To celebrate the launch of its ‘Great Writers’ series Good Books International (an online, non-profit book distributor) recently released an animated short featuring the likeness of Hunter S. Thompson (this month’s featured writer) raving about his need for a paperback copy of Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
The combination of the Antfood provided soundtrack and the swirling psychedelic visuals do a remarkable job of capturing and channeling the essence of Dr. Gonzo into a slick and stunning work of art. In fact if it weren’t for the subtle ‘Good Books’ references littered throughout the video one might just assume this to be a trailer for a feature length animated film.
The level of quality and innovation should come as no surprise considering the group responsible for the video. ‘Good Books’ is a New Zealand based organization that donates 100% of the retail profit from every sale to support communities in need through Oxfam projects. Although the company uses a platform similar to TOMS shoes ‘Good Books’ model is rooted in true social conscious rather than using it as a marketing tool to attract the ‘indie’ or ‘alternative’ demographic.
With the whole KONY 2012 phenomena polluting the internet it can be difficult to tell the motives and goals behind some of these new age charities, however with a staff of one-hundred percent volunteers and no operating cost this organization triumphs where others have failed.
Having already established partnerships with The Paperback Shop UK and String Theory advertising ‘Good Books’ is redefining what it means to be an non-profit organization in the digital age and with continued commitment to a true cause and a slick advertising campaign there’s no telling what the future may hold for this young start-up.
A new Jay Electronica video is making its circulation around the hip-hop blogosphere. No, it’s not a new track off of the New Orleans Emcees’s often delayed album Act II, in fact the video doesn’t even feature Electronica rapping at all (although he does share some interesting insight into the creative process). The video actually comes as a part of New Balance’s new “Excellent Makers” ad campaign, which features a number of innovators within the fields of art , sports, fashion and music.
While the relationship between rappers and their footwear has been chronicled, exploited and celebrated since the days of suede Puma’s and Adidas track jackets this recent coupling introduces a new dynamic to an old formula.
New Balance for its’ part should be commended for finally taking the leap into the realm of progressive, cultural trendsetters. Prior to this ambitious campaign the company could be characterized as the red-headed stepchild of the sneaker industry. Now the company is redefining what it means to wear New Balance shoes. By tracking down one of hip-hop’s most elusive and and talented enigma’s the company is able to finally establish some major credibility in the eyes of it’s targeted market. After seeing Electronica sporting slick pair of orange New Balance’s hip-hop heads may be trading in Air Force 1’s for 574’s.
While New Balance achieves new heights of street credibility the man responsible may suffer a backlash affecting his own. How is it that an emcee who releases new material roughly twice a year has time to lend his face to an advertising campaign? Hip-hop fans found themselves asking that same question just last year when Electronica stood as a different corporate mascot, this time for Mountain Dew. Is Electronica using these platforms simply for a paycheck or to maintain visibility while he works on album that has now become the Southern hip-hop’s answer to Detox? Either way Mr. Jay Elec has some explaining to do but something tells me we wont be getting that explanation anytime soon.