No Gimmicks

Words by Alan Ng and Jenkin Au
Edited by Jenkin Au
Photography by Jenkin Au

Whether you are taking the bus or driving, advertising acts as a prominent factor in all aspects of human life in the saturated consumer culture that we all live in. With that being said, it’s hard to tell the difference between gimmicky promotions and true HYPE. People in our city have been to many events and often times, not only do they leave with an unpleasing disappointment, many times they also feel that they have been tricked on coming out. It’s important to remember that our scene is still growing in terms of stages, and expectations to many events whether they are fashion show or nightlife events must be evaluated. Other than reading a poster or flyer, one must be also able to predict if an event is a gimmick or a worthwhile experience, and that will allow one to save a shit load of time, and only attend real HYPED up events.

Not only is it hard to tell, the overall attitude with people in Vancouver are modest and sincere. Even if an event is full of shit, one would still somehow say, “Yeah, I had a good time.” Well fuck, if you didn’t have a good time and wasted a few hours of your life, it’s better to express it. It almost seems like it’s an excuse to hold shitty, half-ass planned gimmicks to people to come out, just for the few bucks. Gimmicks are a crucial factor on a selling point of an event, but it’s important to really be able to execute the points that you are trying to sell. Half the time, not only shit never starts on time, but the list of events are either cut, or are only a planned out gimmick.

Canadians are far too polite. If you have a piece of lettuce on your teeth, the average person wouldn’t say anything to a complete stranger or even friend. This is carried across to our inability to be straight and upfront with our feelings towards poor events. The result is that we live under a veil of politeness, conflicted between the truth and the perceived need to save face. People continue their actions with a ego-inflated state of mind, when all that was done for them and those receiving a disservice.

Whether people in the scene notice it or not, it’s apparent. People call performers and artists up for the exchange of “exposure” in turn to gain more attendees or fan base of the artist. Gimmicks are not necessary a bad thing for these performers but a lot of times, it’s unfair to the co-signee of the event. Another big gimmick is drawing multiple names and associations with your party. Pilling a deck of names isn’t going to cut it, and no one will go noticed. Yes, your event will probably be massive but seriously, is there even a point of listing the names anymore? Might as well name every single one of your friends on a poster and call it party. These people never even did anything for the event, or they provided a small gift, and yet they receive the same level of exposure as someone who supported the whole show. This gimmick may attract people in the short run, but in the long run, you are destroying not only your relationship, but the foundation in which the whole scene operates on.

Despite all being said, there are lots of quality events in the scene. People do bookings with international sensations and allow Vancouverites to be able to enjoy their guest appearance, which would be impossible if it wasn’t timely scheduled and planned. Also, another important factor of playing with gimmicks is really being able to hold up your event. Many people say that their event is going to be crazy, but half of the time, the number of attendees being said is half of what you would expect. Don’t bullshit. Advertising and marketing isn’t just about gimmicks. The importance of holding your name as a event promoters or coordinator is important. Despite the fact that you will always have some sort of a fan base, people will sooner or later discover that they are only attending events that are unoriginal, almost a pre-packaged layout or template used by everyone else. Creativity is something that you owe to yourselves, not only the attendees. Survival in our over saturated events scene is tough, especially with events almost every single day of the week. Creativity should never be sacrificed.

Don’t be mistaken, though. There are events that cater to the mainstream and there are events that are pure gimmicks. Just because it is a mainstream event, it doesn’t have to mean that it is full of gimmicks, or any gimmicks at all. The mainstream is just what the majority likes and prefers, while gimmicks are tools to trick you into believing in something. The mainstream is just the underground amplified. If hip-hop and rap became what most people liked, then hip-hop will become the mainstream. The difference between the mainstream events, the underground events, and the gimmicky events is just how good they end up to be and how they achieve that success.

The good events will not only be able to captivate a large amount of past fan base, but also new audiences. When people put time in crafting solid and original events, people can see that. Sold out concerts, shows that have huge line ups, these are all things that people can see. People do have their eyes and ears open for events that not only support artists and performers, but also in the support of overall quality of event experience in Vancouver. It’s simple: think of the shitty gimmicky events that have wasted your time, cut out the templates, and put some time in creating a creative event to keep it real HYPE.

NOTE: The views of the author is not necessarily that of justalilhype!. Please visit the posting on the CREW BLOG to leave comments on how you feel about this. We definitely want to hear from you!