“Virus: The Outrageous History of Gyro Worldwide” is new coffee table book about Philly ad shop, Gyro. The shop is one of the most hated in Philadelphia. Maybe it’s because their internal blog is called, Ad Pricks. It could also be their general disdain for other advertising folk. From their website:
“Besides, we think most of the people in the ad biz are geeks anyway. And, we could really give a rat’s ass if they honor us with a friggin’ golden pencil or lion (Nerds!).”
Personally, the blurb below is what got me to shift them from neutral to moderate dislike:
“The Life Cycle of Hipness explains the evolution of “hot” – how trends, brands, people, music, fashion and ideas go from obscure to blisteringly hot to colder than a day old dog turd.”
All the poop and prick jokes get old real fast. Pair that with the “life cycle of hipness” and who doesn’t want to barf? Oh lookie! I made a vomit joke!
The book is written by Harriet Bernard-Levy who spends way to many pages rewriting the history of the agency and as the Philly Ad Man blog said, managed to “linguistically blow founder Steven Grasse.” The title goes on to makes wild claims such as that Gyro invented viral marketing and was the first to capitalize on the “latent sexual forces running through contemporary proletarian subculture.” Riiight… just as you thought, the book has turned out to be a joke. Philly ad men and women have been had.
The author doesn’t exist. Neither does the book’s publisher, Gold Crown Press. What does exist is Grasse’s “art” videos called Bikini Bandits. AdPulp does a good job of dissecting the concept, but you can also just watch the video above. Note that Grasse thinks:
“Today satisfaction is not longer a visceral atavistic exchange but a hollow, symbolic one, obtained by calmly waiting in line and exchanging symbols of credit for symbols of desire.
With the Bikini Bandits, I restored the old sense of blood-and-guts dominion to the act of consumption and the feminine form.”
Really? Grasse? Come on. You are recycling old ideas – hot girls empowered by guns and their flesh being exposed? There was already an homage to that kind of subverted feminism and Robert Rodriguez along with Quentin Tarantino did it much better. You’ve got your women using their bodies as weapons; their guns as metaphorical cocks. How banal. This isn’t post feminism. This isn’t even female empowerment. This is a tenth grade understanding of sexual politics. Hmm… Grasse, let me play by your rules for a second to be sure you understand: “Baby… can you say, suck my dick?” Now, there’s a prick joke for you.
More: The DON’Ts Of Advertising Agencies: The Women’s Edition