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Tacticool 7 : Branding Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 10:25 PM



Branding, not just for cattle anymore.

Brand Reversions. A logo project by Graham Smith - http://www.imjustcre...sioning/page/6/

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#2 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 11:07 PM

Really good one...
Im professionally involved with branding to some degree (graphics/sign design) so I know a bit about this subject.
Although you take what some might consider a fairly negative attitude towards branding, you're not wrong. Its everywhere - and goes in all directions.
Branding can be a valid & useful communication tool, but can also be taken to stupid extremes...like so much else.

As far as the Sniper Brand goes, I will still say you go a bit far - or at least you are only referring to a particular kind of sniper. Some companies shamelessly market the sniper concept to a ridiculous degree and some people are thoughtless enough to buy into it - totally true & no argument from me there. But Im not hearing a whole lot about the "casual sniper"...the guy who puts on a ghillie suit & spends half the game crawling around the bushes just because he thinks its a fun way to play paintball. I dunno - seems like alot of effort just to annoy a few poseurs.
Again, you're not wrong, I just think you're painting with a pretty broad brush...
Its like the old Spec Op positions - perfectly fine as general descriptions, but silly if taken too far.

More later...maybe


* Funny note on branding.... I just read in the news that Abercrombe & Finch is considering paying "the Situation" from Jersey Shore to NOT wear their logo on TV....does it get any funnier than that? Hee Hee!
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Posted 18 August 2011 - 12:13 AM

I agree for the most part- although, I do have a disagreement.

Branding, as you said, in paintball, creates an instant image of a player- based, like you said, off of stereotype. You hit on the two big ones (sppedball/woodsball) and one of the more minor ones ('sniper').

Of course, there's ways to use branding to your advantage as well- which, I think (IDK how you judge your scale between tactical and tacticool) would put it somewhere in between. A great example of this is sandbagging. Problem is, it only really works once, and, even then, only for the first game or so (however, that can be enough- at a local tourney, back in the day, my team and I showed up in old surplus BDUs. It won us the first game- the other team was completely careless because they thought we'd be lost. the points from that first game ended up giving us the win, or so I like to think)

That said? yeah, fanbois are always going to be that way. And there's plenty of them- look at the success the Ego had in sales from what, 05-11. New model year, minimal changes between years (yes, the differences between an 05 ego and 08 ego are pretty noticeable. the differences between an 07 and 08 aren't.) Most softgoods are the same way- same kind of crap, and, of course, there's fanbois regardless. crap, I have to be physically restrained from buying fullclip gear from time to time (not as much anymore, I like their old V1 stuff much better.) there's a point at which they've bought into the 'better, stronger, faster" thing that companies are trying to sell- crap, *MOST* companies sell that, in some flavor or other. (re: sniper discussion, where it's pointed out there's more than a small bit of gear that has "sniper" plastered on it.)
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#4 User is offline   FreeEnterprise 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 07:18 AM

Waaaay to broad a brush Tyger...

Reminds me of the guys that throw out statistics, that they just invented... Oh wait, you just did. Seriously, 1 out of 50...

I'm in marketing, been doing it since the early 90's. Some people aren't swayed by marketing, some are. To say that we are all the same is silly. God created each one of us as different in many ways, we can't say "everyone" does this, anymore than "every" sniper thinks or acts this or that. We all have our own experiences and things have changed our point of view.

I like mountain dew. When I was a kid, one of my friends was in a mountain dew commercial, did that impacted me as still to this day I have a case of mountain dew next to me?...

I LIKE mountain dew. It tastes good, perks me up, and gives me energy. (sugar rush) Now, my background makes me think about costs when I purchase anything, so I will only buy mountain dew on sale. It has to be less than a quarter a can for me to buy it... Not because I can't afford more, I just will only pay a quarter for a can... If I am out of pop, and I see that mountain dew isn't on sale, I buy circle K fake mountain dew, and that is fine (21 cents a can). Meets my criteria for spending, and I'm happy as I have a cold drink that perks me up and gives me energy. (I also save all of my cans, and that pays for my paint when I play paintball... recycling saving me green, woot)


What you are saying is that everyone is a big sucker towards marketing and can't do what I just described above... But, we are all different. We all make choices, and do things based on our experiences.



Which brings me to the latest "marketing"... It isn't the flashy campaign that pushes sales, it is people like YOU and ME that push sales. The advertisers know this, as they get more product sold when WE talk about it than they would with an ad in a magazine. These types of people have a nifty label created by marketers and are called "influencers", and they have spent millions figuring this out. When you talk about things certain people who are apt to emulate others will pick up on that and buy what you are talking about.

Typical response rate is around 3% for a traditional marketing campaign.

But, if you change the parameters and have someone respected in a field push a product, and show RESULTS that are achievable by others, that marketing has a MUCH higher response rate (I've seen as high as 40%).

Again, because everyone is different it isn't something you can predict with much consistancy. There are tons of variables.


Another example. I have a grand total of ZERO paintball jerseys, shirts, or pants. I am not one of those people that will spend my money on that kind of thing, the majority of my tshirts I got for free. My camo that I have been wearing since I started playing was a gift from my wife and she got it from our local hunting store (bass pro). It has no logo's, no patches, nothing, but it is very effective. (my camo coat I got off ebay for $5).

I wear it not because it is "cool" but because it works.

Same goes for my marker. I got my A-5 off ebay almost 6 years ago. (got a heck of a deal on it too, love it when they spell it Tipman and no one finds it on a search!) I researched and found that most people say that Tippmanns are very reliable and consistant, which is what I wanted in a paintball gun. I used camo tape (also from bass pro) and fake camo leaves to make my marker hide in the woods... Not because it looked cool (which it does) but because it works.

I make video's because I enjoy doing that, it is a creative outlet for me, and I enjoy it. THAT is why I make video's, if I get bored with it, I will stop. I make video's that I enjoy watching, because when I started looking for first person shooter paintball woodsball video's I got tired of seeing dirt, leaves, dirt, leaves, rushing dirt, yelling, leaves... Blurry shot of nothing, noise of markers firing but no clue where paint went and then more of the same.

People think they can drop a camera to the barrel or helmet and capture good footage... As you and I both know, that isn't the case. But, with youtube even MORE of that type of footage is out there, so the guys that take the time to edit, and work on their craft to capture GOOD video are in more demand. The GOOD guys are influencers... I get players emailing me all the time asking about my "gear" and "gun", do they want to look like me? LOL nope, my footage rarely if ever shows ME. It just shows results. Eliminations on the field, and capturing the flag. As I am just passing along my experiences to help other players.

Here is a game back in March of 2009... ONE day of playing and there are tons of great shots. (captured on video)



Results matter much more than "marketing" hence the reason influencers are so powerful in marketing.

I researched online quite a bit before I bit the bullet and purchased a used ($25) Apex years ago. The results were astounding, I was hitting players at WAY further than they could shoot. And my accuracy went WAY up, other players who played with me saw the difference and THEY started buying the Apex as well. Pretty soon, more than half the players at my field used the Apex, not because they read paintball websites or magazines, or have even seen an advertisement for one... But, because they saw ME with one and the way it shot them out, over and over and over...

To many players results matter, not marketing. (btw, no clue on the star trek shirt you held up, clearly I don't follow paintball stuff)

At the end of the day you could say that Tygers brand is very unique, but guys that pay attention to your stuff would be able to pick out YOUR video's from one single still... And YOU don't even have to be in it... Just a shot of your garage would be all they need to say "that is a Tyger video" Web Dog radio...

That "branding" gives you influence over a large group of players. Not ALL by any stretch, but you have a demographic that places your words above the words of others. You have that power as an influencer. Some companies might even flow you product hoping that you will use it in your video's and talk it up... Again, because they want that influencer to help with their marketing of their product.

And if the product WORKS! then people like US will use our influencer status to promote that product, hence becoming part of the branding machine that exists in marketing.


All of that brings me back to "paintball snipers". I don't walk around saying "hey, look at me, I'm a paintball sniper". People call me that when I shoot them out and they have no clue where I am. Again, results matter.

I have shot out entire attacking teams single handedly.


I have run out of paint and barrel tagged 4 players in a game.


I have shot guys out at over 300 feet many times, to which THEY said I sniped them. I just wonder why it is OK to call someone a speedballer, or woodsballer, but not a sniper? They are all describing a certain style of play. Sure there are posers in all of those catagories. But, to have posers, you HAVE to have the players that those players are emulating... Posers don't emulate something that doesn't exist. They all may have different opinions on what makes a good "sniper, or speedballer, or woodsballer". But, that is what they want to achieve, so they start by buying the "stuff" that they think will help them on their journey to their goal.

My point in this great wall of text, is that there are players who play in a style that is considered a "sniper". They hide, and wait to shoot until other fire will cover their sound, they will sit under a log and pick out ONE player they want to eliminate without being seen and they do it (my brother in law is deadly at this).

But, he would never go online or tell other players that is how he plays, he just does it. So it is real, many people sit in the deadbox and the stories of his kills grow as players rarely if ever see him on the field. (unless he is goofing off). And that sniper image grows.

And he uses an old silver 98, with an original apex, and wears camo, and the Scott mask that came with his 9 year old marker... A case of paint lasts him an entire year.

He is a sniper. That is how he plays... Lots of people wish they had the patience and skill to pull off the shots he has done, and THAT is why he is emulated, because of his skill. For people to pretend that he isn't a sniper, because they don't want someone to be able to whip out that LABEL is just petty and childish. He is having fun doing what he enjoys doing. Me, I rarely do that myself, as I would rather run and gun. But, I don't discount what he does, because my agressive style that typically is first to the front has also caused me to be first to the box many times... And as I age, I can't run as often as I used to so I will play the sniper and guard the base... and I have taken out entire teams of players while doing that.

Posers are good for the sport, they buy gear, and help grow the sport, as they tell others everything they know (or don't know). Does that mean we should insult them if they say they are "snipers"? Do we insult kids for saying they want to be President? They are WAAAAAY less likely to ever be President than a paintball sniper...

I will make sure to inform everyone that yells out "sniper" to stop using that term as it is offensive to some, as they feel they don't exist in paintball or might consider that player a "poser" for using that term. but, speedballer, or woodsballer... Those are acceptable, as they cover EVERY aspect of play style.

oh wait.
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#5 User is offline   Eskimo 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:31 AM

Whoa that was a long read,
Plus 1 for the sheer effort required to put up a response like that sir.

Tyger I know your trying to stick to your side of the argument. however, I dont think branding itself is the be all end all for the sniper.

This post has been edited by Eskimo: 18 August 2011 - 08:35 AM

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#6 User is offline   IrishMack 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:43 AM

I didn't realize any of the logos were wrong :-/
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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:07 AM

Some good observations in that video. I very much look at what other players are wearing/carrying when I first get on the field to give me a "0th order approximation" idea of who I'm up against. I'll revise my mental model of the players after a few games as I begin to figure out the reality of their skills/playstyles. In this case "Branding" gives me a clue how these people might react on the field. Is it 100% reliable, heck no, some people will suprise you, but I find it useful until I know otherwise.
People often want a group to belong to, branding helps people declare what group they would most like to be associated with. I've noticed I get treated differently if I show up in camo vs a jersey. It's kinda funny in a way as you can manipulate people's assumptions rather easily. Wear camo to play speedball or a jersey in woodsball, you'll probably see this your self.
However branding =/= reality, it may be what people want you to belive about them but it's not the same, which I think was Tyger's whole point.
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#8 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:51 AM

View PostFreeEnterprise, on 18 August 2011 - 09:18 AM, said:

But, to have posers, you HAVE to have the players that those players are emulating... Posers don't emulate something that doesn't exist.
...
Posers are good for the sport, they buy gear, and help grow the sport, as they tell others everything they know (or don't know). Does that mean we should insult them if they say they are "snipers"? Do we insult kids for saying they want to be President? They are WAAAAAY less likely to ever be President than a paintball sniper...


Well, cheap shots and personal insults aside, "paintball snipers" are emulating something that really does not exist. I have yet to see any professional paintball sniper to be emulated. No, they're emulating the military "sniper", just riding the name and using it for the image that comes with the name. It's the fantasy of being the force of one, the guy who can take anyone out at any time, it's a damn sexy story that people buy up because it's a nice fantasy. The reality is that it's just not the case.

As far as buying gear goes, that doesn't help the sport. Posers who just buy the gear and play pretend are in and out of the sport on the 3-5 year plan, and aren't "long dollar" players by any stretch of the imagination. I could argue that they do more damage than good, as they parrot the fantasy promised to them, and when they realize it's just not happening they leave without passing any real info onto the new generation. They just perpetuate the fantasy, and never cut through it to actually help the new gen of players.

As to the last part, I don't know, are you saying you're a child? Would you rather that ADULTS play paintball as a self-centered fantasy or as a team-oriented game?

View PostEskimo, on 18 August 2011 - 10:31 AM, said:

Tyger I know your trying to stick to your side of the argument. however, I dont think branding itself is the be all end all for the sniper.


No, it's not. It's a part of a larger whole. This is a segment of that 60 minute lecture I scrapped over the weekend. There's a LOT more to the picture than just branding. There's also the "cheating" aspect, the "waste of 2.5 feet of space" aspect, the "not congruent with reality of the game" aspect, as well as the "branding" aspect and probably a few more.

Socially speaking, there's also this whole selfish attitude I've been getting from a majority of the "paintball sniper" community, where they've basically been cramming down my throat that I need to modify the game for them, not that they need to stay within the rules provided for all of us. One player has already complained at me that it's unfair that he couldn't use his own FS rounds at an FPO field. The overall attitude I've been getting is "if I'm having fun, that's all that matters" and "You're picking on ME!" NOT "us", on themselves specifically. As if I'm naming them by name, pointing through the monitor, and making videos about THEM exclusively. And honestly, that doesn't endear me to their position on things when all I see is "it's all about me." It's like Jersey shore but in camo.

-Tyger

This post has been edited by Tyger: 18 August 2011 - 10:53 AM

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#9 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:23 AM

Guys, forgive me if I'm silent on this for a bit.

Suddenly, it doesn't seem to freakign matter.
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#10 User is offline   FreeEnterprise 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:29 AM

exactly...

The only reason I started making video's was because I saw Borgs stuff on youtube and though it looked cool...


Unreal. So sad for so many reasons.
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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:31 AM

Branding, your talking about fanboys and or stupid uneducated buyers/wannabees.


And I'll start this saying that I was a bit slanted in the beginning of this whole sniper event, but I am still learning. But here is my latest view on it.

Sniping is an action more than a player. Sure you can call yourself what ever you want, but there are actions that dictate a sniper vs. a gunner. There is not official quota or card that you fill out that classes you as a sniper( you mentioned that on one of your earlier videos). BUT, there are actions that you can take/do that will promote you as a sniper. And since there are players out there that actually do things like that and it is appealing to the market, this is where you get marketing, and then branding.
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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:32 AM

View PostTyger, on 18 August 2011 - 01:23 PM, said:

Guys, forgive me if I'm silent on this for a bit.

Suddenly, it doesn't seem to freakign matter.



LOL, was thinking the same thing on the tacticool 6 vid thread :)
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Posted 18 August 2011 - 01:05 PM

Hahaha why oh why oh why didn't you reference that scene from Wayne's World? Should've done at least 90% of this video blatantly and literally dressed head to toe in one brand! BTW, was that velure?

I like this term Tyger coined, "tacticool". The way I see it though, it's a very specific term. To me tacticool is just anything that claims to be tactical and simply is not.

Now, in order to define tacticool, one must first define what is actually tactical.

There's really only two considerations when it comes to actuall tactical gear (and I mean real world tactical gear not anything in your local pb shop labeled "tactical"): Does it make you harder to see? and: Does it help you operate more effectively? A brightly colored patch for a dress uniform isn't tactical, because it's not supposed to be, it's just supposed to look good and represent. The same patch in subdued colors (dim colors that match the colors of a camoflage BDU) is tactical, it's designed not to counteract the effects of a camoflage uniform, and thereby help you blend in while STILL representing to anyone close enough (hopefully friendly enough) to see it clearly. It's tactical because it makes you less visible, or technically at least: doesn't make you MORE visible. A black pistol holster on a drop leg rig is tactical for a watchstander because as a watcstander he/she will probably be standing with their hands at their sides most of the time, and the drop leg puts that pistol grip basically right at the position the watchstander's hand will most likely be in by their natural stance. Meaning if something happens, and they have to draw that pistol, there's less distance for them to reach to grab it than if it were say, a hip holster. Less distance to reach and draw, less time to draw the weapon and fire it. It's tactical because it can help you operate faster and because it's black it doesn't necessarily stand out. The same holster in red wouldn't be tactical (and would never be used by anyone in the real world), because even though it helps you operate faster, it gives you away badly in almost any environment. Of course sometimes the goal is to be high profile (security via deterence), but still red wouldn't be used, that just looks uprofessional. Anyway that's basically what tactical is, anything that helps you do whatever it is you do better, or faster, and doesn't make you stick out like a sore thumb, of course this term is applicable to paintball too.

However, I don't see anything in the speedball arena as being tacticool because really there isn't a whole lot of emphasis in that part of paintball on tactical gear. There are limited tactics in the game, who moves up or holds their ground or maybe even falls back where and when. But no opportunity to use camoflage, any kind of stealth, manuvers are severely limited by the nature of the field (tiny, purpose built, well manicured, fenced in courses). Tactics in speedball are more about stance, very small scale maneuvers and of course being fast. I suppose there must be a lot of gear designed to make it faster and easier to do things like draw your pods, which would technically be tactical gear, but because the term tactical is more of a military term I doubt you see it being marketed to the speedballers most of the time anyway. Point is that even though there are tactics and things that you could call tactical in the very specific context of speedball, the word just doesn't get thrown around as much on that side. I think.

The me, logically speaking, the end all be all definition of tacticool is most "milsim" gear out there. Specifically because milsim gear is designed to come as close as possible to perfectly mimicing real world gear, with little (sometimes no) emphasis on actually working well. The bottom line is alot of the specific principals that real gear is designed around simply don't apply to paintball, so emulating that gear exactly often not only DOESN'T do you any good performance-wise on the field, but actually actively makes your performance WORSE on the field, and all for the sake of looking cool, like that real gun. Everyone seems to overlook the basic principal of: Make it work as well as it possibly can work in every way, regarless of how that comes out looking. So milsim kind of forseakes the basic foundation of the actual milgear haha! "No you don't just mimic things because the 'look cool', that's the OPPOSITE of the point!" Example a SAW look-a-like Tippmann A5 I keep seeing for sale. I admit it looks super cool. But is that really the point of paintball? I thought the point of paintball was to shoot people with paintballs. I would never even consider using the thing myself (no offense), just because it's this GIGANTIC paintball gun, probably super heavy, obviously super dificult to manuver relative to just about anything else out there, and doesn't necessarily have ANY actuall performance advantage. It's all disadvantages, and good looks, with no return. In the real world everythings a trade off, the only reason you ever make a gun that big is if you HAVE to make it that big to achieve certain range or rof performance that's not possible otherwise. So you get something back for the manueverability disadvantage. It makes sense. The alternative paintball mimic... doesn't.

Looking back at speedball, there's probably gear in there that's classifiable as tactical. But I still wouldn't call it so, generally speaking, because it's probably only tactical in the very narrow context of speedball. In speedball lots of things like color doesn't matter except aesthetically, so something can be tactical and red (an probably usually is). But you take it off the speedball course and into the woods, all those rainbow colors are going to make you hard not to notice and therefore, not be tactical anymore.

Anyway actually tactical stuff in paintball is EXTREMELY rare. It's anything that's designed to work as well as it possibly can and at the same time not draw much attention to you in a given environment. Woods camo, tactical... but only so long as it stays in the woods. Desert camo, likewise. Red gun, potentially tactical if there's as much attention paid to reliability as rof (incredibly rare) and only so long as it stays on the speedball course that's covered with red and other technicolor things, although I doubt anyone's calling it tactical anyway as I mentioned earlier. Black gun... pretty much tactical everywhere... so long as it's not ridiculously tricked out with 3 different extraneous auxilery systems designed to make it shoot faster that will cause the entire marker to fail if any one of it's systems do... and so long as it's not tricked out with 50 extraneous pounds of gear designed to make it look like whatever, even though that means it's going to be entirely to heavy and big to manuever well and isn't even going to have the courtesey of being able to shoot faster or farther or more accurately or more reliably. That's paintball tacitcal.

Tacticool is anything claiming or claimed to be tactical, which doesn't fit the premise of being designed to work well discretely.

The subject of this video however I dont' think fits the definition of tacticool. Although marketing certainly relates in that it makes certain claims, the subject in and of its self is much more broad scope than tacticool seems to be. Great video, great points, but not sure the term applys myself. Of course Tiger did invent it so until it becomes common usage, I suppose it is whatever he says it is haha!
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#14 User is offline   Warpaint 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:07 PM

View PostTyger, on 18 August 2011 - 02:23 PM, said:

Guys, forgive me if I'm silent on this for a bit.

Suddenly, it doesn't seem to freakign matter.


You OK? I don't always agree with you, but here we're all a family of sorts. And you should see how I get along with family!

Anyway, not sure I see how a paintball sniper is a brand...it's a position, played by someone who shoots other individuals from a concealed position...not a product or service. Are other positions in any other game format branded then? How about MILSIM? It's a style of play, but not exactly a brand. Why or why not? Even then, how about something like a 22 inch barrel? I mean, if I see a 22 inch barrel, I don't necessarily associate that with a specific manufacturer or company, like jute ghillies, or sniper veils. Then again, there are Apex and Flatline barrels, and I think those are well branded, because everyone knows who markets those. For some things, I can make the branding association...for others, the distinction is hard to validate.

Hope you're OK. Take care.

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#15 User is offline   ger 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:12 PM

View PostWarpaint, on 18 August 2011 - 05:07 PM, said:

View PostTyger, on 18 August 2011 - 02:23 PM, said:

Guys, forgive me if I'm silent on this for a bit.

Suddenly, it doesn't seem to freakign matter.


You OK? I don't always agree with you, but here we're all a family of sorts. And you should see how I get along with family!

Likely because of this
ger
You bought the brand, not my allegiance.
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