Rock Coming of Age? Muma on Gap, SUBS on Adidas…..

I’ve been noticing a trend over the past few months where more mainstream brands are reaching out to the “underground” rock scene and using them openly in commercials. Sure, pop stars have graced the sides of buses nationwide for decades… underground rock stars? not so much. Are we headed into an era where Rock n Roll is slowly becoming more mainstream in the motherland?
I don’t really have tons of thoughts on this yet but I have noticed the trend happening more and more:

Zippo sponsored a whole series of events a few years back.
Tiger beer went out and organized their own battle of the bands.
Converse reached out to Da Bang/Bigger Bang last year.

Adidas made a splash by getting the extremely independent SUBS to be featured in their line of Adidas Originals. ( ht/ Neocha)
and now, just this week, I noticed Gap has picked Muma alongside starlett Juliet Simms

sure, I hate to see rock n roll’s image compromised and tainted with commercialism but when it’s done properly, I like it and think it fits.

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5 Responses

  1. Archie says:

    to be fair, muma were involved with Agnes B a few years back. that GAP image is fucking horrible by the way.

  2. Andy Best says:

    Please explain, why Adidas “fits” Subs. And why you’d use the expression “reaching out.”

    And while you’re at it, find out the figures on ad budgets run by companies like Nike and Adidas, internationally and historically. Then look at the the money paid to the organisers, like Neocha, by those companies. Then look at the amount that the artist gets paid in the end.

    And shame on anyone who knows all this info and still describes this sort of thing as ‘reaching out’ or ‘helping.’

    And how can anyone with a shred of dignity look at that Gap ad then not feel a drop off in respect for his music work.

    The Subs thing kills me. A pic of Kang Mao, in an ad, with stars and stripes clothes given to her by a sales rep. It’s the opposite of what they used to stand for – and then the word ‘original’ is stuck on it. That’s like Orwellian doublespeak. War is peace. Or in this case, conformity is independence.

    That’s the world we live in now, sell out or starve: with legions of hip young graduates jet setting around the world using their social media to hype and legitimize this nonsense.

  3. Beijing Daze says:


    I personally think that the “originals” concept and philosophy is a good fit for SUBS, if nothing else just because they are one of the most original bands out there. It’s not like they’re advertising chewing gum or anything like that… I sure hope it doesn’t get there!

    “Reaching out” in this case means, at least for me, recognizing that they exist and they have value and hopefully get them some more exposure.

    I don’t think we have to draw a line in the sand about selling out or starving… at least, i choose not to. Heck, I’m glad i don’t have to make that choice.
    I’m also not gonna condemn a band for taking advantage of an opportunity that comes their way.. as long as it doesn’t change them.

  4. Andy Best says:

    Now, you see, you have already done what the advertisers want and have accepted their (ridiculous) premise. Subs did indeed have a philosophy which could be linked with the word ‘original.’ But that in itself has no connection to Adidas or their products.

    There is no connection between wearing the products in the photo and being original or in doing expressive work or music. None whatsoever. Also, the reason these cool people are wearing the clothing in the picture is because Adidas have paid them to, not because they are ‘original’. The whole thing is dishonest and manipulative.

    • Filthy Bill Clary says:

      “That’s the world we live in now, sell out or starve: with legions of hip young graduates jet setting around the world using their social media to hype and legitimize this nonsense.”

      dinosaur… with a blog no less.

      the world changes.