Last season, in Whitelines Episode 99,Ed Andrews wrote a nice piece of guest editorial about manufacturer branded stickers. Not sure if you read it, it was easy to miss even if you had the magazine, because like me you were probably distracted for at least half the time it took to read the magazine as you tried to get your head around the Xavier de la Rue insanity on the front cover...
|Nah. Still not got my head around it.|
"On my recent trip, it got me wondering why people think that sticking a laminated piece of paper emblazoned with a multinational corporation's logo onto things is the epitome of being a core snowboarder?
As most people are aware, stickers are an industry necessity. For any rider with hook-ups, it's an obligation to cover their snowboard/helmet/bodily parts with their sponsor's logo. It's a slippery slope though: take this to its logical capitalist conclusion - i.e. Shaun White - and riders become nothing more than walking billboards, and that's definitely not cool.
But what if. like the majority of snowboarders, you aren't sponsored? Why are you buying into this commercial mechanism? No one is paying you for it - in fact you are paying for it. And you are doing these companies two favours: not only are you buying their products, you are also helping with their marketing for free. It's natural to want to say to the world: 'this is my snowboard, there are many like it, but this one is mine.' But why do brand stickers have to be part of this identity?
We are always being told that snowboarding is about creativity, so why not actually get creative when you are trying to disseminate snowboarding culture to the wider world, instead of just leaving pre-formed advertising messages saying 'I consumed and continue to consume these particular brands of snowboarding and lifestyle goods'."
It sums up nicely a view we share on branded stickers and this week we accepted the challenge Mr Andrews threw down. Here's our attempt at producing some snowboarding stickers without the advertising, something we like to call Slash 'n' Grabs, stickerizing some of the basic snowboard grabs.
And here's how you use them. Stick them on your board and grab your way to inevitable snowboard success...
|Not to scale, or particularly realistic, and there is absolutely no scientific evidence or guarantee that they will lead to snowboard success.|
We've also gone to the trouble of flipping them around for goofy riders. Seemed like a good idea, but it wasn't well planned and the Indy one was a real ball-ache.
|And for anyone who's bread is buttered on the other site here's the Goofy set|
It was really hard work trying not to be tempted to put our logo all over these bad boys, turns out it's a bit of an ingrained response after all these years. One thing we learned is that the main reason unbranded stickers are less common is that the punters have to to to the trouble of buying them. There's no benefit to the anyone giving these out for free because there is no advertising value. It's all doubly pointless for us because as always Illicit Snowboarding is a dedicated loss-making business and any money that we do collect as part of any of these sales goes to charity. Stick these on your board and no one is going to be told where you got them from, we get no credit, no more people will visit the site and we don't even get any bloody money. What the hell are we doing? This is the worst idea ever. Thanks a bunch Ed Andrews. I'm going to stop now before I do go back and brand the hell out of these things.
What do you think? Should we produce a few more grabs and which one's should we do? Go on, get some, its for charity 'n' shit.
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Legends of the Fallen - Stickers of legendary snowboard brands that are no longer with us. It's pretty much like buying unbranded stickers.
Vintage Snowboard Posters - Redesigning the history of snowboarding. It's also like buying stickers but they are crap when they get wet.