Tag Archives: Public Relations

“United For Global Change” is Madison Ave dilution of “Global Democracy” cry. Oct 15 not for Obameaningless change

15 Octubre, Global Democracy, now subverted to United For Global ChangeUNITED FOR GLOBAL CHANGE certainly smacks of the meaningless slogan that swept President Hope to power. My guess is that this is Advertizer Omnicom’s contract PR redesign to subvert the worldwide Global Democracy movement sparked by Spain’s Indignant rebels and the Arab Spring. Original promotional materials called for GLOBAL DEMOCRACY, which meant something obviously, but might confuse Americans who think their illusion of democracy is enough, spread via Pax Americana. Global “Change” is a straw man open to pundits critical of unspecific demands, “Democracy” less so.

Omnicom is just a guess, they’re the outfit who saved McDonalds’ skin with “I’m lovin it” and who was contracted by the USG to sell Obama’s Wars to the international public. I forgot who won all the Addy in 2008 for the ad campaign of the year, brand “Obama.”

United For Global ChangeInternational demonstrations scheduled for October 15th are more than protests in solidarity for Occupy Wall Street in NYC. OCT15 is a call for DEMOCRACIA REAL YA, which I’m sorry, doesn’t translate to REAL *CHANGE* NOW! What’s change anymore but an Obamaesque meaningless platitude? Dispiriting is the infusion they’ve intended.

“United for Global Change?” Yeah, I don’t think so. First it’s hard to swallow that “change” translates more universally than “democracy.” Second, President Obama’s neo-grassroots orgs are obviously trying to seed anticipation of 2012 with a meme of international support. We Are Change, Be the Change, Democrats For Change, Democratic Change, Change That Works, Change Happens –whatever. In your dreams Democratic party. The world isn’t taking to the street to settle for an Obama Nothing Revolution.

Wanna bet that this Global Change job was commissioned by something akin to Change International, funded by a USAID affiliate, dispersing funds meant to promote CIA-styled Democratic Astroturf pro-US counterrevolutionaries in regions not yet sufficiently subservient to US multinational extraction industries?

So what if an establishment vanguard has succeeded in rebranding OCT 15 for placebo consumption. By all means please join the marches Saturday, regardless your unlike-minded companions. The vocabulary will be mixed, the media is already preparing headlines using the approved slogan makeover, but fear not, the rest of the world is marching for real Democracy and everyone knows it.

Progressive Insurance clown makeup

Flo the Progressive Insurance checkout cashierMy favorite TV commercial has to be the Dr Pepper candy aisle parade, but next best is Progressive Insurance’s painted lady Flo. The unselfconscious checkout geek is simply a brilliant solution to a daunting PR challenge. Who does not despise their insurance company? We hate their greed and eagerness to invade our privacy, in the person of the operator trying to glean more information than you want to tell, to the adjuster intent on paying out as little as possible. How then does an ad campaign portray an insurance spokesperson who is likeable and still believable?

Make her an object of ridicule, although oblivious to judgment. Flo’s not prettier than anyone, nor smarter, nor certainly fashionable, and as a result she is completely non-threatening. Throw in an indefatigable enthusiasm and she becomes endearing beyond words. She’s an insurance rep you can’t hate because why bother?

Nothing new to the stereotype, Flo is Madge of Palmolive meets Drew Carey’s nemesis Mimi Bobeck. But they obviously threw in sex appeal, which I lack for insight to deconstruct.

Walmart trampling is Black Friday PR

Walmart blitz line“BLACK FRIDAY” BREAKING NEWS- What do you make of the trampling of a Wal-mart worker by crazed bargain hunters at Long Island super center first thing on the day after Thanksgiving? Crazy shoppers, or beguilingly crazy bargains? Which most aroused your curiosity? Savage crowd behavior, that’s nothing new. But maniacal consumer behavior in the mist of a darkening economic crisis –that’s PR whitewash.

Black Friday and Paul Bunyan

A false folk hero
Did you know that the first shopping day after Thanksgiving was known as “Black Friday?” Neither did I!
 
Apparently “Black Friday” is so named because it’s the first day of the year that retailers can recoup enough from their sales to put their balance sheets into the black. As opposed to “in the red” which is bookkeeping jargon for running at a loss, which is what retailers do for the rest of the year, apparently.
 
Boy did this sound like malarkey.

Certainly the term Black Friday sounded familiar, I thought it referred to the stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression. It turns out that there have been many other Black Fridays through history. But none of them refer to this retailer/accountant/insider lingo. The only early reference to a retail Black Friday had to do with the deluge which the day after Thanksgiving wrought upon the average retail clerk.

This new economic twist looks more like somebody’s Psych Op to revive retail sales.

This bit of Madison Avenue myth-making sure seems to cover the bases. First, if you’re a retailer you shouldn’t worry about having run at a loss (in the red) all year, apparently that’s normal. And if you’re a consumer, it looks like it’s your duty to bring that retailer’s figures up (and into the black!) Never mind that you’ll probably be putting his profit onto your credit card (into the red). For you we can call it red friday.

Paul Bunyan
I’m reminded of good ol’ Paul Bunyan, that American legend who heroically did more than his share to chop away our nation’s wooded overgrowths. Not a very PC hero to be sure, it never occurred to me to doubt his credentials.

One day I was looking through an older children’s book about American folk heroes. There was Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Pecos Bill, everyone was there except our giant friend Paul. Sure he was fictional, but he’s a historic legend, why was he not in the lineup? The book was dated 1920.

It turns out that Paul Bunyan was the creation of a magazine columnist hired in the 30s to create a positive PR figure for the timber industry. This was an industry still smarting from Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation programs.

If the Jolly Green Giant could sell you frozen foods over fresh, tales about a monumental lumberjack and Babe his blue ox could do more. A fictional reverence for a giant of folklore could sell America on admiration for westward expansion, manifest destiny and the obvious imperative of clearing our continent of its trees.