By Dan Stankus
I advertise myself every day. The clothes I wear and products I use result in an immediate association between the product and I.
Casey Neistat’s video Make it Count was filmed on his hand-held camera while traveling the world for ten days on Nike’s budget. I studied abroad in Belgium this past semester. My best friend Nick came to visit for a 17 day European excursion. Inspired by Casey, I decided to film it and essentially created an advertisement for Kodak Playsports, my own band, and the many other brands seen in the video. I essentially created positive publicity without meaning to.
I advertised the countries I was in, including Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, and France. Of course I needed music for my film and I used music from the bands Against Me!, The Hives, Titus Andronicus. I even showcased brands like Danzig, Mobil Magazine, The Naked Truckers, McDonald’s, Levi’s, Adidas, Vans, Che Guevara’s likeness, Nooks, iPhones, John Lennon’s likeness, Simona Krainova, Camel, Game of Thrones, Gretsch Guitars—all without meaning to.
This advertising was unintentional and I made this video solely for my own purposes, but I have very positive associations with all these brands now and it’s likely that any viewer would too.
Every day on this trip, I advertised myself through what I was wearing, what I was doing, and how I was communicating, and my video demonstrates my experiences and part of who I am.
While a company didn’t fund this trip, I’d happily go back under Kodak’s dollar and focus on how they makes things like this possible. Isn’t this what advertising is? Demonstrating how a product can improve the quality of life? I can’t say that Kodak specifically made my life better. I could have just as easily completed the trip without filming it, but now I have a keepsake greater than any souvenir. That’s what advertisers are trying to sell: experiences.