Thread: RED's militaristic branding and marketing.

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  1. #1 RED's militaristic branding and marketing. 
    After seeing REDís new Youtube videos touting ďRED TECH | ARSENAL '' posted the day after Jan 6, I couldnít stop thinking about how so much of REDís branding throughout the years has always alluded to weaponry and how it plays right into Americaís culture of violence. I donít know about anyone else, but especially after the events last week here in the US, Iím pretty tired of seeing the glorification of guns and war overall, but Iím especially discouraged to keep seeing it featured so prominently by RED in our community of filmmaking.

    Donít get me wrong, I love RED cameras. I own a Gemini and have shot on many other models all the way back to the RED One. Iím specifically talking about the marketing here as a RED owner and cinematographer based in the US. Iím talking about the framing of these cameras as if theyíre military assault rifles, branding them as Weapons, putting skulls on them, calling them Rangers, and using words like Arsenal and Magazine as if swapping out hard drives is akin to loading ammunition.

    If you live in the US, you see this kind of toxic masculinity of glorifying violence everywhere. Itís an unfortunate part of our culture and you can draw a straight line between decades of marketing to make Americans, men specifically, feel weak without a gun in their hand to the domestic terrorism weíre seeing now. What Iím asking here is why RED continues to be a part of selling the juvenile fantasy of war when weíve seen now for years where it leads? Theyíre great cameras for professional filmmakers, not guns for wannabe soldiers. Why keep branding them as such?

    You donít see REDís competitors in Germany or Japan using that kind of language and marketing. Maybe thatís because a few generations ago, both countries witnessed the results of radicalized genocidal movements and since then, have worked to move away from normalizing violence in the exact way America has been moving towards it. Filmmaking should be used to inspire and create, why so much emphasis on destruction and killing?

    So as a dedicated RED customer, I want to see a move away from the militant imagery in their marketing. Theyíre already halfway there. Komodo, Dragon, Gemini, Helium, these are all great names that embody creativity and adventure. You can invoke a sense of toughness with something like Monstro instead of referencing a literal weapon that has taken countless lives. But even these examples are then wrapped up in marketing language as 'arsenals' and branded with the Weapon skull logo.

    I personally donít want to be reminded every time I pull out my camera of death, assault rifles, and the white supremacist domestic terrorism that glorifies them. Weíre not soldiers in a war shooting and killing people, but creators filming and capturing stories to entertain, grow, and inspire a better future. I would like my tools for doing so to reflect that aspiration.

    Cinema Camera marketing might seem small to you, but every little thing adds up. Us Americans need to start taking responsibility to get this country on a better path whether thatís RED rethinking their marketing culture or filmmakers analyzing what weíre saying in the stories we tell.

    Shit got real this week.
     

  2. #2  
    Agreed. My wife saw my Komodo boxes sitting in my office the other day and was very concerned about the skull design on the boxes. I do some survival training--the real kind where you make shelters in the woods and make fire with materials you find--while she's not into that herself, she is very, very anti the people who show up to government buildings with weapons and claim to be merely expressing their first amendment rights. I assured her it was camera equipment, not some military fetish. But why should my camera gear raise such suspicions? It should not, and it's time for RED to update its branding to something that is fun/daring/bold, but not easily mis-readable as aligned with the white nationalists currently regrouping for further terror attacks and a sustained siege on American democracy.
    Michael Tiemann, Chapel Hill NC

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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Karim D. Ghantous's Avatar
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    Oh, so topical! This has been brought up before. Red has always been edgy, and good for them for being so. If Red changes, it will send a signal that somehow they feel guilty for their branding. Red has nothing to be guilty about.

    Constantly reacting to the world's ills isn't going to help anyone.
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  4. #4  
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    It brings new meaning to the word snowflake that a grown man could be triggered by a graphic representation of a skull.
     

  5. #5  
    Senior Member Scot Yount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karim D. Ghantous View Post
    Oh, so topical! This has been brought up before. Red has always been edgy, and good for them for being so. If Red changes, it will send a signal that somehow they feel guilty for their branding. Red has nothing to be guilty about.

    Constantly reacting to the world's ills isn't going to help anyone.
    They've already changed. They don't call them Weapons any longer. They call them DSMC2 unless I am missing something.

    Edit: Also, I am pretty sure when the skull logo leaked out in like 2015 it was a reference to coming tech...and that coming tech was VV. I am not a fan of the logo or the names, but at the same time, I don't care what RED calls its products...I care what those products can do.

    Take a look at the skull logo and see if you can spot the VV.
    Last edited by Scot Yount; 01-10-2021 at 04:51 PM.
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  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Jones View Post
    It brings new meaning to the word snowflake that a grown man could be triggered by a graphic representation of a skull.
    Thank you Timothy, for a clear example of toxic masculinity!
     

  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Jones View Post
    It brings new meaning to the word snowflake that a grown man could be triggered by a graphic representation of a skull.
    Wow....Just wow... At least we know what side of the coin this guy is on...
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  8. #8  
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    Hey Timothy, fuck off bro. Or bra probably actually.

    But donít get triggered.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Luka Sanader's Avatar
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    I personally always disliked this juvenile branding approach. I hate this sculls and i put velcro over every single one on my kit. For me this was always a neo-cowboy, Ford F-150, Smith & Wesson, Captain America typ of statement that i was never able to communicate with. Bomb, Gunner, Weapon never came to me as militant but more as juvenile and pushed. The Sculls are simply horrendous. Sensor, R2D and IPP2 ware things that i really loved, build quality and branding ware more a frog that i needed to swallow when i became a part of the Red sect. Still i think its one of the finest cameras out there; but God it is in the needs of a good rebranding. just my 2c
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Luka Sanader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Jones View Post
    It brings new meaning to the word snowflake that a grown man could be triggered by a graphic representation of a skull.
    its not the question of snowflakerism but rather a bad taste and poor branding. Why would i care about Skulls? i dont exterminate mice, nor that i am in the pirating business, then why would i have to ware Skulls on my 50k camera? I dont ware Skulls on my T shirts so why would i have them on my work equipment. if this Camera was targeted for my 19 years old son i would understand but i dont see a seasoned professional who would find him self in this juvenile branding. Again i am not an American so maby i was not exposed to enough screaming Bold Eagles, Harley Davidson and muscle cars that this looks aesthetically pleasing to my eye.
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