Philip Morris Might Not Understand Good Social PR and Brand Design
April 16th, 2013  |  by choorocca

I’m back. Back from the trappings of Life; from the dark recesses of Regular Living; the Slums of Mediocrity, where normal people do normal things – work, pay bills, eat food, raise kids and so on.

Ok, so my hiatus was necessary, being “normal” isn’t that bad, and living in the suburbs isn’t all that horrific (is the lie I tell myself). Not that anyone cares, but I do. I miss doing this, I miss the blog, so it matters to me that I’m posting again. Where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to is another story, perhaps a book in itself. So there :)

Alright, let’s get to it.

If you’re into Hip-Hop culture and have the slightest of good taste, you’ll know that Stone’s Throw is easily one of the illest labels that has blessed our green-going-brown earth since the inception of rap. Ok, that’s my opinion, but can you really show me a more creative and innovative (indie) music label out there that has managed to “break out” but still remain grounded and tuned-in? Right.


Last year, Stones Throw dropped a release of new rap tracks by Jon Wayne called Cassette. Yes, definitely a nice release, and yeah, it was available in Cassette. (Only semi-old ass mawwfuhkaz like me know what a cassette is. And I feel good about that btw.) So, the cassette case was designed to look like a pack of Marlboro cigarettes – it looked great, it was a brilliant idea. However, it turns out Marlboro didn’t think so, and served up a cease & desist letter citing blah blah blah blah blah and blah blah blah. Yeah ok, thanks Greedy Gretchen.

Point of concern here for Marlboro…? Perhaps hire lawyers that understand how it really works these days. When you have an innovative and influential cultural force – Stones Throw – using their own resources to give your brand a plug, you might want to leverage that opportunity, or at the very least, let them be. It’s a give and take. Stones Throw smartly flips and leverages a globally ubiquitous brand in a completely tasteful way to put out music, and Marlboro’s brand image is further reinforced as a cultural icon and gets a high-level, cool-plug into “popular culture”. Like Chris Berman and the boys say…”COME ON MAN!”

I think a smart Director of Marketing would use (or at least consider) the opportunity for good as opposed to paying lawyers to write a few lines they copy-paste anyway and waste paper sending out cease and desist letters.

Now, to what really matters…. the music! If you haven’t already checked out Cassette, you should. Cassette 2 recently dropped as well, check it out too. Here’s a gem from Cassette 2 to get whet your aural appetite.


I wonder what Coke’s gonna say?

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