By, Kevin Dankman
Now I am as old school as they come in the world of glass pipe art. When popular underground news outlet Viceland ran this simple bong promotional video they had no idea the amount of backlash it would produce… or did they? Since it’s release the video a couple days ago it has been removed from the US Vice Facebook but still remains at the Canadian branch…
You have to wonder if @tokyosmoke and @partisans knew they were truly spoofing the market. Was it the ultimate troll. Or was it the best example of idiocracy. The Market in Canada is pretty small, this we can understand as they have less than 1000 stores nationwide. The high-end glass scene has been growing there for a good decade with Canadian artists like Matt Robertson and Kirill Korzinski lighting it up in America as well. In a Trump world where you say what you want the people to believe, albeit true or not, they will eventually buy it. What I see happening here is pure salesmanship, let me state what make my product the best product while we knock the possible competitors. The competitor’s violent response creates more free promotional exposure for the brand. They used the community to make them go viral.
I am sure you are all saying,”shame on them for using cheap marketing concepts and playing us for stupid.” I am sure these two knew there was a huge variety of high-end glass out there. It should be shame on us for even sharing it once. Now to the truth of the matter… Did the video for the $13000 bong help the market? YES, a resounding yes in fact. By putting a clean cut business face on the high-end market as well as expressing the common question of “ why can’t we have a collection of nice bongs we are proud of.” Something the general populous frowns upon has been thrown out to the masses. It is promoting and suggesting that there is a market for the $13000 Bong.
With many of the artists in our community selling many high-end glass pieces in the 10’s of thousands of dollars, we should embrace this type of speech. Not that I promote obvious propaganda usage, but in a free market economy these tactics will always be deployed. These guys obviously spent the money to have the video made and paid Viceland to run it as a sort of advertorial. Advertising is how they make their money…
We saw a severe backlash at both the creators of the video and www.viceland.com, hundreds of comments and poor ratings have since shown up. Throughout the functional glass art community, there have been many reported sightings of “Vice” crews videoing and attending some of our most prestigious events. With little or no actual coverage appearing on the site. Something to remember is that the editors and creators of sites like this know little to nothing about the information given to them. This was a clear case of advertising, not journalism.
Fake news has been the buzzword of late. Often being spewed by the orange face on TV, it has become synonymous with false or inaccurate reporting. Much of this reporting is done on similar “news” sites as Viceland. Just because they have a large following and a show on cable, does not make it a reliable source of your news. We should all be looking at it as a mere advertising platform that creates it’s own news stories paid for by the advertisers that the news story is about. They may be bringing some good stories to light but it truly seems to be the same ole he who pays the bill gets the press!