So I had an idea..and it was a bit absurd. However, since “absurdity” is our directive for this week, I decided to not worry about how the idea doesn’t make total sense yet, and to just roll with it! Here we go:
My idea: Identical twins struggling to non-conform from each other.
There are a lot of expectations for identical twins. Mainly, people just want to assume they are exactly alike both inside and out, whether they do so because it’s easier or it’s just really cool when they do. But, I feel for these identical twins. Society often assumes and sets expectations for these poor identical twins and it must be very hard to not conform and work extra hard to set yourself apart as an individual. Or maybe you and your twin do have a freaky amount in common, and no matter how hard you try, you’re still dying to set yourself away from this twin!
I think having a comical, yet realistic snippet of a set of twins life, displaying the constant questions they get and ways they non-conform to societies standards for twins, could be a funny, loose way to bring up the idea of non-conformity. There would definitely need to be a clear tie to MLS, maybe having the twins both support MLS. Or maybe only one should support the team? ?- If I really wanna drill my point across.
This idea might just be too much of a stretch, but I’m glad I toyed around with it.
People conform to fit in. People don’t usually want to stand out, and even the ones who try to often “stand out” alongside a group of people, rebelling in the same fashion. People don’t like having “flaws,” which we often define as negative characteristics that stand out. Everybody has flaws, and some kind of reputation, whether it’s rockin’ or not-so-hot.
MLS definitely has a reputation and some flaws that people consider as MLS’s “weaknesses.” Some of these include:
- Unlike in many countries, soccer is not America’s most popular sport –> America’s soccer fanbase = less hype
- MLS is not the BEST team competitively relative to all world teams–> a weakness in America where we are used to having the “BIGGEST AND THE BESTEST.”
- Draft starts for players right out of college- no minor or junior leagues to train (i.e. What Barcelona’s Messi grew up with)
I remember Dominoes having a few commercials a few years ago that were built of the premise of admitting ” yes, our product sucks, but not ANYMORE.” Like many people, I used to HATE dominoes- it was disgusting!! However, this commercial did entice me and the fact that they were willing to openly admit this made me want to try their newly claimed “better” new self.
I think MLS could sell themselves through something along these lines. There is one difference I would make though. The Dominoes commercials were all about reinventing themselves, which they actually physically did through their product. Though some reinventing might not hurt MLS, that’s not what were concerned about. My idea is to use this idea of admitting flaws and use it to own the flaws MLS has and will always have. It’s corny to say “embrace the flaws,” but that’s basically what I’m getting at.
There is something about admitting weaknesses that can make you trust someone or something again, or at least be open to the idea. In the same way people like humble people, we are interested in humble brands as well. Of course admitting the weaknesses is only the first step. Embracing flaws is what makes us change our stubborn opinions on things we dislike and opens us up to that idea/product/thing again.
In Sociology today we talked about social groups and the power within these groups. This led to the discussion of conformity and obedience. In today’s lecture the two words were presented as simultaneous which I found interesting. This was further proved when we learned about the Asch Experiments.
In a short summary, these experiments consisted of a group of 8 males in a classroom who were asked to identify which rectangle of 3 choices matched an original one shown. Each question had a very obvious answer. In the first experiment, 7 men were told to choose a wrong answer and say it out loud. When it came time for the one who wasn’t aware, let’s call him.. DAVE, to answer, he willingly chose the wrong answer in fear of being different and making a fool out of himself. In a following experiment, one of the 7 men aware of the experiment, let’s call this guy Ernie, was told to choose the right answer. This time, when it was Dave’s turn to answer, after hearing Ernie’s answer, Dave felt more confident and gave the right answer. Overall, this experiments point was to prove people’s ultimate fear of being different and also the difference just having one alibi makes.
<– Here’s a picture of one question asked. The answer is INCREDIBLY obvious, which proves that people are willingly ignorant when they’re in fear of being isolated or different.
People love scientific reasoning. We are not very good at accepting the unknown, so we usually “answer” our questions with proved science or religion.
“Badge of Nonconformity” is kind of a mouth full. Whenever I have mentioned the brand to my friends outside the class they’ve been like ” I don’t even know what that means..” Of course, if they took the second to break it down they could use their context clues and break it down, but most people don’t like that kind of effort. I think it is MLS’s job to break down the meaning of their brand through advertising and what better means to do so than through SCIENTIFIC REASONING. By explaining conformity through science and sociology, people will realize that conforming is one of those silly human things we naturally do, but don’t need to. If MLS is the one telling them this, then they will have that teacher student tie with MLS and feel attached to them and thankful for them for pointing the natural yet silly tendencies to conform.
I read some weird books when I was little. I remember a series called Animorphs, which were essentially a series of stories about children literally morphing into animals-pretty genius. I also read one about a plane full of cloned babies being sent off to start a new colony?All pretty funky stories, but the books exist. I think that goes to show Human’s interest in somewhat immoral, dystopian futures for our society.
So, backtracking a little, I got to this idea by first thinking of today’s societal problems. This led me to think about our obsession with technology right now, which led me to think of people’s fear that we might be becoming too technologically advanced, which led me to the idea of cloning and dystopian societies, which made me think of those weird books, WHICH made me think about a creepy futuristic cloned soccer team.
Genetic Mutation seems to be a recurring interest and fear within today’s society. Many futuristic dystopias almost always contain an element of loosing identity. This idea of all giving up identity in order to simplify is pretty conforming, whether it’s voluntary or artificially enforced. These hypothetical people might not be choosing to conform to their new societies rules, however they still are.
Many take this idea of conforming as far as literally genetically mutating and cloning individuals to ensure total equality. This cloning is never really portrayed as a good thing but more as an immoral disaster, hence DYStopia instead of Utopia. Most dystopias are used to invoke fear about the future. It’s the fear of going too far. I think using this idea of invoking fear and implying that conformity has and can go too far could be a good way of subtly entertaining the idea of non-conformity.
One way I can imagine this idea being played out is a mock- dystopia of a future cloned soccer team. This team would loose it’s individual persons, and consequently loose the team dynamic they had before ( each player having their own special skill set, all working together.) This team would give off a creepy, immoral vibe and make you long for the good old days.
*I may come back to this idea…I’m worried it doesn’t set MLS apart from other teams, as it might just set itself apart from a hypothetical evil version of themselves. I still like the fear-invoking aspect and would like to toy with that.
Have you ever watched Candid Camera or an episode of Ellen when she sets up hidden cameras in her dressing rooms to prank her celeb fans? Pretty funny stuff. Pranks like this let people see an inside view of a person or group of people. People are weird and often show it when they think they’re the only people witnessing!
My idea is a faux “hidden” camera set up in a MLS team’s locker room. To prove without words that this team is truly non-conforming, the players would have to be doing some pretty wacky shit “behind the scenes.” Some ideas I thought of so far are:
- A poetry reading and supportive comments from team mates (shocking b/c soccer manliness–> unexpected to be in touch with emotions and poetry)
- A huddle of men watching soldier coming home videos on Youtube and crying (again toying with soccer masculinity stereotypes)
- An impersonation of Paul Revere…or maybe an irrelevant celebrity?
- Playing a game of Twister
I think MLS doing wacky shit behind the scenes is a funny way to prove MLS’s non-conforming qualities. These aren’t serious forms of non-conforming, however I still believe they are unexpected actions of soccer players and typical locker room action. I would consider this non-conforming.
Here’s some pictures of my notes and a quick sketch of an imagined poetry reading in a locker room. I tried to make the listeners look really interested and supportive.
I’m trying to think of new ways to brainstorm ideas so I decided to try writing a fictional story. Here we go.
I’ve always been a rebel. On the day I was born, I came out of the womb upside down- just for kicks. When I was a baby I refused to sleep in my crib. Why should I let my parents force me to sleep in a cage when there’s a perfectly comfy king-sized bed in the guest room, I thought. When I was five years old, I sent my first babysitter home. Who decided that all five year olds are immature and not capable of taking care of themselves?? I started fasting on Thanksgiving at age nine- what a ridiculous holiday. I was never one to keep up with fashion trends and sometimes I wear my sunglasses on INSIDE. At 7 I refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance. I still refuse today. I enjoy church on occasion, but never dress up for Sunday – now THAT’S a silly tradition. Last Sunday I wore crocs and flops. One time I turned left on a red light. My grandma once told me boys shouldn’t have long hair, so I grew mine out AND shaved my legs. When I was 17 I threw away my smartphone and bought a pager. Now I’m 22 and I’m warn out. I miss nonconforming. SO, I’ve found an outlet for my rebellious needs- MLS. MLS offers me a badge of nonconformity. MLS stands for everything I stand for.
** This is definitely super hokey and not my favorite but I do like the idea of a personal story expressing what nonconformity is to them and why MLS is so cool and fitting for themselves. I might come back and work on this but my time is up and my brain is tired.
Now that MLS and ” a badge of nonconformity” are all I think about, everything I read, write, learn, eat, and breathe all make me think is relevant to the brand. I was listening to Drake, as people do, and remembered a quote of his:
“They told me I couldn’t, that’s why I did.”
To me, nonconformity could not be better explained than this. Drake seems to be the master of nonconformity! Thinking about this quote led me to another Drake quote- (this is how thinking works I suppose.) In his song “Too Much,” Drake raps dialect between him and his uncle. Here are the lyrics:
“Oh well, I guess this is the life.” (Drake’s uncle)
“Nah man, you can still do what you want you just gotta trust in yourself.” (Drake)
Drake tells us that nonconformity is a good thing and an option, but it requires trust in yourself. I wasn’t really thinking about how a lot of nonconforming takes balls and requires one to have real trust in themselves. I think focusing on this component of self-trust could tie in nicely with MLS’s “badge of nonconformity.” This idea tugs at the emotional side of nonconformity. People often choose to not conform when they see a need for change. All famous nonconformists like Einstein, Elvis, Martin Luther King Jr, AND Drake all saw a need for change and trusted themselves and their new ideas enough to step forward and make a change. Nonconforming is often hard and I think acknowledging this is important.
so this turned into an unorganized rant but my main idea was:
Nonconforming is often challenging and requires trust in yourself. If MLS acknowledges this, they have potential to latch on to the emotional side of the fans they are advertising to.
** this potential ad or idea could work with or without the presence of Drake as spokesman….. preferably with Drake.