Last week, the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi were doing the work that has made them famous and realized that, apparently, people had completely forgotten what subculture is commonly associated with: Dr. Martens boots. Some guy named Andrew Petch did some serious outside-the-box thinking and had the boys down in design whip up a few ads featuring Kurt Cobain, Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer, and Sid Vicious hanging out in heaven, still wearing the boots that two of the four were seen wearing occasionally.
Petch, whose childhood next-door neighbor owned Nevermind, he thinks, spouted: "We wanted to communicate that Dr Martens boots are 'made to last' and we discovered that these idolized musicians wore them. Showing them still wearing their Docs in heaven dramatized the boots' durability perfectly. And, as images, they feel very iconic."
The ensuing circus in summary:
Blogs: (Distribute things, complain about them.)
Courtney Love: This ad campaign is exploiting my former husband’s likeness! Crap! Plus he never even wore those things.
Joe B.: I should get around to writing that Doc Martens story soon.
Saatchi & Saatchi (Pushes glasses up onto nose, points to a book): But the ad campaign was only licensed to run in a U.K. magazine, where you don’t have to get people’s permission to profit from their dead relatives.
Dr. Marten: The only possible PR move at this point is to fire you guys.
Saatchi & Saatchi: Dude
Joey Ramone’s Brother: I don’t really approve these ads either. Plus I’m pretty sure Joey never even wore those things. Courtney Love was right. Weird.
Saatchi & Saatchi: But dud-- Aw. The ads were “edgy,” not “offensive,” by the way. (Remains extremely profitable)
Dr. Martens, Courtney Love, The Estates of Johnny Rotten, Joe Strummer, and Joey Ramone: (Remain extremely profitable).
Mr P: There, two Saatchi & Saatchi stories. Okay, guys, time to buy ad space.
Joe B.: (Distributes things, complains about them.)