Don’t Look-Look Now

Elana Berkowitz writes about the new Look-Look Magazine for The Black Table (Maud found this link via Travelers Diagram):

…it’s worth remembering that Look-Look, the magazine, is driven by Look-Look, the business, a cool hunting firm that relies on Team Look-Look, 20,000 Internet-connected respondents aged 13 to 30 who keep the firm appraised of the latest circulating in their community for a small monetary stipend. The site disingenuously explains this marketing network as their own version of CNN, calling their field correspondents “the Christiane Amanpour of youth culture.” The correspondents network is what allows Look-Look to offer their clients young people’s “uncensored raw voice that demands to be heard.” This cheery tone of youth empowerment lashed to a promise of authenticity and access is then sold to Look-Look’s corporate clients who pay princely sums to use their data to rejigger their products and marketing strategy.

A couple of years ago I became fascinated with that crazy Look-Look company after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. At the time I was trying to write a spy-type novel for kids about “covert marketers.” Hmm, that’s yet another failed storytelling attempt but in this case I’ve got quite a bit more than a title. Sometimes I just can’t seem to write. And at other times, well, it’s clear that I can’t:

My mother worked as a cool hunter for the Agency, back before the Agency’s focus shifted. Nick says she was among the best the Agency had. She was the one who came up with the BootyMood brand – they actually suggested BootyMood jeans to Omega Conglomerate first but the Egg turned them down, saying kids (and, more important, their parents) weren’t ready for jeans that changed color to signal the wearer’s emotional state. Nick stood by my mom’s research, though, and took the idea to Alpha Conglomerate. The Chicken ate that idea right up, and look how successful the BootyMood brand is today. Omega introduced Cheeky Jeans a couple of months later, but it was too late, of course. BootyMood still dominates that market.

My mother was always on fast-forward, wild eyes rolling back and forth in her head, on the look-out for the next in thing. When I was a little kid I thought she was beautiful but, well, I understand now that she wasn’t. Tall, thin, and glamorous, sure, but she had a face like a ferret.

It’s unfortunate, but this thing goes on. And on.


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