The Occupy Brand

Oct 182011
Occupy Wall Street T Shirt

Been There. Done That. Bought The T Shirt.

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has spawned a brand: the “Occupy” brand. Since the start of demonstrations a month ago, we’ve seen “Occupy Times Square,” “Occupy Atlanta,” and “Occupy San Francisco” spring up. We also have “” as an unofficial hub for other “Occupy” activities, and “” with its “militant research…and mediatic (sic) intervention.”

Key to the “Occupy” brand is a general anti-ness from anti-capitalism to anti-fur. As the movement spreads, it adds new attributes such as “Occupy Tokyo’s” anti-nuke position and “Occupy Rome’s” violence. “Occupy Sydney” didn’t take off, as one participant regretted, ““we don’t have the depth of crisis here in Australia.” You have to be anti-something to really get the “Occupy” brand, and the folks in Sydney don’t appear to be angry enough about anything.

But could the “Occupy” brand stretch too far? It embraces all sorts of issues, but can it embrace outright hypocrisy? Can anti-capitalists get away with trying to capitalize on the movement by selling t-shirts and pimping for donations? Can the bailout president and Wall Street funded Barak Obama successfully “Occupy Populism” and “acknowledge the frustration that he himself shares” with the protesters as ABC reports?

It’s doubtful the “Occupy” brand can stretch that much.

UPDATE: Well that didn’t take long. On October 18, Robert Maresca of West Islip, New York filed a claim with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office for “Occupy Wall Street.” Someone else had already filed for “We Are the 99%.” The hypocrisy of capitalizing on anti-capitalism continues…

© 2014 Lisa Merriam