BY MIN CHEN
Clearly, there’s nothing that Daft Punk won’t put their name on these days. Since 2014, following the release of their wildly lauded Random Access Memories, the electronic duo’s stock of merchandise has only exploded in sheer variety to rival KISS’ memorabilia empire. Surpassing staples such as T-shirts, caps, and tote bags, it now include pens, beach towels, belt buckles, rings, and frisbees, all lovingly stamped with the Daft Punk logo. Last holiday season’s haul further supplemented the range with Christmas ornaments, snow globes, and puzzle sets.
The deluge of goods is as overwhelming (“why the fuck is there a daft punk candle,” asks a fan on Facebook; “Wish you guys did music anymore,” comments another) as it is questionable (their site hosts nothing else but a webstore, as if they indeed no longer tour or did music anymore). But no one can fault Daft Punk for not leaning the hell in.
Just observe the advertisements created to publicize and promote these Daft Punk-branded products: playfully and precisely mimicking the cornball text and grainy feel of ‘70s and ‘80s print ads, they fall directly in line with the outfit’s retro-futuristic visual identity and aesthetic. It’s a whole lot of effort to move yo-yos. But copping the earnest quality and stylistic hallmarks of these vintage ads does allay the crassness of the entire enterprise, creating a comprehensive, singular shopping experience that eases your path toward clicking that button to add to cart.
And of course, like a hall of mirrors, these ads are also available to buy as posters, on top of a poster featuring an ad advertising all the other ads. “This is an ad for our ads,” the ouroboros reads. Talk about a branding exercise. It would be ridiculous if it didn’t revel this much in its cheeky self-awareness.