Monday, March 23, 2009

The Cost of Cool

The other day I was shopping for shoes--much needed since my dog has eaten all of my shoes. Anyway I was in a discount store which shall remain unnamed because it's not relevant. Got some shoes for a good deal. The only mistake I made was bringing along my clothes crazy 5-year-old daughter. That was a mistake because this store has cute but, expensive kids' clothes even at the discount price.

Searching through the kids racks I found a Jim Morrison t-shirt. My first thought was that my daughter would look so cute wearing a shirt this cool. Of course my second thought was, "Why would I want my 5-year-old sporting Jim Morrison?" Then I looked at the price tag. Thirty dollars! Discounted! Fortunately she thought the shirt was only for boys and therefore not pretty.

Then I remembered hearing that Bob Marley's family has signed a deal with a marketing firm to license his name and image. It's not all that surprising since there are zillions of unlicensed Marley t-shirts and posters distributed without the Marley family's blessing. But do we really need Marley sunglasses and salad dressing (yes, they are actually considering salad dressing). Isn't this just gross capitalization of a man who stood for the complete opposite?

Of course it is. But the fact is that we will buy Bob Marley salad dressing and Jim Morrison t-shirts for tots, or at least someone will.

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