I couldn't help myself; it was a really nice hoodie. They offered it to me at the registration desk at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit in Vegas, and I almost refused, but it came with a bunch of other stuff and, although I wasn't sure I wanted any of it, I was curious to see what all was in the bag. So I took it. I asked for a medium; all they had was a large (if you can believe that), but I took it anyway. I didn't think I would wear it, it being too large and all, but I took it and immediately felt ashamed.
Worst case, I thought, I'd give if to Cliffy. I'd seen him wearing one on the flight in and figured he probably went through them more quickly than I did. I didn't even own a hoodie at the time. And then I put it on, just for kicks, and my world shifted.
"Holy crap," I said to myself. "This is the most comfortable garment I've ever worn." This wasn't just the exaggeration of a week-long writing binge talking, it really was comfortable. Damn comfortable. It was soft, warm (but not suffocating), and just the right weight to layer over a T-shirt and under a jacket. In fact, that's exactly how I wore it at the next convention, in cold, rainy San Francisco. Everywhere I went, in spite of the constant drizzle, I remained toasty and comfortable and warm. To the point where I'd completely stopped thinking about the Rock Band logo emblazoned on the front. It wasn't a piece of advertising swag anymore; it was a functional piece of critical clothing equipment.
Around this same time I'd also taken to wearing a comfortable toque provided me by someone who collects far more swag than I. My head was cold one night, my own fleece toque was far too warm, and I was near tears. It was a bad, bad scene. To the rescue, came the toque. The good news: It fit perfectly. The bad: It had a logo on it. A logo from a bad game, to be precise. In another lifetime, I wouldn't have touched it. But this was the new me, the post-hoodie me, and I took it gratefully, put it on, felt the comfortable warmth and promptly forgot all about the logo.
Here's how I feel about logos in a nutshell: I hate them. Seriously. I'm not a fan of advertising in the best of circumstances, but after a lifetime spent in the creative arts, I'm well aware of its necessity. I've even, in recent years, come to appreciate certain forms of advertising in special, limited circumstances.
People have messages they'd like to spread around, I get it. Also, sometimes audiences really do need to be informed about products or services they could actually use. Advertising is invaluable in these circumstances. And so, while we've got people's attention with our (hopefully) interesting entertainment offerings, the folks with messages to deliver want to give us some money to draw the audience's attention to their message as well. They get their message out, we get the funding we need to survive and you, hopefully, aren't too annoyed by their sales pitch to stop appreciating our entertainment. It's not the most harmonious marriage, but neither advertising nor entertainment could survive without the other, so we endure. For the sake of the children.