NEED (2001)

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NEED is an artificial, simulated brand. It is a laboratory project for exploring brand building and product culture in western consumer society. It is a playground for manufacturing wants by imitating, copying and remixing marketing models from the culture surrounding us.

Full Description

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2001
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Monday Sep 3rd, 2001
  • Original Url:
  • Work Credits:
    • Tuomo Tammenpää,
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Artist Statement

The project started from exploration of artificial needs emerging in consumer culture. I was fascinated about the trend of the image marketing taking over the product it was promoting. I played with the idea of discarding the product away completely. I had working slogan, "No product - Just the image" The brand NEED was created to explore this idea.

NEED operates like a brand. It imitates existing marketing strategies. Need is presented as a life-quality product for everyone but "especially for you". Customers are being seduced into the world of Need by offering them memberships, unique experiences and free prizes. Only thing missing is actually the product, the physical object which has to be sold to make marketing worthwhile.

Marketing a nonexistent product becomes possible when the image is powerful enough. The customer is forced to focus on the graphical surface by feeding new material constantly for the his/her hungry eyes. The graphical imagery begins to refer to nothing but itself. The customer needs to see more. This need becomes the product."

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