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Bien chaussé16/02/2015 - par Mark Tungate
On l’apprend cette semaine: il existe une paire de souliers qui portent le nom de Mark Tungate, l’auteur de cette chronique Brand World. Et la déontologie journalistique alors? Mark a son point de vue: «Nous ne sommes pas que des rédacteurs, nous sommes des fournisseurs de contenu. Parfois, nous sommes le contenu.»
When does a person become a brand? It has often been argued that these days we’re all brands, carefully honing our mediated images via social networks. Are we party people, cool parents, keen cooks or explorers? We can edit our lives to reflect certain dimensions of our personality. More and more Instagram feeds are not just random collections of images but broadcast channels, with distinct themes and points of view. They feel not only curated but art directed. Some of the most influential have inevitably attracted the interest of advertisers.
Apparently, I am a Global Nomad. I say this in all seriousness. A while ago I was contacted by a Spanish shoe brand called Preventi (I’m in Barcelona right now, shooting a film for their website). They wanted me to become one of their brand ambassadors. Apparently the PR there, whose name was Belem, had read a couple of my books and thought my attitude and lifestyle reflected their target market. Would I become one of their Global Nomads? Along with a group of designers, photographers and academics who all seemed way cooler than me. Of course, I was too flattered to resist.
What do I get for all this? Well, for a start there is the glory. I’m even up on their website (www.preventishoes.com/global), with a little bit of free publicity for my books. But also, and this is the best part, I get a pair of shoes named after me. That’s right. There is a pair of shoes in the world called Mark Tungate. They have my name on the soles. If I ask Preventi nicely, I occasionally get a free pair. I did not design them, exactly – they sent me a bunch of templates and asked me to choose the model I’d like to wear. I selected a fairly retro pair of brogues. The Tungates are outrageously comfortable, but then again I would say that.
You might think it outrageous that a journalist should be shilling for a footwear company, but that’s the way things are right now. If we don’t know how to market ourselves, we will starve. We are not just writers, we are content providers. Sometimes, we are the content. Like it or not, in this digital world of ours, we are all in the branding business.