One of the principles of Burning Man is Decommodification. One of the principles of the advertising industry is riding on cool trends. The two seem to be coming together now, in this could-be-Burning Man or could-be-the spot where they faked the moon landing -looking commercial for Taco Bell’s new(ish) Doritos Locos Tacos – possibly the first corn chips to be profiled in Fast Company magazine.
If Vogue photo shoots at Burning Man are going for a cool $150k, I wonder what a Taco Bell commercial is worth.
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What say you, fellow Burners? Is this misappropriating our culture, like we are some Aboriginal Cargo Cult?
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The proof that this ad is hostile to the principles of Burning Man is the fact that tacos are a guaranteed MOOP-creating snack. It might as well be a feather boa commercial!
The Taco Bell thing is harmless. We’ll come off like Catholic League-style assholes if we assert our culture to be above parody.
Art car rides in exchange for “donations”, complaints about people with the intention of getting as many free drinks as they can hold without gifting anything in return, and now a major corporation using Burning Man type images to sell its products. I’m shocked, shocked to see commerce is going on here. The old Soviet Union tried for seventy years to control economic free association and failed miserably. Maybe if burners want to change the world, they need to of the throw out all the clichés of the left and the right and really come up with something new.
I agree Jim. Burning Man was supposed to be an experiment, a chance to try new ways of living together. There is a whole economy of Burners that has sprung up around it. The best thing BMOrg could do to help spread the culture, is to make it easy for everyone else in the eco-system to do commerce. This has already happened now anyway with Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where for different sizes of financial “gift” you get different amounts of schwag – t-shirts, medallions, VIP access, rides on art cars, dinner with the Temple Crew, etc. But BMOrg are still pretending it’s 1997. They want to sue Burners, but never Taco Bell, Google, Lexus, Diddy etc.
They don’t even need to come up with something new – just model it on the Internet, the app store, open source licenses, all the other solutions we’ve invented in intellectual property in the last 50 years which have made billions if not trillions of dollars.
Why would they sue Diddy? He showed up and Burned. That’s all.
Diddy’s photos from Burning Man were splashed across the media and Interwebz, he seems to be using the event for commercial self-promotion. I’m not saying they should sue him or *anyone*: in my opinion the BMOrg exists to put the party on, not for the purposes of revenue and lawsuit generation.
But you do have to admit it, TB is the only source of utterly fucking delightful Gorditas.
However, I do see a grand opportunity for a new theme camp lampooning TB…
Yes, that is what gets me…I LOVE BM…What I dont love is the fact that burners are HIPPOCRATES .
If they would call it what it is, a RAVE in the desert, I wouldnt feel so upset about it. But when they continue to preach the values and then BREAK every single one of them, well, thats just dumb
…dumb?… Dumb like Fox News. They are in it for the money.
Burning Man is the greatest symbol of conspicuous consumption on the planet. It’s ironic that burners get butthurt over commodification of the event when the event itself is one giant commodity. Fucking hipsters.
I love how some lib mental patients cannot make an argument without referring to Bush/Cheney while calling other people fanatics
It’s funny, the only people who get the image are Burners and friends an family of burners. My neighbor who has no clue that BRC exists is not going to see the commercial and then decide to go to Burningman. Every Burner I know that saw it, identified with it, even my parents got it, but they still don’t want to go and they don’t want to try the Doritos.
There are a lot of commercials filmed near BRC, some during the event, why jump on this? South Park and Malcom in the middle dint ruin the Burn and they actually NAMED it. I would guess that someone on the production team is a Burner or some intern was given the job of ” go goggle events that have fire” and boom, that’s how it happened.
I don’t see the negative impact or the violation of privacy. Burningman is not a closed, private experience.
american dad also did an episode featuring burning man
I’d hate to state the obvious on why this is not a burning man rip off… Everyone is wearing clothes.
It’s an ad. The scene of burnery-looking people in a burnery-looking desert is no more filmed at Burning Man than the scene of people in a laboratory was filmed in a real laboratory. You’re presumably intelligent enough to know that. So unless you’ve got evidence that this was shot at Burning Man (which it wasn’t) you presumably recognize that it’s not “worth” anything to the BMorg. There’s really nothing stopping someone sticking a bunch of burnery-looking types in a desert location and filming them if they’re not using any of the trademarks. But nice to se that all that playa love has not robbed this site of the groundless innuendo we’ve come to know and “love” it for.
if it’s OK for Taco Bell to use images that look like Burning Man as long as they’re not actually at Burning Man, then why is it OK that art cars get sent nasty “cease and desist” letters from Burning Man when they do the same thing? Why can YouTube and BMOrg make money from all the Burning Man videos posted there, but Burners can’t link to those videos from their own sites? http://burners.me/2013/07/02/the-fishy-smell-of-corporate-excess/
because Taco Bell has more & better lawyers than the BMOrg
Pisshaw better Lawyers my Ass does ripping off the idea of the little Chihuahua Dog and a 30M loss mean they have better Lawyers? Fuck Taco Bell they’re grossly responsible for making America’s youth fat pigs.
The agency was Digitas SF so chances are extremely high that who ever came up with the concept are burners.
who cares… i don’t see any icons that violate the sacred BORG code… pretty clever ad. I bet alot of burners eat Taco Bell too!
I wasn’t home this year, but I saw a photo of the “great” “LIKE” sculpture (really?) and thought…radical inclusion YES but commodities NO. I want to be really angry…at whom though? Myself? BRC organizers for allowing it?
The barbarians are at the gates; are we strong enough to let them in and love them? I have growing to do because I cannot. I could use help.
This guy is delusional and comes across like a religious fanatic. Either that or his meds need to be adjusted. Either way he needs help quickly.
I’m so sick of the nonsense of BM being considered a ‘transformational event’. It’s just egotistical nonsense immature twits mouth while puffing up their egos. It’s just self aggrandizement..
The ‘outside reality’ won. Burning Man lost . The ‘outside reality’ will not change and burning man will continue to become increasingly mainstream.
Maybe next year Britney Spears will drop in and tweet about the magic she experienced. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Justin Bieber will appear!
Maybe G W Bush will come and realize that he shouldn’t have lied the country into war.
Maybe Dick Cheney can be brought in so that he can see the error of his ways!
Anybody believe this bullshit?
Actually, I do. I don’t care for his style, so I read the text via the Burning Man blog that was linked to right here on Burners.me – I think if you read it, you might feel differently about it. His words make sense.
I was brought by a ten year veteran three years ago – this third year I really did consider transformational. And I’m the sort of person who might typically shy away from those sorts ideas. I’ve never been soul-searching or spiritual, but the event can be life-shifting no matter who you are, if you’re open to it. And there’s no one to say who is open and who isn’t except that individual themselves. I wouldn’t say I feel puffed up about my emotional experiences – if anything, I realize that I’m not at the place in my life that I have really thought I was, and have a lot of work to do. I also keep the experience somewhat private. I am neither immature or a twit, and have no more than the healthy dose of ego we should all maintain.
So it isn’t exactly the Burning Man you grew to love. Burning Man has not lost. I went through an entire week and had only one slightly-less-than-positive interaction with someone I don’t know. What a beautiful thing! It helps restore my faith in people, and gives me more strength for the challenges of daily life at home. Can you imagine that in “outside reality” – can you? A whole week with no irate drivers, no disgruntled customers, no cranky people in line or flaming troll-y garbage on the internet.
You know something? I didn’t now who P.Diddy was before everyone made the ruckus about him. I’d never heard of him, and wouldn’t have known him on the street here or there. So he’s a giant celebrity. Okay. Does that make him less human? Less worthy of inclusion? If Britney Spears, Bieber, GW Bush or Cheney want to come and try it – that’s swell. Why get in a snit about it? It wouldn’t change the fact that the grand majority of the population will be average people, pooling resources and efforts to gift to community, to provide art and an amazing city for one week.
All cities grow and evolve. Some die. Whatever you think, it’s your jaded perspective that’s off, not Burning Man. I experienced beauty, kindness, generosity and exuberant thanks. I gifted from my heart, some of which was planned, and some spontaneous, and it was transformational. Give it another look, if you can, without the jaded eyes of a long time Burner who just wishes for the past. (And read the words of that video blog, it will make more sense.)
As to the Burner-y scene … clever, Taco Bell. While it clearly isn’t Burning Man, outsiders won’t know that. A lot of outsiders won’t even get what they are copying. But the commercial is over in a flash, and the “burners” last for all of 2-3. It’s sort of annoying, but big deal. They didn’t come to our city for this, so they’re free to do whatever they please.
Jaded perspective? Although impossible to be totally subjective I think I can say, in my case at least, that I’m not looking at the event through rosy colored glasses.
The reality is that you can experience the same exuberance, communitas, or whatever by going to a resort, retreat, or national park.
There is, in reality, nothing earth changing about this event. I know saying that threatens the egos of people that think going to BM shows how cool and special they are but that’s just too damned bad.
I’ve enjoyed the event in the past but despite the earth changing pretensions I realize it’s nothing more than a business and a big party.
There no longer is a separation between BM and the ‘outside reality’. The ‘outside reality’ has penetrated to the heart of BM.
Plus I think you missed the point of my sarcasm. I was trying to point out that the bullshit about the ‘life changing’ claims of the event. Greedy corporate leaders, ruthless politicians, egotistical celebrities, etc. will not change or mend their ways as a result of going to BM. Thinking other wise is foolish and stupid.
I don’t expect true believers lost in their fantasies and self aggrandizement to agree with me. I just enjoy pointing out and puncturing the sanctimonious hyperbole this event generates.
“The reality is that you can experience the same exuberance, communitas, or whatever by going to a resort, retreat, or national park.”
Really? I have to say, I haven’t had the same experiences. While resorts are lovely, the people there are all on their own vacations, and few of them feel like interacting with others around them for long. I feel the same way myself when on a decadent getaway – I plan that as time with my partner. I have been in a sitation where I spent a week by myself in a very nice hotel, and while I had some pleasant single-serving interactions, they were all very surface, and all the level of genuineness that the person I was talking to is comfortable with in their everyday life. For some, that’s now much. Retreats may be similar, but most retreats tend to have a single purpose or theme. Yoga. Mental health. Relationship health. Religious learning. Tell me a retreat where I can climb structures, do 5am yoga, be invited for fresh mojitos and throw a spontaneous potluck, and I’m there. Really. As for national parks – well, that’s where I think you’re nuts. People bring screaming children who’ve been in the car too long to national parks. All manner of unpleasant or impatient people can be found in the crowds. Tired, conservative old windbags with “These Colors Don’t Run” on the backs of their decadent RVs. Worn out moms who are sick of cleaning up carsick vomit, etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong – I like to see our nation spaces. But I go mid-week when there’s almost no one around!
“Plus I think you missed the point of my sarcasm. I was trying to point out that the bullshit about the ‘life changing’ claims of the event. Greedy corporate leaders, ruthless politicians, egotistical celebrities, etc. will not change or mend their ways as a result of going to BM. Thinking other wise is foolish and stupid.”
Oh, I understood. And I agree that no one changes unless they are open to it. I don’t expect any of the bratty celebrities or mis-guided politicians you name to ever attend. I do know that simply attending is not transformative. I would say that learning how to gift – to truly give from the heart – IS though, and that’s something this event facilitates. One’s heart can be changed anywhere, but some places are more conducive to it than others. Should any of those sarcastically brought up names attend, it would be possible for them to change. But that wouldn’t mean they’d suddenly renounce bad music or bad policy. Each person’s change is their own, and it could be as private and small as stopping smoking, or speaking kindly to people who work for them – that’s still valuable. I don’t know anyone thinks or claims that you could stick all the leaders of world in the middle of Burning Man, and suddenly there’d be an end to war.
Finally, poke sticks and “puncture” all you want. I don’t think it has anything to do with “true believers” – it is about personal experience. If someone says they had a transformational experience there, it is real to them. And may make real change in a small pocket of the world. If people still love and adore the event, approach it as something more than a big party, what it is to them is real. And for you, your reality still looks jaded to me, and so your description of the event is accurate and true – for you. I’m sorry to hear it, sorry to see that you’re still tied up in commenting on and complaining about an event that is apparently dead and over for you.
If I were you, and felt that way, I’d be spending more time in National Parks than commenting on Burners.me.
Gosh what about ‘radical inclusion’?
I would have thought this included critics but I understand how a religious like mind set and fanaticism works. Oh well…Hypocrisy abounds.
Maybe they could come up with an 11th core value ‘No Criticism Allowed!’.
As far as transformation I’ll use the cliche ‘the proof is in the pudding’ Merely announcing to the world egotistically that you’ve been transformed doesn’t mean jack shit. Sounds like egotistical nonsense conjoined with the delusions of an Amway sales person.
Oh well, it’s obvious we’re not going to agree on much. I won’t return to this thread. Happy illusions.
you could always find out what agency created the campaign, then interview the person who came up with the idea. wouldn’t it be interesting if it were a burner like us