Friday, August 30, 2013

The Standard Hotel’s Ad: yet another reason I am just as happy not to be a hipster

It may be because I no longer stay at hotels when I’m in NYC – we’ve been pretty much into the rent-by-owner apartment thing for the last few years – I had never even heard The Standard.

Or it may be that I am just such an irredeemably non-hipster old lady that I was not aware of these hotels.  My hipster quotient is no doubt well below The Standard’s minimum threshold: I don’t own a fedora, or wear Tom’s,  Converse high-tops, or Keds low-tops. I do wear vintage, but it is vintage I own from the first time around. (If only I’d held on to that kelly-green boucle coat…) I like irony as much as the next guy, but I don’t own a single ironic tee-shirt (assuming that the Just Say Moe with the picture of Moe Howard on it doesn’t count).

With zero awareness of The Standard, I had no knowledge of the controversial ad campaign they’ve been running for the last year.

So here I was, blissfully enjoying my The Standard-free dotage, when I saw (over on Buzzfeed) that their latest in a series of provocative ads – the kind certain to make an old crone, however keen on staying in a hotel on NYC’s wonderful High Line, Just Say No – was creating a bit of controversy. Which I suspect is pretty much right up the alley of The Standard’s hipster audience.Standard Hotel ad 4 Although, now that I think of it, The Standard might be a bit out of the price reach of the average hipster, who is no doubt more likely to seek out the type of raffish hotel that William Burroughs might have overdosed in. But, nonetheless, The Standard does seem to strive to give off an artsy sensibility, and where there’s an artsy sensibility, surely there’s a hipster sensibility as well.

In any case, while I don’t necessarily see that this one is “trivializing violence against women, which is how Rosie at Make Me A Sammich views it, there is nothing about seeing a dead young woman crushed by her suitcase that calls out “why not stay here” to me, that’s for sure.

Others in the series have been equally (non-)Standard Hotel ad 3enticing:

Young woman drooling into her soup? Is there anyone who’s thinking I want what she’s having?

And how about about guy with heStandard Hotel ad 2ad down dining woman’s shirt? No wonder people order from room service.

My particular favorite shows a woman peeing on the floor. I’ll spare you that one, but who wants to stay in a hotel that advertises someone urinating on the carpet? Maybe not as bad as finding bedbugs in your room (as long as you don’t step in a damp spot). But, still…

The photos used in these ads are from Erwin Wurm’s series “One Minute Sculptures.”

While Wurm is a bit long in the tooth to be a hipster, he’s certainly got a lot of it down.

His web site doesn’t actually show any of his photos: just lists of his galleries and shows. And there’s his ultra-minimal biography:

Born in 1954
Lives in Vienna and Limberg, Austria

Date-of-birth aside – that and the fact that last time I looked neither Vienna nor Limberg was a cool address – there’s something decidedly hipsterish about that bio.

I know I’m not The Standard’s demographic. These days, I don’t think I’m anyone’s, other than the AARP and Centrum Silver. Perhaps for my epitaph I’ll use “the only demographic in which she belongs.”

I don’t suppose The Standard gives an AARP discount, do you?

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