Best Branded Content: Vans’ Absolutely Insane ‘How to Do Absolutely Everything’ Series
Someone at Vans really got the memo. While many brands err on the side of avoiding ruffling any legal, regulatory or social feathers with their content, Vans recently released a series of instructional videos teaching the finer points of punching people in the face and running away, seducing random women, and not getting stabbed in the eye while in prison. They’re enough to make even the most progressive brand strategist wonder, “Does Vans even have a legal department?”
The “How to Do Everything in the World” series, which stars Rooster creative director Gavin McInnes, is also hilarious. The five videos include irreverent instructions on how to drink at a bar, fight, survive in prison, travel in comfort and, of course, “pick up chicks.” McInnes ranges from being violently irate at incorrect beer orders to sensitively helping to waft a man’s fart away from his date, but overall, he’s just going completely bonkers. Though it just launched in April, the series is, in fact, just one of Vans’ many original series from its Off the Wall.TV channel, which includes everything from artsy lifestyle documentaries to cartoons.
If your internal alarm bells are set to feminist objection, cultural sensitivity, or even general decency, “How to Do Everything in the World” will definitely set them off (and rightly so), but anyone familiar with McInnes knows that’s all old news. The co-founder of VICE and “Godfather of hipsterdom” has been called, as chronicled by Paul Barker in Thought Catalog, “a misogynist, a white supremacist, a prankster, a fashion icon, a tree planter, a drug-loving boozer playboy, an entrepreneur, a drug dealer, a cartoonist, a storyteller, a musician, a writer and perhaps most memorably just an all around f*cking asshole of a human being.”
Sounds like the average teenage boy’s hero, which just happen to be Vans’ target audience. Who better to eat up such advice as, “You don’t want to be buddies with a chick,” and “If you do have to fight, make sure it’s inside a bar” than the same kids who have been flocking to Vans Warped Tour for decades?
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