SF Weekly reports that San Jose-based hardware supply chain Orchard Supply Hardware produced an ad targeted at Burning Man ticket holders. "At Orchard Supply Hardware, we like to help people make the most of what they have," reads the ad. "One of the ways is, We Pay the Sales Tax Weekend, which happens to be this weekend! Just in time to finish your Burning Man project." Pretty convenient, yes? Well, according to SF Weekly, some burners were displeased with the corporate infiltration, however minimal, into the popular furry-cowboy-hat-saturated Labor Day Weekend festival.
"Chuck," who claims to have penned the ad in question, comments on the brouhaha thusly:
Nothing gladdens a writer's heart like response. I wrote the radio spot for OSH. I think OSH is a great place to buy stuff - much better than the soul-destroying caverns of Home Depot - burner or not. Sure, start across the street at Urban Ore in Berkeley. Then why not visit OSH? Like "Unicorn" says in response to the article, a hardware store mentioning that Burning Man exists represents an inclusive, current outlook, not an attempt to "anoint" OSH any particular status. And for those who deem the casual mention of Burning Man within a :60 Orchard Supply Hardware radio spot a non sequitur, so much the better. It was intended that way, coming from the long-in-the-tooth voiceover talent. I welcome both the humorous and odd as they bring color to our lives and the radio commercials foisted upon us all. By the way, I am an experienced burner myself (my first year, BRC was "only" 30,000 people) and will return Home once my newborn is older.
Over on Tribe.net, which is just what it sounds like, not everybody is pleased with the radio spot. "Lindsey" bemoans:
I think local bike shops getting playa savvy is one thing... But a hardware store using the Burning Man name in a TV campaign (while smart) doesn't seem like it would fly with the LLC. Wonder if they'll get it take off, because I cant imaging them giving out legal rights for an ad. Then again, is it much different than that "Welcome Burners" sign on the Denny's in Reno that almost made me cry last year?