I have a pair of Dr. Martens shoes. My previous shoes were Dr. Martens. As were the pair before that. Before that I didn't have Dr. Martens shoes. I didn't have a job so I could wear a pair of Dr. Martens boots instead. In fact the only time in the last 15 years I haven't worn Docs was when I was playing football or when I wore Adidas Gazelles in the mid-90s. Dr. Martens is pretty much the only brand to which I would say I am actively brand loyal.
Which makes the new print ads above created by Saatchi and Saatchi a bit galling. For those who can't see, they show Kurt Cobain, Joey Ramone, Sid Vicious, and Joe Strummer in punk heaven wearing their Docs. Courtney Love is upset, probably primarily because she's already sold off her rights to money from use of Cobain's image. I'm kind of on her side though, but on a roundabout way. I think that while it may look like it reflects Dr. Martens' image this ad goes against what the brand stood for. The brand is all about authenticity and anti-image. It's about the individual using the brand as a foundation to create their own self-imagery. As Alex Wipperfurth writes in Brand Hijack:
"...Docs can stage a comeback. The brand still commands respect. However, its marketers must be careful not to cop an attitude or chase after the aspirational cachet of "cool." Instead, they need to return to their working-class roots and harness the charismatic power derived from being true to oneself."So instead they turn to Saatchi (Labour Isn't Working) and (New Labour, New Danger) Saatchi. Oh dear.