Category Archives: Brian Morrissey

A fake walk across America

This is brilliant. And it also distorts the truth. This video professes to show a guy walking across America, strutting handsomely, in changing T-shirts but the same pair of jeans. Except the guy is a model, he didn’t really walk all the way across, and the images are a carefully staged compilation of 2,770 still photos shot between van trips — still a lot of work, but not a yearlong foot journey. The last shot shows him crossing off “walk across America” on his bucket list, with a closeup of the Levi’s back pocket. Guess what? Adweek editor Brian Morrissey says it was all sponsored by Levi’s.

So, is this cool? It’s free, after all. No one is hurt by the implied promise of a true story. Yet if we all know traditional advertising is fake, which is why we’re rushing to social media to find fresher, grittier, more realistic content, do we really want to find manipulated material there as well? It’s lovely art direction, Levi’s. But is seeding the Internet with fake virals about arduous adventures with no disclosure, well, really building brand loyalty?

P.S., if you want to see real truth, Christoph Rehage walked 4,646 kilometers across China. We can almost hear the Levi’s agency pitch meeting: Dudes, remember that crazy guy who hiked across Asia? We’ll film it in a month, except with your jeans. And our guy will have better hair.

SXSW interview: How to cut through the hype

We were fortunate to interview a few bright minds at SXSW Interactive this year. Brian Morrissey is one such light, who as digital editor of Adweek has to sort through claims to seek the truth in emerging technologies. So we asked Brian: “Dude. How do you cut through all the hype?”

Stay tuned for more SXSW interviews this week with myself and Humongo hipster Darryl Ohrt. Vids will be cross posted at Brandflakes for Breakfast.