Mt Dew, Walmart, Target, Doritos... what do they all have in common?
So here we are, moving toward the Olympics, just exiting Dew tour and running into the early summer 2021. The coronavirus is mostly behind us (In Texas at least) and life is getting back to normal.
With Dew Tour, it shows us a glimpse that major events can happen. Skaters can finally come together and compete. Now, arguably, the Corona virus safety protocols were pretty far out there with skaters not being allowed in the area after they are done skating, mask mandates and I am sure distance requirements. But, we can also argue that with the last year, safety protocols have to be in place not only because someone may point in shock and disbelief that free persons are living without fear BUT also because, let's face it, If someone did get sick and it came back that it was from Dew Tour, Mt Dew and all those who came together to put on this event would get chastised.
But, alas let's get on track. We are not here to talk about the politics of Covid or even the politics of events. We are here to talk about major brands and their crap ass attempts to advertise to the skaters of America.
Take figure A for example - the only evidence being presented here actually - is a video that many of you all saw during the Dew Tour. Some dude named "MK Asante" made a song about skateboarding. I don't know who this guy is, I don't know if he is famous, trying to be famous or if Mt Dew just kinda picked him up off the corner of 2nd and Ave D. I have no clue. What I do know is his little rap was crap! - Hey, that rhymes...
This Asante guy made a "song" called Skate and D.I.E. It's pushed and I am assuming produced by The Dew Tour as an advertising campaign toward skaters and the youth within the industry. Its a standard big money attempt to make more money through advertising, creating the same type of big cash culture that NFL, NBA and MLB are in.
For the last, say 10 years or more, Companies such as Wal-Mart, Target, Mt Dew and other non skate related corporations have moved into the financial sector of skateboarding and have partnered with the money hungry brands such as Girl, Baker, Primitive and others. This has created a direct rise in corporate owned "skate shops" if you want to call them that. I would rather call them clothing stores with skateboards. For the last 20+ years, stores like Zumiez for example have risen up, fighting and often times shutting down the local skateshops because the local skateshops do not have the financial backing to compete. The money hungry brands such as Baker, Girl, Primitive, ext do not care that the local shop is being shut down because that local shop may only be buying 20-40 of those brands' boards while Zumies is buying them by the thousands. With the financial backing that the corporations bring toward the major brands, it creates a very strong monopoly over the system, forcing these shops to continue buying the money hungry brands. All the added money creates a push for very high dollar advertising which in turn brainwashes kids into thinking that the big money hungry brands have superior products, which is typically cheap Chinese made wood, and the cycle continues. - Hint - Most local brands have high quality USA / Mexico made wood (it's better stuff)
Now, with all this shit stirring, you would think I am fully against it all. You are incorrect. Business is about money, all brands, even the most "down to earth, keep it to the streets" brands in the world need money to function. You can not continue your brand without money. This is fact. With that, I am very much PRO skateboarding in the Olympics, which will directly help the larger corporations more than it will anyone else. So, you may be asking "what's the problem, and why are you being hypocritical?" I don't think I am being hypocritical. The knowledge of how the world works and the understanding of the system does not mean that I have to agree with it but at times, you do have to play ball with it. Money does make the world turn but that does not mean selling out to the corporations. Growth can be achieved and hype can be had without having Mt Dew, Doritos, Target and others dumping millions into a corporate propaganda machine.
This propaganda machine is what is ruining skateboarding. Not the olympics. As long as kids continue to go with the flow of what they are BEING TOLD to like, skateboarding will continue to become a money trend and less a life style. Skateboarding will continue to be about profit margins and less about communities. As long as the local, core communities continue to shrug their shoulders and accept what is happening to the culture, the faster the culture will fade and the more "mall grabbing" will be happening. It's not about the skate to these major brands and corporations. It is about trying to create something "cool" so money can be made off you. If you can't see that then you have already been fed to the system.
Tell me your thoughts.