Or yellow fill in a lower grade paint. Take your pick. As part of their World Cup promotion Severe is knocking off one of the classic poster images of "Alex" from the Stanley Kubrick film adaptation of Anthony Burgess's accidentally prophetic take on the results of therapeutic society in 'A Clockwork Orange.' Purposeless gangs of youth perpetrate random acts of extreme violence to repel boredom for their own atavistic amusement. Just what paintball needs more of--the glorification of meaningless violence. Pure freaking genius.
Disclaimer: I'm using Severe here as it's current as today's mass email promotion and because the symbology might as well be a two-by-four upside the head. They aren't alone. As a product it's perfectly good paint. That's not the issue.
Paintball is rife with little Alex DeFarges (the Malcolm McDowell character pictured in the promotion) and everybody these days wrings their hands and bemoans the destructive (usually adolescent) behavior permeating tournament paintball. (And slowly leaking into every facet of paintball.) Newsflash, kids! If you'd like to pass out some blame start by looking in the mirror. Your marketing and promotion encourages anti-social and borderline violent behavior and y'all have been doing it for years. You know, the whole reaping and sowing thing?
I know, I know, you're self-righteously not having any. Dishing out culpability to PBI(ndustry) because of the outlaw rebel fantasy marketing seems over the top. You aren't responsible, you say. It's like saying video games make kids violent in real life. Maybe so. And if everyone was more or less well-adjusted a bit of bad boy fantasy would probably be harmless. But PBI isn't operating in a cultural or social vacuum. At worst what's happened is that a grown-up fantasy (that grown-ups don't take seriously) has served to feed a pre-existing beast and at best has done absolutely nothing to discourage the worst instincts of a lot of little pukes.
Beyond the facts on the ground it's also demonstrative of a couple of other PBI failings; namely rampant self-destructive me-too-ism. Ever wonder why nearly every marketing scheme is a variation on the same themes? Or why every year's new line of hip, cool, trendy T-shirts look just like everybody else? Cus it's paintball's predictable ripoff of other extreme sports gimmicks. It's fear and lack of creativity. And while everybody talks a good game and PBI is suddenly interested in actually promoting the game what is it outsiders see? Is the bigger problem ungrateful smack-talkin' bonusballing mouthbreathers or an industry-wide campaign in recent years to promote a gun related activity by aggrandizing angry, anti-social outlaw narcissism.
All that from one e-advert. Damn, I'm good. Alienated yet?