ads without products

act now to save our chubby children

with 4 comments

MoveOn.org’s latest ad is tailor-made to fuel the usual semi-automatic exchange of fire about “hating our troops,” “loving our troops by hating the war,” and the rest of the dreary playout. But you don’t have to be a right-winger to think this ad is awful. Could the organization have come up with a clearer materialization of the class gap that undergirds any ideological question in this country? Is it possible to show more clearly that the sides of the struggle have formed, that that the game is played between the right and the wealthy center?

(I’m afraid that Obama is yet another vivid materialization of the situation… But let’s hope for the best as we take what we got…)

Alex, I’m afraid, will never fight this war. Not in eighteen years, not ever. He and his mom have been cast as relatively well-to-do (see the hardwood floors, and her BKLYN yummie mummie-ness, and the antique-ish chair in the corner), and the well-to-do will never fight wars again, not in America. There are, however, lots and lots and lots of people with more immediate reasons to worry about what is going on – among other things, their kids are there now. It’s a bit like one of those Save the Children ads, except recast with chubby American kids. “What would happen if the food supply ran out? What would become of young Timmy here? Where would he find his daily bag of Cheez Doodles, his four liters of Mountain Dew? What if, in eighteen years, Timmy can’t afford his snacks?”

It would be an offensive ad, of course. But really, not much more offensive than this one.

(Actually, there is probably a simple fix. Think of how much more sneakily effective an ad would be with a different mom and kid, this time from the sticks, and he’s seventeen, and he wants to enlist because he’s a patriot and there’s shit all else to do in Nowheresville, the plant closed long ago, and now there’s just the hotdog stand at Walmart etc etc. But he can’t enlist, or mom doesn’t want him to, because rather than actually defending the country, he’ll be sent into some quixotic imperialist meat-grinder, come back scarred psychologically like his cousin or in little pieces, and for what??? Wow, that’d be fucking amazing – make that ad MoveOn. Or just Obama – you could be properly dialectical for once, and do a turn on the “against our troops” flag wavers. And then we can talk about my consulting rates…)

Obviously, the well-to-do have just as much reason, and perhaps even a greater duty, to resist the war. But it might be helpful to think through the gut reaction semiotics of your response, what it signals about you and your investments, and what it tells others about where your head and heart really are.

Written by adswithoutproducts

June 24, 2008 at 11:19 am

Posted in ads, america, uspolitics, video

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Someone already did just what you asked, but not targeting moms…. this comes courtesy of my niece’s stepsister, who’s young and none too bright and will probably never finish high school and who has never ever thought about politics before and this totally set her bawling and made her against the war:

    Not despite its cheeziness … _because_ of its cheeziness.

    Sisyphus

    June 25, 2008 at 5:57 am

  2. weird – your video “is not available in my country.”

    WTF?

    adswithoutproducts

    June 25, 2008 at 12:59 pm

  3. a lame ad is a lame ad and discredits whatever product/agenda it is trying to sell. in this case, i think the only thing it reflects is moveon and neither political party. at least viral’s cheap.

    andy

    June 25, 2008 at 10:43 pm

  4. Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

    hislinlyslido

    January 22, 2009 at 12:06 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: