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No Need to Brag, Maxell

Posted by: Burth Helm on November 20, 2006

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In this week’s issue I wrote a small item about Hip-Hop artists appropriating and remixing famous brands and advertisements in fashion and music videos. I mentioned the music video director Erik White, who has made recasting well-known brands a device in two of his latest projects. His Diddy video “Tell Me”, which riffs on the old Maxell ads, came out today.

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Most companies weren’t too excited about having Hip-Hop mess with their brands. General Mills threatened to take legal action against the designer of the above shirt (they had some sort of problem with the depiction of the Doughboy in front of a pile of cocaine, cash, and a blunt).

Maxell, on the other hand, is so psyched about the video that they issued a press release today. Though I agree with Maxell’s attitude – a riff on your brand in pop culture is almost always a good thing – nothing screams “zero authenticity” like a corporate press release. It smacks of a paid placement, even if there isn’t one.

And we saw how people react to product placements and press releases just a couple of weeks ago.

Click below for the full release.


FAIR LAWN, NJ, November 20, 2006 -- In the video for his latest hit "Tell Me", famed recording artist Sean "Diddy" Combs gets "Blown Away" in a style reminiscent of the original Maxell television commercial.

The song and video featuring Christina Aguilera made its debut this week on MTV. The video opens with Diddy seated in a re-creation of the same famous chair scene used in the original 1979 Maxell television commercial. The music is turned up and Diddy is blown away, much like the legendary "Blow Away Guy" was rocked by the quality and performance of Maxell blank media.

The video, which aired for the first time on MTV's TRL on October 30, 2006, was shot in Los Angeles in September 2006 by director Eric White. "When we received the script for review, the beginning of the video was described as Diddy being blown away like the guy in the classic Maxell ad," said Cheryl Severini, senior marketing manager for Maxell. "They didn't need to add too many details to that particular scene because everyone in the music industry knows the Maxell icon."

Maxell began turning up the volume on the legendary "blow away guy" icon in 2005 by featuring the famous image in a multi-million dollar print and online advertising campaign and sponsorship of ESPN's extreme sport competition, Summer X Games 2006. Consumers have embraced the legendary icon and the blow away guy has experienced a revival in a very short period of time.

"The blow away guy icon has always represented superior performance and advanced technology and that is certainly present in the "Tell Me" video," added Severini. "The icon is very relevant to consumers today; it's edgy, hi-tech, and communicates how they want to experience their entertainment."

Maxell has a long association with music and video products with an assortment of blank media that began with the audiotape and continues today with a full line of digital products. Maxell recently introduced Blu-ray and HD DVD into their lineup and continues to keep pace with the latest technology.

About Maxell
Maxell Corporation of America, a technology and marketing leader, is a full line manufacturer of digital media products for consumer, professional and data storage markets. Maxell is a recognized brand for over thirty years that delivers a comprehensive line of digital tape and disc-based recording media products for consumer audio, video, camcorder and data storage applications. The company also manufactures and markets a wide range of consumer battery products, as well as a full line of electronics care, maintenance, and accessory products including headphones, plasma TV cleaners, and iPod cases and speakers.



News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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