here to the max!" Mmm, mmm, good. Love that down-home snowboard lingo.

Do we really "Gotta Ride" at Snow Summit, California? The ad reads "Why Ride Anywhere Else?" And because they asked, we're forced to answer. Here goes: because the mountain is tiny; the locals are rude; the snow is the worst; the drive makes us car sick; the CHP requires chains (even on 4x4s) when it's raining and the roads are clear; the lift ops are dicks; the coffee is bad; there's no parking on the weekends; Mammoth is only three and half hours further; should we go on? We think not.

Mammoth and June Mountains are an interesting exercise in separate-but-together. Both had full-page ads. Both are owned by Dave McCoy, yet the marketing and promotions of each mountain are left of to his kids Gary (at Mammoth) and Kandi (at June). The differences are immediately obvious. Mammoth has an agency that created the mildly funny chicken ad, while June Mountain send in a couple two-year-old photos of Steve Klassen and the headline "Flights Daily" and let's Tea-World's advertising staff lay-out the ad. A question for June Mountain: why waste the money? Or is it as we suspect "trade-out" advertising for free lift-tickets?

Ad Props

Joyride for their cool underwater team ad.
Evol for the cartoonie Tarquin spread.
Wave Rave for the Selling-Out Monopoly board.
Aurora great hockey ad with Sacto ripper Josh Vert. Now, what about some boards?

Short Cuts

We finally know why Hooger's ads have been sucking all season: the art director has designed them wearing "Beer Goggles." We've never seen a better excuse for shitty, out-of-focus ads. We just hope Mr. Johnson doesn't find out.

Is it only co-incidence that the official newspaper of the Movement for Spiritual Inner Awareness, (a cult in which California congressional hopeful Michael Huffington's wife Arianna was a minister) is called The Movement: With Love and Light for the Highest Good while the ad for The Movement Snowboard company is "Life, Love, Liberation." Or, are The Movement's organizers somehow connected to MSIA's guiding light John-Roger? It leads to a bigger question: who actually is financially behind The Movement?

Behind the scenes at the Blackspoon world headquarters in Whitefish, Montana during an advertising brainstorming session. "Hey, man. What should our full-page ad in TWS be?." "I don't know dude, what do you think?" "I think we should smoke another bowl, dude." "Yeah, stoney ideas rule." "Hey, dude, look how crispy the bong's getting!" "Shit, it's all black and sooty." "Oh man, I got a killer idea. Let's do an ad that's all black and then put our logo on it." "Oh, dude that would be so sick. Shit, we should smoke pot more often." "Dude, how can we?" "Oh, man, that's right. There's nothing more than always."

Still ugly. Nothing stops the creative flow of ideas at Rossignol. Just when we think it can't get worse, they take bad advertising to a whole new depth. Way to go frogs.

According to Bonfire's ad Matt Donohue started out as a snowboarder and has become. . . yep, a rock star. Wow, cool! Subtextual analysis: snowboarding used to be cool, now you have to be a punk rock musician as well. But then, maybe we missed the irony in the ad.

Airwalk proves that style rules over substance with a stinky ass photo of Sluggo grunting over a cliff band. Why does such a mediocre snowboarder gets so much play in the magazines? Oh yeah, he's a skater. And skaters are cool. We forgot.

Looking for inspiration for designing an all-around sucky snowboard clothing ad? Check out Ton-A-Wawa they are the unchallenged masters.

Nine One Six's ad asks us to remember. Remember what? Back to when snowboard advertising was good? Back when you could ride without worrying about labels? Or is it just a reminder to Randy to listen to the designer next time he a wild advertising hair.

Come on everyone join in the Sessions chant: The Damned were cool, so are we. The Damned were cool, so are we (Repeat) . . .or are we to believe that Sessions and the Damned were both at their peaks in the late 70s?

And getting the Hollywood award for "Best 80's Fashion Guy" it's Dirty Dog Extreme Eyewear's own blousey, lowered-GTI driver Jonas Roeser. Jonas did you think they said to dress up for a Mossimo shoot in Details?

Smashing Pumpkins are so cool they advertise in a snowboard magazine. Wow. They truly know what's up. And look, their ad is directly across from the music section. Is that a coincidence, or did they bribe the Tea-World marketing depot with an extra case of free CD's.

Go to the next issue or back to the flakezine homestead.

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