DR. MARTENS USE K COBAIN, J STRUMMER, S VICIOUS & J RAMONE IMAGERY
So Dr. Martens, the shoe/boot company "hired" this advertising agency (SAATCHI & SAATCHI) to do some ads for them. S&S made up these images featuring Kurt Cobain, Joey Strummer, Sid Vicious and Joey Ramone in heaven wearing Dr. Marten boots (images below). Dr. Martens CEO David Suddens was quoted saying "We said no. It was creative that was put to us, but we didn’t like it. It doesn’t represent the company at all." But then S&S apparently released the images saying "We believe the ads are edgy but not offensive. There has been blog commentary both for and against the ads, but it is our belief that they are respectful of both the musicians and the Dr. Martens brand." Dr. Martens then responded by doing a press release saying "Dr Martens is very sorry..." "Dr Martens did not commission the work..." and "Dr Martens has terminated its relationship with the responsible agency."
Smells like a case of viral marketing to me. Remember when Nike released the "Major Threat" campaign ripping off the Minor Threat album cover then later apologizing after everyone and their dog was in an outrage and were threatened to be sued by Discord Records? Well it worked out nicely for Nike. A whole shitstorm went across the internet in hours, and everyone saw the Nike name. That's exactly what they wanted to happen, and mostly likely that exactly how they predicted it to happen.
This Dr. Martens situation is the same thing. Dr. Martens went to an advertising company, said "you guys make up these ads, release them, then we'll "fire" you so we don't get blamed, but you'll still get your check, plus a little more to make up for making your company look bad to the public eye."
Why would this advertising company release these images? It does not benefit them as a company whatsoever. It would make them look bad because they're breaking a client (a strong client I might add) relationship. It would however look good on Dr. Martans part saying "we had no idea! we fired their asses! we don't want anything to do with that!". Bullshit I say. A classic case of viral marketing. In the end, everyones happy. S&S got their check, Dr. Martans got their name out to a target audience in lightning speed, and the public calms down and is happy Dr. Martans had nothing to do with using their idols imagery and goes back to buying their shoes.