Are they not icons? They are Devo! So what’s with the re-branding? If you caught Devo’s performance at the Olympics on Monday, you might have noticed their new–gasp–white suits and blue hats, which the band passed out to the crowd. The band’s first album in 20 years, Fresh, comes out in May, and they were hungry for a change. According to a bizarre, marketing-speak parody video on their site,
“Devo has remarked that the typical artist feels special because he or she invents his own world and sticks to it, all outside opinions be damned. Instead, the band feels it’s much more special to actually listen to others’ ideas and feelings and take them into account.”
Devo enlisted hot-shot NYC ad agency Mother, who have supposedly opened an LA office just to represent Devo. The Mother LA site is riddled with stock photos, and the office is run by the suspiciously un-google-able “Jann Eulm,” but the agency told Creativity Online it’s all real…kind of:
“The office is very small and experimental in nature, a collaborative experiment,” [Mother co-founder Linus] Karlsson says. “We’re testing a new model, a soup-to-nuts virtual office environment, where people share ideas and unite digitally. Los Angeles seemed to be the perfect location to do this; not only is it hard city to commute in, and where both the band and Warner Bros are located, it is also a town where it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake, what’s fact and what’s fiction. And this is part of the project.”
That project was a supposedly crowdsourced redesign for the Devo hats. You can still play it here. Of course, it’s heavily weighted toward blue, and of course, as with all things Devo, the whole thing is just part of their act. (Just check out any of Mark Mothersbaugh’s off-the-wall interviews.) It’s a joke, and we all know it, but we can’t help but play along, and that, no matter the corporate color, is the mark of a quality brand.
UPDATE:The results of Mother LA’s Color Study are coming in, according to a Devo press release. Though the energy domes they unveiled were blue (curious? get hip to the dome here), the band’s wacky COO says “Green has been an unexpected favorite, though red is still a strong classic candidate.” But wait! Just before the joke got too old to keep telling, Devo released the first of a series of videos documenting their user-testing. It can’t top the pseudo-psycho-babble of Pentagram’s awesome What Type Are You? video, but it comes close.